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Science Fiction & Fantasy

Anvil of Stars: The Sequel to Forge of God - Greg Bear

Anvil of Stars: The Sequel to Forge of God

Author: Greg Bear
Book title: Anvil of Stars: The Sequel to Forge of God
ISBN: 0446516015
ISBN13: 978-0446516013
Publisher: Grand Central Pub (May 1, 1992)
Language: English
Category: Science Fiction
Rating: 4.2/5
Votes: 187
Pages: 434 pages
More formats: lrf mobi mbr azw

The sequel to Forge of God follows the mission of a select group of human survivors as they search in the Ship of Law for the aliens who destroyed their planet. 25,000 first printing. Tour.
Reviews: (7)
I recently re-read this book after reading Forge of God for the first time (having read Anvil first, years ago). This is a compelling end to the two-part series, but considerably different in scope and tone from the first part. It leaves me wanting more, to find out what happens after the close of the novel, and to further explore the universe that Bear constructs. However, it is a satisfying end that leaves thought up to the reader, and allows the themes of the novel to mature in your brain on their own, without the author imposing his own views on the questions raised.

Liu Cixin's Three Body Problem series explores very similar concepts even more thoroughly, but considering this novel was written 20+ years previously, this is an incredible thought experiment proposing still relevant moral and technological questions.

Highly recommended.
This is the sequel to the book The Forge of God. I rated The Forge of God at 5 stars but this book for me is between a 3 to 4 stars. Part of this second book is brilliant and I enjoyed the imagination of Greg Bear and the science of the Benefactors that he created in his mind. I also enjoyed the creativity and imagination that created the aliens that joined forces with the humans under the guidance of the Benefactors to destroy the Planet Killers. This was truly an alien race that breaks the stereotype of all the past movies and books to present a really unique impression of what a totally alien race might be like. Greg Bear's imagination made that part of the book unique.

The bad part of the book for me was the continuous digression into the lives and personalities of the characters that were young teens and into their early adult hood. At times the story reminded me of a young adult novel except for all of the sexual content of the story. So much time was spent on the relationships and politics that at times the story frankly became boring. The dialog was not well written and it seems to be to just be filler to make the book longer. About 1/2 way through the book I was getting frustrated and I wanted to story to move along faster.

I found the last half of the book finally gained some momentum and got the story back onto the right track. I read Sci-Fi to learn about what people think the future looks like and to use the author's imagination to stimulate my imagination. I don't like chapters of filler that just make the book longer and in many cases drift from the theme of the book. I also am not a major fan of YA books and I felt that in some ways too much of this story had that sort of theme running through the plot. The book could have been shorter, stuck more to the story line and cut out the sexual escapades and political conflict and for me it would have been a better story and more entertaining. There is a deep moral theme in the story about is it OK to destroy civilizations and planets in revenge against a alien civilization that did the same to your planet? How many innocents' lives perish for this revenge?
Sequel to "Forge of God" but writing style feels like different author (it's not but it feels that way). Not as good as FoG, more like 3.51 stars.

The first third read s like a mashup of "Ender's Game" and "The Harrad Experiment". What fool would send 80+ human children on a spaceship mission to destroy an evil empire with not a single human adult along? Based on the previous novel adults were available! Robot moms don't cut it. I almost tossed the book at this point.

Per the previous novel the human refugees brought along a lot of cultural info from the Library of Congress and various university libraries. Since the kids screw up their first encounter with the bad alien berserkers (an ambush any reader can see coming) I surmise that for some unknown reason the library raiders forgot to grab copies of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz -- hell, even "The Art of the Deal" could have spared them some misery.

Anyway, by the half way point the book improved enough that I want to see how it turns out. Tht's despite the author going overboard on techno-babel to bail out the kids (and the plot). Well, I think Greg Bear was still new at this. IMHO good science fiction sets boundaries of what fictional science and tech is available to the characters and makes them work with that. From this reader's PoV Bear writes the characters into a corner and the bales them out with some new math or physics discovery. This makes achieving suspension of disbelief rather a chore.

I've made a note to myself to read a more recent work by Bear to see if I like it better.
I found Greg Bear's Anvil of Stars overall a very good, hard SF page turner. Although some of the tropes will be common to readers of the genre the high quality of the writing, aliens, and characterization make it stand out.

Some of the aliens met in the book are truly... alien, for example the "Braids". Bear does a good job taking the premise that such creatures could exist and then defining behaviors, language, math etc that would be plausible for them. The communication and understanding issues that humans and aliens would have are also well handled. No BabelFish here to solve everything.

The main characters are well-drawn, althoughI did wish some of the more minor characters were more fleshed out.
I have not read the first book. A great sequel gives enough information of what happen before and then drops you into the story and develops it own story. This book does that very well. I did enjoy most of the characters and hated the ones that needed to be hated. The characters are believable and very human.
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