Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey, Book 2) by Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter

Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey, Book 2) Sunstorm by Arthur C. Clarke

When Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the greatest science fiction writer ever, teams up with award-winning author Stephen Baxter, who shares Clarke’s bold vision of a future where technology and humanism advance hand in hand, the result is bound to be a book of stellar ambition and accomplishment. Such was the case with Time’s Eye. Now, in the highly anticipated sequel, Clarke and Baxter draw their epic to a triumphant conclusion that is as mind-blowing as anything in Clarke’s famous Space Odyssey series.


Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth’s history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance?

Bisesa’s questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun’s core–an anomaly that has no natural cause is evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life in a bombardment of deadly radiation.

Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort.

And all the while, the Firstborn are watching...

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
While this book is billed as "Book Two of the Time Odyssey" it can be read as a stand alone, no problem. In fact the one character and the part of the plot that connect these two books are stretched very thin.

I enjoyed this book more than the first, but then it is a totally different type of book. This book is a more of an 'end of the world' book. The character, Bisesa Dutt, who is also in the first book is a very different character in this book and really a very minor one. The knowledge that she has of the 'Firstborn' plays a role in this book, but it is a role that this character really does not have to be present for. So there are my comparisons of the two books. lol As for my review of this book on it's own, I enjoyed it.

The world faces possible extinction when the sun sends out massive energy beams directly towards earth. It is up to humanity to figure out a way to save itself. The fact that this 'attack' is really alien made as opposed to a natural event comes later in the book and really has no impact on the overall storyline. This book is about humanity coming together to save itself in the face of extinction. An enjoyable read.

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