Continuing Jijo's Story...A Strong Follow-Up
Posted by themarsman on 2/17/2005
The illegal, backwater colony of Jijo has been thrown into turmoil. Six sooner races inhabit this Galactically-proclaimed fallow world...knowing their colony would oneday attract the attention of Galactic society. Now they have...and it is nothing like they thought it would be. Instead of official representatives from the Galactic Migration Institute coming to mete out long overdue justice, Jijo has attracted those who would stop at nothing to hunt down the dolphin-crewed Streaker, still on the run after narrowly escaping the bickering clans fighting over her above the ocean world Kithrup (read Startide Rising). Streaker has come to Jijo to lick her wounds...and determine the next course of action in an attempt to get the cargo they are carrying back to the Terragens Council, or at least someone neutral, someone who won't use what Streaker discovered in the Shallow Cluster to take control of a Galactic Civilization now in turmoil. In the midst of all this, the technologically inferior inhabitants of Jijo must not only deal with the worst Galactic civlization has to offer, but must also deal with the growing fissions within their own peaceful culture.
Infinity's Shore was a bit of a surprise for me. Coming off Brightness Reef, which at times tended to drag on a bit and get mired in minutiae not particularily related to the story, this book was an easy page turner. But more importantly than that, it began to establish links between characters and plotlines the previous book stubbornly refused to do. The inhabitants of Jijo introduced to us in Brightness Reef -- Alvin and his friends as well as Sara, Dwer, Lark, Rety -- began heading in a coherent, if not always unified, direction. While the characters native to Jijo finally took steps toward their "destiny" (a.k.a what Brin has in mind for them), the characters aboard the Streaker begin to connect to the environs around them, if a bit circuitously at first (i.e. automated scouts sent to "sniff" out the Jijoan culture).
What it all boils down to is a plain old good book. Character and plotline development is much better than its immediate predecessor, "stuff" happens that makes you want to see what happens next, and like any good trilogy, there is just enough left frustratingly out of reach for the final book. The one gripe is that there really is no conclusion to Infinity's Shore, probably quite irksome when it first came out and the next book, Heaven's Reach was a couple years away, but now it was only slightly annoying, seeing as how Heaven's Reach was sitting on top of my pile of to-read books waiting to be picked up as soon as this installment was completed. This story is a fine addition to the Uplift universe and I now anticipate completing the final installment with due haste.
Brin's Tale of High Adventure Continues!
Posted by Anonymous on 2/23/1997
When I read Startide Rising, the initial book of the Uplift Series that continues in Infinities Shore, I knew immediately that I had found a new favorite author. Heinlein and Asimov were gone and the other Deans of hard science fiction were aging.. Here was hope for those of us not in love with Cyberpunk! David Brin had not only brought a unigue vision to us but a new style of writing too. His universe is based on the concept of Uplift, that all the intellegent races in the universe were the direct result of intervention by older races. When a race is uplifted, it owes the race performing the uplift a period of servitude. That the Humans of Earth are not a part of this pattern is a key element in this series of books. Considered "Wolflings" , a species that has uplifted itselt has led to humans being hated by just about every other race in the five galaxies. What is even more irritating to the elder races is that humans have now uplifted chimps and dolphins thus laying claim to being an elder race themselves! In Startide Rising, an eath ship manned by a crew of humans, dolphins, and chimps have discovered a very dangerous and precious prize...the remains of a fleet of ships which may have belonged to the Ancients the race who began the original uplift! From that point the chase is on by all the other races in the galaxy who seek to use this discovery to their own advantage. This universe of the thrilling chase is the universe found in Brightness Reef the first book of the current trilogy which introduces the reader to the planet Jijo and its six "sooner races" which have sought refuge on this forbidden world. All of these races are voluntary exiles from the five galaxies trying to build a civilization together in secret. To be discovered by the rest of the galactic civilization is to face death. That discovery is the focus of this first book. Now in the second volume, Infinity's Shore, the Streaker, fugitive ship of humans, dolphins and chimps once again enters the picture! Brin's world is complex and vast and watching him bring it all together is as much fun as the adventure itself. His thrilling mulitthreaded style makes his books hard to put down and his vision is so innovative that he is probably the only writer who has ever made a alien species with wheels believeable! There are many suprises in Infinity's Shore just as in the previous novels and if you like hard science fiction, this is the author for you. Read all of Brin's Uplift books and in fact anything written by him, and you will not be disappointed! Heinlein has a worth sucessor! Thank Infni
Highly recommended (but read the predecessor first).
Posted by Anonymous on 12/1/1996
This is book two of Dr. Brin's eagerly-awaited new trilogy. The first volume, Brightness Reef, was a stunning introduction, and Infinity's Shore carries the narrative forward like a cresting ocean wave. A lot of the open questions from the first volume are resolved, but many new ones are raised. Some fascinating new characters are introduced, but most of the players here are old friends -- deepened and realized more fully than in any of Brin's previous work.
The trilogy is built around the circumstances of the fallow world of Jijo, and set against the tapestry of Brin's "Uplift" universe. The crew of the starship Streaker (from the classic Startide Rising) plan their daring escape from the planet, while the inhabitants struggle against a mighty invader. The story is told in the first-person from the individual viewpoints of a few main characters, the balance between the various characters is very good, and their respective views of the events taking place on Jijo is fascinating.
Is there any downside to Infinity's Shore? If there is, it would be the extensive background that the reader needs before diving into the story. Like any sequel, the first few chapters of this book contain lots of flashbacks and other devices for filling in the background material; it's good, but it probably isn't quite enough. To really enjoy the wealth of themes and metaphors in this book, it is helpful to have read volume one. Ambitious readers who go to the effort of consecutively reading Sundiver, Startide Rising, The Uplift War, Brightness Reef, and Infinity's Shore will be well rewarded -- and left with a fierce anticipation of the trilogy's final volume.
Posted by Michael J. Lane on 5/20/2003
This is really the fifth volume in the Uplift Saga. It neatly packages all the important themes from the previous works; ready to be blown open in what promises to be an exciting conclusion. The writing (and presentation) is clean, and the story moves along at a quick pace. The aliens initially seem anthropomorphic, but subtly shift in ones perception into truly alien characters. The only comparable work regarding complex interstellar alien conflict is the excellent Chanur series by C.J. Cherryh. In my opinion, with the exception of "The Uplift War," this series is better. Many hard science fiction books, with the exception of those by Greg Bear and Gregory Benford, fail to connect the cosmic happenings to a believable personal level. This work, and this book, succeed in that endeavor. If you want exciting, thought provoking, and moving hard science fiction with characters you care about, then you should buy this book
Infinity's Shore: Surfing towards an exciting finale.
Posted by Anonymous on 2/8/1997
This is really the fifth volume in the Uplift Saga. It neatly packages all the important themes from the previous works; ready to be blown open in what promises to be an exciting conclusion. The writing (and presentation) is clean, and the story moves along at a quick pace. The aliens initially seem anthropomorphic, but subtly shift in ones perception into truly alien characters. The only comparable work regarding complex interstellar alien conflict is the excellent Chanur series by C.J. Cherryh. In my opinion, with the exception of "The Uplift War," this series is better. Many hard science fiction books, with the exception of those by Greg Bear and Gregory Benford, fail to connect the cosmic happenings to a believable personal level. This work, and this book, succeed in that endeavor. If you want exciting, thought provoking, and moving hard science fiction with characters you care about, then you should buy this book.