Set just before the time of Rama II, Bright Messengers begins with humanity in the midst of a massive economic depression called the Great Chaos. Yet even as civilization seems on the verge of collapse, a strange vision appears to two people of vastly different backgrounds, holding out the promise of hope - and the threat of danger.
To Sister Beatrice, a priestess of the global Order of St. Michael, the cloud of tiny white particles is a message from God, the answer to the prayers of a suffering world. To Johann Eberhardt, a German systems engineer, it is an anomaly of physics, a puzzle just beyond the reach of his rational mind. But to the Rama Society, a group committed to the study of unexplained phenomena, it may be proof of the nonhuman intelligence they've been seeking ever since the brief and enigmatic appearance of a cylindrical spaceship of unknown origin ten years earlier.
On Mars, these two will meet: the priestess called by faith and devotion, the engineer drawn by the scientific challenge of terraforming the red planet. What brings them together is the apparent disappearance of an Inter-Asian polar expedition leaving behind nothing but a fabulous account of a vast city beneath the Martian landscape. Soon Beatrice and Johann - mystic and skeptic, woman of spirit and man of science - will embark on a courageous journey into the heart of the unknown.
Are the particles angels, as Sister Beatrice believes? Some rational - if unprecedented - natural phenomenon, as Johann argues? Or the harbingers of extraterrestrial life, as the Rama Society contends? Joined by nine Martian colonists, Beatrice and Johann will be chosen to board a strange craft that will hurtle them toward a startling revelation of humanity's ultimate place among the stars.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - RobertDay - LibraryThing
I had read and, much to my surprise, enjoyed the Clarke/Lee Rama sequels (even though my review of the second sequel. 'Garden of Rama', is just four words long: "Get on with it."); so I was interested ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - venza - LibraryThing
I did not like this book at all. I starts fine, even if it is a bit verbose, with lots and lots of boring backgrounds about the characters' lives, but it ends poorly, with no explanations whatsoever ... Read full review