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Firstborn (A Time Odyssey, #3)
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Firstborn (A Time Odyssey #3)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,723 ratings  ·  96 reviews
The Firstborn�the mysterious race of aliens who first became known to science fiction fans as the builders of the iconic black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey�have inhabited legendary master of science fiction Sir Arthur C. Clarke�s writing for decades. With Time�s Eye and Sunstorm, the first two books in their acclaimed Time Odyssey series, Clarke and his brilli ...more
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,993)
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Jake
Like some other readers, I had a harder time getting into this book than Time’s Eye and Sunstorm . I'll admit that one reason was my inability to fully grasp the scientific concepts involved. However, I also think that Stephen Baxter uses so much ink developing the technological and theoretical concepts that character development gets neglected.

Nevertheless, I loved the last 70 pages or so. Once Mr. Baxter gets past the predictable fate of the Q-bomb, the story opens up into a fascinating ex
...more
Rusty
I try to remind myself that my enjoyment of a book, or movie, or TV show, or game, whatever, stems from my expectations going into it. Which of course is why I’m sure I’ll hate the new Avengers movie when it comes out later this year, but I’ll probably love something that should be lame, like The Phantom Menace 3D experience – which I would probably see in 2D.

Anyhow, the last book I reviewed I was a bit harsh on. I expected a fun romp through a future universe full of FTL and mysterious aliens,
...more
Dan
Aug 02, 2013 Dan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
The third in the trilogy by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter which sees the Earth of the near-future face the threat of the firstborn, a malevolent alien race who want to destroy humanity. The book once again follows Bisea, who has survived the time-spliced version of Earth in Time's Eye and the huge sunstorm in Sunstorm. This time the threat is a quantum bomb heading straight for Earth.

Oddly we actually spend very little time on Earth as Bisea is taken to Mars to see a discovery which chang
...more
Rick Ludwig
A conclusion that ties up the other two books, but I was disappointed. I rank this between the other two. the first in the series was my favorite and promised more than the subsequent two delivered. This one was better than the second in the series, which had little to do with the first. I wish I had stopped after reading Time's Eye to be honest. Taken on its own, Firstborn had some good moments, but they were scattered. I was glad to see Bisesa return to Mir and to see what had happened there, ...more
Cian Beirdd
Unsatisfying. For those of us hoping to see the aliens (which Clarke never does) or find some emotional conclusion, the book is a disappointment. Neat technology, fun science, but not much in terms of any real conclusion; at the end of this series the Firstborn are still an imminent threat, they still have technology beyond our imaginings, and they still want us dead. Mir is still in flux, Mars is gone but what that entails for the solar system is not explored. Frustrating is a good word for thi ...more
Joe
Somewhat more rambling and less satisfying than the previous two Time Odyssey books. Unsatisfying ending.
Patrick Gibson
This is the 3rd book in the series, the collaboration between Clarke and Baxter further explores both authors interests in god-like aliens and the Fermi paradox. Unfortunately for me, it was a disappointment.

As in the previous Sunstorm, earth is threatened with extinction, this time by an "unstoppable" cosmological bomb. This is the device to keep the plot moving along, which it does, although ultimately the solution is poorly thought out and unsatisfying.

The better points of the book are the
...more
Tancredi
E così la nuova Odissea nel Tempo giunge ad una conclusione. Forse.
Dopo il mediocre e banale secondo capitolo, questo terzo romanzo si presenta decisamente migliore, e non solo perché tutti i nodi finalmente vengono al pettine.
La trama si presenta ben dispiegata, equilibrata, e se anche può sembra un po' troppo priva di azione il ritmo rimane comunque incalzante.
Ciò che fa brillare comunque questo romanzo è la cura nei dettagli e la resa di tutto lo sfondo sociale-culturale-tecnologico del mondo
...more
Katie
Gah, this series just won't end. It's no Wheel of Time, true...but still. I think I read two other books while messing about trying to finish this one.

Earth is at war with aliens. Only it's not all about spaceship battles & shootouts. These are intelligent aliens. They trigger catastrophic sunflares to wipe us out, send bombs to tear hunks of the planet into alternate realities, basically engage us with the elements while never revealing themselves. Humanity continues to prevail, but barely
...more
Army of Penguins
Oof. I'll say this series was... interesting. I hadn't been a big fan of Time's Eye, but Sunstorm had been absolutely epic. And now this book... ends up somewhere between the other two, which is kinda fitting since it also tries to balance the uber-epic threat level of Sunstorm with the fantastic setting of Mir from Time's Eye.

I won't go into too spoiler-y plot details here, so I'll just say that my main issues with this book were the pacing and the last few chapters, which left me mildly confus
...more
Nazim
The alien race, the Firstborn, created a bomb which is now approaching Earth. Once on contact it will destroy our planet utterly. Humans attacked that bomb by various sophisticated weapons like antimatter torpedoes, let alone of course “classic” fusion bombs but all no veil. As became apparent the sole purpose of the alien’s bomb, Q-bomb was to eliminate all regulated energy consumption. As we use energy in regularly basis, we fall in that category.

As it turned out the Firstborn had attacked ot
...more
Profundus Librum
Nagy örömmel fedeztem fel, hogy a harmadik regényben tökéletes arányban keverednek az első kettő könyv nekem legjobban tetsző részei. Újra visszatérünk a Mir-re, az alternatív Földre, ami a különböző történelmi korok időmetszeteiből lett véletlenszerűen összerakva egy elképzelhetetlenül fejlett földönkívüli civilizáció által. Megismerjük néhány hátra maradt régi ismerős – a kötetek közt 27 esztendő telt el – életét ebben a kifacsart „ókori” bolygón, és közben újabb rejtélyekről is lehull a lepel ...more
Robert
It wasn’t like waking. It was a sudden emergence, a clash of cymbals.

