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Publisher's Summary

For millennia, humankind and the other intelligent races have studied the bizarre and unfathomable constructs of the legendary beings known as the Builders. But for all that study, they are still no closer to figuring out who - or what - the Builders have been, or where they have gone. Then, on the world called Quake, in the midst of the violent planetary upheaval that is Summertide, a small group of humans and aliens witness the culmination of all those years of watching and waiting: the planet Quake opens up, and something comes out - and it looks as if, at long last, the discovery of the Builders themselves is at hand. All her life, Darya Lang has dreamed of finding the Builders, whose artifacts she has single-handedly cataloged for the rest of the universe. Troubleshooter and adventurer Hans Rebka has his own dreams of unraveling the mystery of those artifacts. To Louis Nenda and the Cecropian Atvar H'sial, the Builder artifacts represent a once-in-a-lifetime shot at untold wealth. And close behind them come the others: Councilor Julius Graves, who does not trust anyone else to make first contact unassisted; the slaves J'merlia and Kallik, who crave only a reunion with their masters; and the embodied computer E.C. Tally, charged with finding out just what the rest are up to.
The trail that begins at Quake leads to unexpected Builder artifacts full of traps for the unwary and answers for those who know how to ask the questions. But the biggest question of all will remain an enigma, while their search unleashes the greatest threat to civilization ever imagined...
©1991 by Charles Sheffield (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By James Shelton on 11-27-03

Heritage Universe series volume 2

This is the second volume of a 4 part series. The first hour is a recap of the major plot points of the first novel. I enjoyed the essays on the various intelligent species of the galaxy. The plot is farfetched but the use of science, particularly physics, and biology is fascinating.
I listened to Summertide the first book in the series and really enjoyed it. This one was good but not quite as believable. Overall a pleasant way to spend 9+ hours.
I look forward to hearing Transcendence: Book 3 of The Heritage Universe and then Convergence (the whole series is available from Audible).

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By L. on 01-07-06

More Hard Sci-fi

As I said in a previous review, Charles Sheffield wrote HARD sci-fi (His passing is a loss for the Science Fiction Community). His worlds and aliens are detailed and different. He didn't simply take common events and give them strange names, or swap guns for "Lasers". His Characters and planets have depth and detail.

He also sticks to the laws of physics, and when he DOES breaks those laws, it's with explanations about why it may be broken in this case.

Being an Engineer, I like that in a good Sci-fi story. Sheffield was also VERY in touch with human nature, and didn't shy away from controversial topics.

Again, Each book in this series is better than the last, and the narration is VERY well done. I also like the occasional paraphrases from some of Heinlein's Works.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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