Book Review: Sunstorm – by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter

Sunstorm is the sequel to Time’s Eye by Clarke and Baxter. It is also the second book of the ‘Time Odyssey’ by the two authors. I just finished reading Time’s Eye last week in Boston and I went ahead and bought the next book right away.

Why it is a sequel I don’t really know. There is only a lose and contrived connection between the first book and the second, and they both could have stood alone just fine. There is one character only, Bisesa, that appears in the first and second book, tying the story together.

Sunstorm was nowhere near as exciting as Time’s Eye. It almost landed in my pile of “books (not finished reading)” which you can review by clicking on this categories item on the right side of the screen. When I was about a third of the way into the book I got bored with it. Fortunately, I was on a cross country flight with nothing else to read, so I kept going.

If you are interested in the physics of the sun, this is the book. You learn more about the sun than you ever wanted to know, unless you are a physicist or astronomer. There are also a few concepts of grand space engineering, highly improbable in the near future (2040) and a side plot of a human mission to Mars. All is done fairly well, but you simply can’t get away from the reality that there are two science authors who want to impart their skill and they are writing the story so they can weave in all this stuff they want to talk about. Nothing ever seems real, nothing gets deep, the characters are all caricatures and you keep turning the pages to find out what’s next.

Will I buy “Firstborn,” the third book of the trilogy? Probably. I’ll check it out next time I am at the bookstore. I’ll read the back cover and decide. But I have gone through two out of three, why not go all the way.

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