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In this installment of the Riverworld series, Farmer goes for somewhat of a reboot. Instead of following Richard Burton, this book focuses on Samuel Clemens and his struggle to also reach the head of the world-spanning river. The motivation for this comes from another (or the same?) "Ethical", who tells Sam that he is one of twelve that must reach the river's head in order to unravel the mystery of the Riverworld.
The "Ethical" points Sam to an area where the materials to build a riverboat can be found, and here lies the bulk of the book- the struggle to build the Riverboat. This means dealing with some of histories baddies and the ills of society while overcoming the shortcomings of the world in which they are placed.
The book is a little slow in the beginning as it needs to build relationships set up the plot. However, once it becomes engrossing--and it does--the sense of adventure that was prevalent in the first book comes back in force. Part of this is due to another great reading by Paul Hecht, who uses just the right smattering of accents for the characters. In fact, the book finishes on such a high note, I again find myself wishing the third book were available for download.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I loved the first book and was excited to read the followup. Everything that made book one a exciting, original, and thought provoking was replaced with boring character endless battles. After about four or five hours and repetition I had to give up. Maybe eventually something actually started to happen, but for me it wasn't worth the effort to listen to and was retroactively ruining the original story. It started reminding me of Dune. The first book was a masterpiece, after that it became a generic cash cow.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful