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Anvil of Stars (Forge of God #2)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  4,866 Ratings  ·  165 Reviews
Biblical historian Max Dimont, author of the classic JEWS, GOD, AND HISTORY, explores the mystery surrounding the predictions Jesus made about his fate. Examining the gospel, Dimont recreates the drama in three acts using his knowledge of the events recorded in the Bible. Thoughtful and fascinating, APPOINTMENT IN JERUSALEM, examines the questions that have surrounded reli ...more
ebook, 492 pages
Published September 30th 2000 by (first published 1992)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
This direct sequel to The Forge of God is as far removed from its predecessor in tone and content as could possibly be. The concept of the 'Law' is fascinating, made more so by the enigmatic nature of the Benefactors. Many questions that are raised throughout the novel are left unanswered and the morality of decisions is open to interpretation. This plays an important part in what makes this novel work on an emotional level.

At first, I didn’t quite get Anvil of Stars. The sexual politics, called
Aug 01, 2012 Guillermo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
So... since I think I'm getting fired tomorrow because I can't put up with people's bullshit,(it may or may not be the best thing that ever happens to me), I decided to go to some comfort food and review my favorite book ever: Greg Bear's Anvil of Stars!!!

There are spoilers ahead, so please dont read this if you haven't read the first book: The Forge of God. That's the slow and painful story of how Earth gets wiped out by an intelligence that pretends to be benign, but is anything but. This is
Feb 13, 2012 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
When I was reading the first quarter of this book, I began to get bored. Reading about the "children" train, slick and simulate was like watching a sloth climb up a tree. The narrative tells a lot of things and nothing at the same time. To make it worse, the dialogues were flat and disjointed. The children sounded like they had too much cold sleep. I was ready to give up and abandon the book, but I thought, "This is a Greg Bear work! Remember Eon? Darwin's Children?" I decided to read ...more
unsung classic: This little-appreciated book is Greg Bear's best, in my opinion. Science Fiction it may be, but its themes are as adult and rigorous as any book in any genre. It is also very well written.

An air of melancholy and despair - as well as barely suppressed terror - carries right through from start to finish, as befits the situation set up in its predecessor, The Forge of God. Bear does not shirk the philosophical implications of the story he is telling. The humans and aliens caught u
Oct 28, 2014 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow start. Almost abandoned before 50 pages. By 100 was reasonably confident I wasn’t wasting my time.

Turns out to be a fresh, original science fiction, and once Bear gets going his storytelling is good, the opening nearly put me to sleep.

Good, hard science fiction; good character building; good plot.
Bryan Alexander
Sep 06, 2013 Bryan Alexander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, space-opera
The sequel to Forge of God is a remarkably powerful, dark novel. Anvil of Stars is one part space opera revenge tale and one part meditation on violence, social dynamics, and extreme power imbalances.

The plot concerns a ship full of young people, assigned to exact punishment on the villains from the first book, aliens simply known as The Killers. Much of the first 2/3rds of Anvil is concerned with exploring this microcosm of human society. Bear sets out dozens of characters, most notably three l
Rick Powell
Nov 27, 2012 Rick Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Perhaps less tight in terms of structure than Forge of God, this sequel has at its center a deeply moral conundrum: How far do we take the Law? What does vengeance do to our souls? Vibrant, detailed and believable psycho-sexual social milieu and of course, dizzying hard sci-fi exposition, plus a moving, powerful theme, maybe even more relevant now post-9/11 than it was in 1991. Highly recommended.
Oct 19, 2008 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than its predecessor, highly imaginative concepts.
Feb 26, 2009 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
"Anvil of Stars" sequel to "The Forge of God".. - just the titles alone are enuf to make me wary.. BUT, that sort of thing is par for the golf course of black holes in SF - so no biggie.. In other words, the title is so rotten-cheese-ball that many a sensitive literary type might avoid it.. BUT, I liked this bk. Bear's plots are GRANDIOSE. I vaguely recall reading that he & Greg Egan are 2 of the main 'hard science' SF writers (or maybe that's just what I thought at some point or another) - ...more
This sequel is completely different from The Forge of God. The earth has been destroyed, most of the few survivors have been settled on Mars, and a small group of children/teenagers are sent on a mission of revenge to destroy the makers of the killing machines. I had a hard time getting into the story and found myself starting to skim--never a good sign. About halfway through, it picked up and I liked best the part that dealt with the "Brothers", an alien species that the humans team up with. Th ...more
Fred Hughes
Dec 14, 2011 Fred Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book continues where The Forge of God ends off, which is the aftermath of the destruction of most of Earth and its inhabitants.

