Customer Reviews for

The Gripping Hand

Average Rating 3.5
( 22 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2004

    The Moties Are Back

    In this sequel to The Mote in God¿s Eye, humans and the alien ¿Moties¿ once again come into contact with dramatic results. The Empire of Man has a blockade to keep the Moties bottled up in their own system because the Moties are explosively expansive and would quickly overrun the Empire. Horace Bury, an Imperial Trader, and Kevin Renner, his pilot, travel through the Empire helping Naval Intelligence quell rebellion. But Bury and Renner, veterans from the first contact with the Moties, have another goal: to make sure that the Moties stay penned up in their system. When they find possible evidence that the Moties may escape, they pull all the strings they can find in order to visit the blockade. Events unfold quickly and they end up once more in the Mote system, trying to prevent a disaster. They have help of Chris and Glenda Ruth Blain, the two children of the first expedition¿s captain. The Blaine¿s have unique insight into the situation because they grew up around the only Moties allowed into the Empire. The tension is thick at times, and the space battles are well plotted. However, there are large stretches consisting of political intrigue and Motie history lessons that slow down the plot considerably. I think the sections are interspersed well enough to hold the reader¿s interest. Some of the plot twists were hard to follow, especially once the Moties are involved. However, considering the chaos involved during battles and throwing in completely alien thought patters, it¿s probably fair to have some confusion in the plot. The characters are engaging, but I found it a little annoying that some of them just drop out of the story at the end without resolutions. The Gripping Hand is definitely easier to read if you have the background found in The Mote in God¿s Eye. However, like most sequels, it doesn¿t live up to the promise of the first book. It¿s entertaining, but not destined to be a classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2000

    A Disappointing Sequel

    For the first time ever I'm disappointed that Niven and Pournelle have produced a work that fails to live up to their previous efforts. 'The Gripping Hand' starts off disappointing and doesn't improve at all. It seems more like a collection of ideas that the authors were exploring and then tried to tie them all together in what seemed like a logical arrangement to produce the sequel. Even the Military aspects of the Empire have been toned down(somewhat like the U.S. Military of the present)to the point where it's all a bit laughable. Even though it takes place twenty-five years after 'The Mote in God's Eye', the characters from that earlier novel are just not as believable as they were. Pournelle's 1981 solo effort, 'King David's Spaceship' was far better than 'The Gripping Hand', but the question must be asked, 'Gentlemen, what went wrong?'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

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