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2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey Series #3)

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted February 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is not a great book. It's really more of an extended novell

    This is not a great book. It's really more of an extended novella or perhaps part one of Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey finale, "3001". This story has none of the depth, nuance or scale of Clarke's classic original, "2001" nor its solid follow up "2010". 

    Clarke creates two focal points 60 years after modern man first comes across The Monolith buried deeply beneath the surface of the moon. One story thread follows Dr. Heywood Floyd, a centenarian whose medical condition forces him to live full time off-Earth. He's been asked to join a scientific mission to land on Halley's comet that's making its regularly scheduled swing near Earth. In parallel, Clarke explores the growth and evolution of the former Jovian moon, and nascent planet, Europa. Surrounding these dual tales is a weak mystery with weaker intrigue that ultimately brings the two threads together.

    Clarke is at his best when speculating on a future culture enormously affected by the events in the first two books of the series. Equally as strong is Clarke's evolutionary ruminations on the biological progression of life on Europa - formerly an ice-harden snowball orbiting Jupiter, but instantly transformed when a billion billion monoliths exploded within Jupiter and transformed it into Lucifer, an intra solar system star (at the conclusion of "2010"). 

    "2061" isn't a bad book, it's just bland. I've enjoyed the narrative development that began in the wonderfully broad and subtle "2001", and continued in “2010” which smartly built on the myth of The Monolith and its creators. “2061” provides a glimpse at the intervening years and sets expectations and builds anticipation of the finale. As a stand-alone, however, there’s just not much 'there'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2006


    If you're expecting the continuation of the whole monolith-Dave Bowman theme, skip the first 250 pages (and that's not good considering the book is only 268 pages long). 95 percent of the novel isn't relevant to anything, other than Clarke writing out some daydream about going to Haley's Comet, and forgetting along the way that he's writing a sequel to 2010. Character development is poor at best, and I didn't really care what happened to any of them. The last few chapters are interesting, though, and sets the stage for 3001. I just hope 3001 isn't as disappointing.

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