Sundiver by David Brin
The Uplift Saga series #1
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My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
First Published: February 1980
Read from: September 25 to October 1, 2014
Sundiver: Good Beginning, But Felt Like a Sequel
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A little bit of a strange read. While the space opera plot, cool sci-fi ideas & tech, and writing all pushed my buttons in just the right ways, for some reason I always felt like I was missing something. The story’s set in a future where man has discovered a galactic civilization of alien’s that have all been “uplifted” or engineered into sentience by previous ancient alien races. Apparently humans are a very rare example of a race that has evolved to their ranks unassisted… Or have they?
As mentioned I had a bit of a strange experience with the book. I felt like I was starting into the series part way through, as the story references previous important events that were mentioned in passing in a way that made you feel like they must have been from a previous book. There were other parts that also felt like something was missing.
But on a whole I really liked this book. Some of the issues may have been that I think this was Brin’s first fiction work. He is obviously a very knowledgable scientist, and I suspect he had so much of this world, its races and its aliens thought out that he and his editors had to do a lot of editing out of things to keep this the nice quick read action/mystery that it is. But mostly, I think a lot of the issues I initially had with the story had to do with the mystery story like structure of parts of the book, and a desire to reveal things in a more climatic way.
While I would rate this book just a bit better than average, there were enough cool sci-fi ideas and concepts, enough potential, enjoyable prose, and plain good story telling that I plan on reading further in the series.