Rama Revealed

In my opinion, this was by far the best of the sequels.

They start by doing exactly what I wanted out of the middle two books: getting away from the human settlement and into a situation where they are learning and experiencing something strange. In this case, they go to live among the octospiders, an intelligent civilization highly skilled in genetics and biological science who are completely deaf and only speak in color. It’s a fascinating and nicely thought out situation and I did like it.

Even when, halfway through the book, the focus shifts back partially to the rest of the human colony in Rama, it still maintains a tight focus, with the bigger scale events going on behind the scenes. There was still a particular feel of exploring how different societies deal with issues (such as war: the octospiders view all war as terrible, not just certain kinds).

The final section, when the return to another Node felt a little strange. Either because it was rushed or because it felt sort of artificial. I didn’t particularly mind though, since it still was working out echoes of events from all of the previous books and acted as a sufficient capstone to the series. I did think it was nice that Michael and Simone make another appearance, even if the latter replied her mother’s odd fixation with a two person continuation of the species.

At the very end, the book veers somewhat towards a philosophical / religions tangent, which felt a little odd (the Ramas are essentially God) but still thought provoking.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. If you made it through the middle two books, you should probably read this one as well.

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