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.

The Garden of Rama

Like Rama #2, I went back and forth while reading this one on if I was actually enjoying it or if I would finish it at all. In the end, I did finish it and I think I’ll even start the last one mostly out of a sense of completionism.

Essentially, there are five sections:

Rama II

This book feels rather different from Rendezvous with Rama.

For the first half, I wasn’t sure that I actually liked the difference. Rather than the almost sterile science fiction that Clarke is better known for, the sequel deals a lot more with characters, drama, and to some extent matters of faith. It’s especially interesting in how long it takes them to even get to Rama, especially compared to the first book.

Rendezvous with Rama

It’s been a little while since I’ve read much science fiction, particularly any of the sort that Clarke is known for. Forget strong plot or characters and focus entirely around the big idea: In this case, the starship Rama is plenty large.

It starts off quickly, only a few chapters before you’re on the ship. From there, you have situation after situation, describing how interesting the world that Clarke has built is and how the explorers react to it. The lack of a more specific antagonist becomes more of a problem towards then end, in that the book just sort of ends. There are various problems throughout the book, but no sense of building. I’m still not entirely sure how much I like this style.