Humans (Neanderthal Parallax Series #2)

Humans (Neanderthal Parallax Series #2)

by Robert J. Sawyer
4.4 27

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Humans (Neanderthal Parallax Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm delighted to report that Humans did pick up where Hominids left off. Volume II relies less on technical and scientific data - although that ground is covered in effective and interesting ways - and more on Neanderthal interaction with Homo Sapiens and their two very different worlds. Ponter Boddit, the Neanderthal physicist, is reunited with the paleoanthropologist Mary Vaughan and made an official envoy to the parallel world she lives in. Despite polluted air, filthy cities, and human over-population, Ponter sees a goodness in his Homo Sapien counterparts. He believes there is hope for their world, and that both Mary's people and his can benefit each other with their knowledge. To that end, he and his friend Adikor create another portal and figure out a way to keep it open, more or less permanently. To Mary's way of thinking, Ponter is a gentle hearted man, quite appealing in his guileless fascination with her world. This time around, Ponter learns a great deal more about Homo Sapiens and their history. He's shocked to witness the results of terrorism and war, horrified to learn that millions died in battle, and infuriated to know that Mary's rapist has thus far gone unpunished. And Two finally become One - Ponter's euphemism for making love - on a night that both he and Mary find educational and immensely satisfying. New relationships are formed and old ones shattered as Ponter accepts that he's in love with a female not of his species. Jealousies and very human failings are acted out on both sides of the portal. Mary visits Ponter's world, enthralled by the peace and untainted atmosphere she finds there. And Ponter demonstrates Neanderthal justice in a way no rapist could ever forget. All in all, it was a fascinating read as explorations and information gathering between the worlds begins. As is Mr. Sawyer's hallmark, Humans is well-researched and written with panache. The Neanderthal Parallax is fantasy that reads as very real. I strongly recommend it to mature adolescents and adults. (There is some strong sexual content in this book.) Volume III is due out in September. That's too long to wait. The name alone promises an exciting finale - Hybrids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Scotman55 More than 1 year ago
Volume 2 of Sawyer’s Neanderthal trilogy was pretty good. I think where it fails is in its making this reader curious about the events of the two cultures clashing nicely and then shifts over to a soap opera of sorts. That, I was not thrilled with! The book picks up where Volume 1, Hominids, left off. Humans could somewhat stand on its own, but go ahead and read Hominids first. It was fun to read about Ponter and the new ambassador and how they deal with the alternate Earth (us). As the story goes on, there is an assassination attempt (which fails) and the solution the ambassador has for the assassin is surprising to say the least. Instead of shutting down the “portal” between the two worlds, the ambassador brings over the best and brightest of their generation to our Earth for further cultural exchange. She guesses rightly that the High Gray Council would not shut it down and leave them stranded. This was great! I could hardly wait to see how our Earth scientists, sports fiends, artists and so on deal with the new and exciting world of the Neantherdal. And then he drops it. Sawyer drops it. Oh my! Throughout the narration we have Ponter talking to his shrink (“personality sculptor”) which I thought a good vehicle from which we could quickly move through the story. The rest of the book however deals with Mary’s frustration and guilt she feels over a rape that happened back on Volume One, and Ponter’s response to it. We also have Mary falling madly in love with our caveman with a somewhat explicit sex scene in a hotel room. But the love triangle of sorts – man-mates, woman-mates, Mary, her lover, and what about the rapist and her ex, all come together. Hey, what happened to all those artists and scientists? Bottom Line: The book flows well, easy to read and Sawyer sets us up to get the skinny on the relationships between a human and a Neanderthal. But why keep us guessing on the other stuff? Plot points dropped, questions lay waiting for answers. Recommended for only the most rabid of Sawyer fans. But hey, I’ll read Hybrids anyway. I want to see what happens next!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent continuation of Hominids. The characters and the Neanderthal society are very well done. Mary Vaughn's reactions to that society and Ponter are very believeable. The Neanderthals do seem a bit too good to be true, but that's O.K. in this sort of book, which is intended, I think, to have us thinking about ourselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The baseline plot for this series is a great idea with vast potential. That is the reason that I, and I'm sure many other, SF buffs decided to read it. However, the author has contaminated this series with environmental ideals, political agendas, criminality critiques, racism rationalities, sexist views, and any other contraversial opinion you can think of. When your done with all the pontification your left with a couple of pages of real science fiction. If your a white male this book is certain to make you feel inadequate if not criminal. This book gets two stars only for the storyline.