Read first part of the review!
Now it is a race to see if the rescuers can arrive and save the survivors before the beings on Europa dispose of them. After all, mankind had already been warned.
Overall, this novel left a disconnected feeling throughout and it failed to hold the reader’s attention at the oddest moments. The flow was uneven and occasionally halting, especially when references were not explained for objects used or observed by characters in the story.
Many references are made to the previous two novels. Even though the author claims that this is ‘not a direct sequel’, if you haven’t already read the previous ones, you most likely will find yourself regularly confused.
There was no depth to the characters for the most part and when the novel ended, a thought came to mind, “Is this it?”
A redeeming factor is that the mountain that appeared on Europa was covered in depth as to how it came to be and why it appeared on the otherwise flat moon.
The hijacking of the spaceship was perhaps the best written action sequence in the entire novel, and it was fast-paced, smooth, and well-executed. All of that gave it a very realistic atmosphere.
The author’s note that is included where a prologue would normally be does warn the reader that this is not a ‘linear sequel’ to the previous book. It warns of other oddities that are contained, as well, but the whole idea of its inclusion gives the impression that it was an attempt to justify the weak writing style used within.
The bottom line for this novel is that it falls into an “OK Read” category, but do read the first two novels or watch the movies before picking this one up. This isn’t a stand-alone by any means. You’ll be disappointed if you think it will be.
The main characters of the story are developed enough to let you get a feel for who they are and what their personalities are like.
The hijacking of a spaceship that has been sent to Europa to run tests on its mountain was depicted very realistically and was well-written.
Life being based on chemicals and minerals that are different from Earth-based life forms was described well and believable as the author showed a resultant incompatibility when the two types of life forms crossed paths.
The author wrote a note to start off the book that gives information about what the novel does and does not contain. He claims this is not a direct sequel to ‘2010’, stating it ‘must be considered as variations on the same theme’. But, if you haven’t read the previous two novels (2001 & 2010), it will be a little difficult to follow the storylines at times.
Many of the characters and places included in the book were not developed well at all. There were times where there was a disassociation with events due to lack of understanding of how they fit into the situation presented.
The monoliths from the first two books were referred to, but it was difficult to understand their purpose within this one. It was as if their importance was assured but not explained unless you were already familiar with the contents of the first two encounters with them.