Double Full Moon Night
From Gentry Lee,New York Timesbestselling co-author with Arthur C. Clarke of the Rama series, comes the magnificent sequel toBright Messengers, his first solo novel set in the Rama universe. InDouble Full Moon Night, Lee continues the saga of Johann, Beatrice, and the Martian colonists chosen to embark on one of the most thrilling and mysterious adventures in human history. For engineer Johann Eberhardt, life has come down to this: a tiny but bountiful island inside a vast alien sphere that is both paradise and prison. Eight years ago, Johann, accompanied by nine Martian colonists, entered the sphere with his beloved Beatrice, priestess-bishop of the Order of St. Michael, searching for the true nature of the mystical visitors some said were extraterrestrial--and others said came from God. Once inside the sphere, the colonists were separated and Johann has since lived in virtual isolation to raise the daughter Beatrice left behind after her tragic death. Now the island paradise Johann shares with the child Maria has been invaded by a violent and enigmatic life-form. Risking everything, Johann begins a dangerous journey across the water in search of safety and his fellow colonists. It is an odyssey that is beset with deadly peril: from strange sentient creatures to imprisonment in an underwater world by a species whose motives may be benevolent. But it is when the colonists are reunited and transported to an exotic planet that the true challenge for survival begins. For as dissension and jealousy threaten to divide his fellow settlers, Johann is visited by Beatrice with a dire warning: Johann must learn from the planet's creatures how to survive the upcoming "double full moon night." If not, they will all be destroyed, leaving forever unanswered the secrets of the universe they have traveled so far--and sacrificed so much--to discover.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
The function of Rama is nowhere near as clear as the function of this novel and its prequel, 'Bright Messengers', and that is to give us the back story of the child Maria, found abandoned in the closing stages of Clarke and Lee's 'Rama Revealed'. However, by the time we find that out, it is likely that all the reader's patience with this exercise will have been exhausted. 'Bright Messengers' at least had the benefit of two strong (if barely credible) characters, Beatrice and Yasin. One was impossibly good and competent; the other was highly unlikeable and showed no evidence of the advance of human thought or emotional development in 150-odd years. This book has no interesting characters, and the events just meander on to set up the characters and the situation. The last thirty-five pages catapult the action forward to the setting of 'Rama Revealed' without any preamble; I had to refer back to the earlier book to establish what was going on, and even then there were no real answers. (It may even be that these 35 pages were excised from 'Rama Revealed' by a wily editor...) I had the feeling that the author was just writing the novel in the form of an outline to get to the ending that he visualised, because many events and personal relationships are just told almost in the sense of a history book. There are big info-dumps to move the action on, and mostly these just introduce yet another alien creature that is given a silly name. Throughout, the author's own personal religious viewpoint is barely disguised; there are sections that read like some sort of moralistic tract; and there is a recurrent theme of older men being offered polyamourous sex with much younger women. As Ian Fleming said, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence but three times.... Readers wanting more insight into the Rama universe will find nothing new here. And I doubt that there are sufficient readers with such a great involvement with the Rama universe who will care that much about the back stories of characters introduced towards the end of a different novel five years earlier.
Double full moon nightUser Review - Book Verdict
For eight years, Johann Eberhardt and his adopted daughter Maria have dwelled in seclusion inside a gigantic, spherical spaceship built by ribbonlike aliens and populated by a host of mysterious creatures. When a monstrous creature threatens their peaceful retreat, Johann and Maria set out in search of Johann's former companions--and discover more than they bargained for. This sequel to Bright Messengers (LJ 4/15/95) continues the adventures begun by sf veteran Arthur C. Clarke in his Rama novels. Lee's combination of sf and mysticism should appeal to fans of the original tales. Suitable for large sf collections.