Customer Reviews for

Bowl of Heaven

Average Rating 3.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

To be continued!!!! Aaaaah, dang

Excellent read. Kept my attention throughout, and didn't suffer from too much made-up alien thinking. However, I wish somebody else had written a review before me that said "WARNING: JUST ABOUT THE TIME YOU GET EXCITED ABOUT THE PLOT! IT SOPS DEAD -- TO BE CONTINUED I...
Excellent read. Kept my attention throughout, and didn't suffer from too much made-up alien thinking. However, I wish somebody else had written a review before me that said "WARNING: JUST ABOUT THE TIME YOU GET EXCITED ABOUT THE PLOT! IT SOPS DEAD -- TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT BOOK! Unlike most serial stories, this is not a free-standing installment that comes to some logical end. It just stops in the middle of the plot. It should not have been released without the second installment on the shelves beside it! I do recommend you buy it, but I strongly recommend you wait until the next installment is on the shelves as well.

posted by GVTolly on October 20, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

This refers to the hardcover version of the novel. Every once

This refers to the hardcover version of the novel.

Every once in a while I read a book where I can barely restrain the urge to whip out a red pen, mark-up all the mistakes I find in the text, and mail it back to the publisher, requesting a job as an editor and a refu...
This refers to the hardcover version of the novel.

Every once in a while I read a book where I can barely restrain the urge to whip out a red pen, mark-up all the mistakes I find in the text, and mail it back to the publisher, requesting a job as an editor and a refund.

This is one of those books. There are basic errors in the text that were not caught ranging from misspelling of characters' names, inexplicable changes in descriptions of known people or objects (think of someone being repeatedly described as blue-eyed suddenly described as brown-eyed), incorrect characters being referenced (e.g. a character stated as speaking when that character is not physically present).

Then there were bigger errors, such one paragraph that was supposed to have been deleted but wasn't, as the character described as doing something wasn't physically there, and then the same action was repeated in the following paragraph by a character who was actually there. There was another section where I think 4-5 paragraphs were printed out of order; at least it made more sense when I read them in an order other than how they were printed.

The humans in the story are separated into 3 groups physically separated by huge distances. There is a cast of characters in the beginning of the book that identifies which humans are in which group. Unfortunately, neither the authors nor the editors looked at it, as characters in one group would be referenced as being with another group, an intermittent error that persisted through the novel. There are more examples but they are difficult to describe without being spoilery.

And while some of the errors could be construed as nit-picking, all of the mistakes taken as a whole give the impression that Tor just pushed this out the door figuring it would sell on name recognition and any mistakes would be overlooked because of the authors.

For me, anyway, it also serves to repeatedly throw me out of the narrative, which definitely decreases my enjoyment of any story.

posted by Anonymous on November 29, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Desperately Needs Editing

    I am a Niven fan from way back. Can’t believe this is from his pen (so to speak). There is a story hiding in there somewhere, but it is lost with the ponderous pace of the narrative. Also quite disappointing to suffer through that many pages only to find this is only the first of who knows how many parts. I getting tired of authors and publishers that split one book into 2 or 3 pieces so they can sell more of them. At least forewarn us. Part two isn’t even out yet. Not that I would buy it. After 900 or so pages, I still don’t care what happens to the characters in this poorly told tale. What happened to the author of Ringworld, Lucifer’s Hammer, The Mote in God's Eye and so many other good (and self contained) books. Has his identity been stolen?

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    A bit ponderous and wordy, but the worst offense is that it actu

    A bit ponderous and wordy, but the worst offense is that it actually feels like two authors working on two books and then throwing it in a blender with no editing.
    I was not overly bothered by the numerous typos mentioned by others, but the editing problems often affect the plot. At one point an alien tells another alien "those pesky humans have done A, B, and C!". Only problem - the pesky humans won't actually do C for another 200 pages and\or a month or so in chronology. A big climactic conflict will be told from one side and resolved, but the next chapter tells the same story from the other side (which is sheer drudgery since you know how it is resolved).
    Fundamentally, I get the feeling that the authors were going through the motions and nobody at the publishing house cared enough to do a critical copyedit. If I ever get around to reading the sequel, it's coming from the library - I'm not rewarding them for this drivel.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Worst editing I have ever seen

    What a disappointment.

    There might be a great story in here. Unfortunately, it's hidden behind terrible editing. The flow of the story is constantly disrupted by what I can only assume is draft content that never got cleaned up.

    Here's a concrete example. To set the stage, the character Tananareve has just been grabbed and placed out of the action for the time being. She should not be in any of the following text.

    "Given his ripped suit, Howard was breathing local air already. Tananareve got his suit peeled down, extracted the metal shard--Howard refused even to wince--and stopped the bleeding. She had him patched within minutes with a 'walking anesthetic' that would not impair his ability to move. Howard stayed silent through it all, looking at the many odd details of the flora and fauna, still doing his job."

    Three paragraphs later,

    "He took time to pull the metal spar out of Howard's arm. It stuck in the bone, then jerked loose. Irma had her medkit open; she handed him antibiotic gel, then superskin spray. They all pooled their medkits and made a selection. Howard asked, 'Painkiller?'

    Irma asked, 'Could you still run? Wait, here's a local anaesthetic.' She rubbed white cream generously over the bleeding wound."

    Two different versions of the same scene, almost like the author forgot to remove an early rough version.

    Stuff like this is ALL over the place. It reads like a corrupt file with a combination of multiple drafts badly mixed together.

    One paragraph even has, "Just like that, Beth disappeared. Just like that."

    I can't imagine Benford and Niven collaborated so poorly that this was the result they intended to publish. I have to assume that the publisher either rushed this out or made some fundamental mistake converting to ebook form.

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