Taken from the destruction by a superior race called the Benefactors a large group of children volunteer to find the race that attacked Earth and destroy them using technology supplied by the Benefactors.

The Benefactors have supplied them with a massive ship and guidance in the form of robots that the children call “Moms”. After 5 years flying at near the speed of l
Pete Harris
Aug 31, 2015 Pete Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This blew my mind when I read it, which I did before I read the first one (Forge of God), but it didn't suffer from any lack of context, standing alone perfectly well. I think it's a better book, with a huge concept and deep, dark themes. I suspect Greg Bear had Anvil of Stars in mind as a destination when Forge of God was being written, because the first book is more or less a setup for the much more interesting and horrifying story that follows.

I say horrifying, and it is, on multiple levels.
Jul 22, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic, if completely unexpected follow up to "Forge of God." The former was a hard-sci fi look at how the world might end if the Earth were destroyed by killer-probes from outer space. This book follows a group of young survivors who were rescued by a mysterious race of benefactors at the end of "Forge." They are given a technologically advanced space-ship and a mission -- eradicate the race that destroyed Earth.

"Anvil" becomes a hybrid of "Ender's Game," "Speaker for the Dead" and "Lord o
Jun 14, 2012 Zac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Forge of God was incredible. This doesn't necessarily pick up where it left off, but it's the sequel. A very different book from Forge. The science fiction is good, the writing isn't terrible - Bear manages to sustain a fairly consistent and growing atmosphere of tension and uncertainty throughout. The ideas are engaging and the world building is solid. The first half, however, I struggled completely to identify with the characters in any meaningful way. Other things I disliked: that it had ...more
Aug 27, 2008 Hien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2017 Tomislav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Almost nine years after reading Greg Bear’s The Forge of God, I have finally read its sequel, Anvil of Stars. Fortunately, it is not a tightly coupled sequel. In other words, while the plot events are a consequence of what happens in The Forge of God, there is no character continuity – and a reader could plausibly read it as a stand-alone. The Forge of God was a mediocre book, but if you are a fan of Greg Bear’s brand of hard sf, you should read them in order. I will expose no spoilers to Anvil ...more
Dec 26, 2011 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really like The Forge of God so I thought I'd try Anvil of Stars. Mistake! I really didn't think this was very good. It was heavy going and I nearly gave up a couple of times in the first 100 or so pages, but ploughed on in the hope it would get better, but it just seem to plod along. It would have helped if I liked some of the characters, but none of them came out and grabbed me. I really couldn't get any feeling for them. This book is a perfect example of not knowing when enough is enough.
May 08, 2015 Devin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The conclusion to The Forge of God is a completely different book. Narrowly focused upon the children who seek to avenge the destruction of the first book. I struggled to get into the dynamic of this story at first... and then it drew me in. And then it hooked me with its fantastic and nuanced conclusion.
Quite a bit less impressive than Forge of God. Bear's exploration of future/alien technology based on real-world science (no warp drives or instant interstellar communication) was intriguing, but the overall plot was much less compelling. An interesting effort, but Bear seems best when he sticks to stories grounded on earth.
Jonathan Lochhaas
Not as good as the first book. Interesting read, but less challenging.
Aug 21, 2011 AndrewP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Sequel to The Forge of God. Not as good as the first one as it follows a group of survivors from the destruction of earth. Interesting high tech stuff, but lacks the drama of the first one.
Nathan Rom
May 21, 2017 Nathan Rom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"All intelligences responsible for or associated with the manufacture of self-replicating and destructive devices will be destroyed." Started this, put it aside for a while, but couldn't get the premise out of my head so I’m glad to have finished it. This continues on from Bear's very enjoyable "The Forge Of God" ("Independence Day" with a brain) in unexpected and curious directions. We follow a group of volunteer twenty-somethings - merrily coupling without regard for convention - who are taske ...more
Jan 16, 2017 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good enough book with a very interesting premise starts quite slowly and boring. Too many political elements and didn't explore enough of the interesting parts of the book.
David Mackinnon
Didn't enjoy this book as much as the previous one. Liked the build up to everything in the first book.
Oct 17, 2009 Annette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only if you read the prequel and have a high tollerance for depression
Plot in a nutshell: the "Benefactors" who rescued a couple of arks
full of humans from Earth in prequel "Forge of God" have loaded 85 teens and young adults onto a highly advanced space ship, given them some robots for training, and assigned them the task of carrying out the Law which states that any race that creates automated planet killers must themselves be eradicated. Martin, son of one of the main characters from "Forge," is the protagonist.

What I liked about the book:
* It does a better
Apr 07, 2015 Beau rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but only liked it. As has been pointed out in other reviews, there were questions about the rightness of vengeance, and I felt like Mr Bear plowed this ground too many times.

I did like the Brothers, especially. Their idioms and personalities were just refreshing.

The parts about religion, politics, and the quandary of The Dane were parts I paged through rapidly. Perhaps Mr Bear felt they were important to his story. I felt like they were, um, for people who like that kind of
Mar 01, 2017 June rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Apr 05, 2014 Facedeer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew Brown
Jun 13, 2013 Matthew Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The great secret of science fiction is that it's neither about the science nor the fiction.
The greatest gift a true novel of science fiction gives us is the remarkable insight into the human condition. When pushed to our extremes, to the unknown and the unknowable, to desolation as a species, to the absolution of boundaries and human limits, that is when we are most vulnerable to our vices, our insanity, and most importantly our humanity.
Greg Bear has created shocking insight into that which ma
Sequel to the visionary yet slow and painful Forge of God, Anvil of Stars is a completely different work, both in character and tone. After the destruction of the Earth, surviving adults settle to live out the end of their lives on Mars, while children volunteer to enact The Law, seeking vengeance for Earth. Training for battle year after year, hurtling through space, the children are provided for by the Benefactors in all except for normal human societal guidelines.

“The Law requires destruction
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Greg Bear is one of the world's leading hard SF authors. He sold his first short story, at the age of fifteen, to Robert Lowndes's Famous Science Fiction.

A full-time writer, he lives in Washington State with his family. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. He is the son-in-law of Poul Anderson. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.
More about Greg Bear...

Other Books in the Series

Forge of God (2 books)
  • The Forge of God (Forge of God, #1)

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“The fox speaks with the hurricane and says, “I need to travel far and fast. Can you take me?” The hurricane regards the puny fox with its huge, calm eye and asks, “What can you do for me?” “Why, I will let you whisper your dreams to me.” “But I must kill whatever I carry. You are a living thing and do not wish to die.” “If you do not kill me, I will listen to your inmost self, and tell all the animals, that they may feel sympathy for you.” “What do I care for sympathy? I am all-powerful.” “Yes, but someday, your winds will die, and my kits will tell this tale even when you are gone, of the time great-great-great-grandfather fox was carried by the winds and lived and learned their secrets.” “But then they will not be afraid of me, and what good am I if I do not inspire fear?” “Oh, no living thing could ever be so strong they would not fear you. I give you something more. I give you a voice throughout time that is more than a wordless bellow of rage.” 1 likes
“rendezvous with the robots after a fast” 0 likes
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