This was a dissapointing conclusion to an otherwise fantastic series. Firstborn lacked the mystery and excitement of A Time's Eye, the action and science of Sunstorm and felt more like the opening of a series and not the closing of one. The majority of the book came off as a nostalgic tour through previously introduced settings where more interesting things happened while introducing less interesting characters. The pacing part
...more
C
Third in the series Time Odyssey
The story continues as Besesa is awoken from 25+ years of deep sleep. again the Firstborn have sent a threat to humanity i the shape of a disguised hammer" that travels through space as an asteroid to slam into Earth. Nothing humans try can take it off course or damage it. Besesa takes another trip to it via an eye found trapped on Mars. Communication between Earth and Mir cause the trapped eye to send a message to the "hammer" which then changes course to rescue
...more
Stephanie
Book 4 of the last series co-penned by Clarke (and his 2nd to last book), a supurb sci-fi futurist author. His works read as a future that is plausible and this one doesnt fall short. I enjoy the story line of this series, even though I am no fan of time distortion (if even that is what has taken place in this series) and I look forward to see where they go with this final book.
****
Finishing this book was a bit of a disappointment. The 'universe' was great , though a lot of it is much the same a
...more
The Tick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark
This is the final book in the Clarke-Baxter Time Oddessy series and one of Clarke's final books before passing away in 2008. It's tangentially related to Clarke's 2001, 2010, 2064, and 3001 Space Oddessy series with the "Eyes" taking the place of monoliths and the Firstborn being the intelligence behind the Eyes/Monoliths. Not quite as good as the Space Oddessy series. Nevertheless, Clarke & Baxter bring in some fun ideas and interesting angles in regards to dark energy and quintessence. Man ...more
Tony
As this is volume 3 I probably should have started with the first volume but.... None-the-less I enjoyed the trip even though I had a hard time picking up the environment that was defined (presumably) in the first two volumes. And based on this volume I just may try to find the earlier ones and see what I missed.
Maciej Janiec
Trzeci tom trylogii "Odyseja czasu" kończy się w sposób taktyczny - bezpośrednie niebezpieczeństwo przedstawione w książce zostaje zażegnane, ale główny problem pozostaje nierozwiązany.

Zastanawia mnie niska skuteczność działań podejmowanych przez tytułowych Pierworodnych. Niby tacy potężni, a - jak można przeczytać w książce - bardzo wielu (większości?) zadań nie udaje im się zrealizować, mimo że próbowali ich już co najmniej kilkakrotnie. Jakby zupełnie nie uczyli się na własnych błędach, tylko
...more
Brenda
This wasn't a bad book and it did mostly wrap up the trilogy but not quite as well as I would have liked. I would have liked to have known more about the Firstborn and Myra's family.
Robert
I liked the story and the scientific concepts. I thought the characterization was thin and not really developed, which I felt undercut the motivations of the characters as the story moved forward. The story did not really seem finished, and it seemed more like the beginning of a several volume saga than the end of a trilogy. It was entertaining, but I was disappointed overall in the combined result of the trilogy. There was a lot that was left unsaid, unexplained, and undevloped here, and with A ...more
Martha
This book lost me with all the theory of physics. I enjoyed the first one much better.
Tyson
Kind of sad the series ends here. It feels incomplete.
John
interesting "conclusion" to the trilogy.

I put conclusion in quotes because it REALLY didn't feel like an ending to me at all. I finished it, put the book down, and immediately said "WTF!". So now i need to know if they are writing more in this series, because the story is definitely not over.

still, good book. Not quite as enjoyable as the second one, but i like these near future sci-fi books. And you can tell baxter really did his research on the science (and of course, Clarke is one of the best
...more
Jim O.
It took me years to get around to reading, and finishing, Clarke and Baxter's "Time Odyssey" Trilogy; Time's Eye (2003), Sunstorm (2005), and Firstborn (2007), but I finally did it! A great near-future series of adventures with profound cosmological concepts. I'm glad I took my time and savored every word of it. Sadly, Arthur Clarke is no longer with us; yet, tantalizingly, this last book ends with the possibility of a further storyline, something that Stephen Baxter could develop on his own...
Matt
I think I started reading this book a while ago, and I don't think I finished it. I did not have the stamina, and it had a lot of similar plot elements to the book "The Last Theorem" which was Clarke's posthumous novel completed by Frederick Pohl. I liked "Last Theorem" as Pohl had turned it into novel to pay homage to Clarke.

Clarke was having a tough time of things during his final days and I wonder if Clarke had just given Pohl the material his was working on with Baxter.
Joshua Sussman
Great up until the mid-way interlude where the author tried to tie together the events of book 1 and book 2. This was shaping up to be another great well thought through and scientifically accurate disaster plot that took place in the same universe of books 1 & 2, but once the "Mir" storyline of the time shifted hodgepodge planet was reincorporated it lost the "magic" that seemed to work for the first to books of the series.

Overall it was ok, still some great moments.
Pete
I was anxiously awaiting this book, but it ended up being somewhat disappointing after the first two installments of the series. There were still some neat scientific elements to it, and the darker images of post-sunstorm Earth were spot on and quite interesting to read about, but the characters didn't pop as much, and the story itself got a little too disjointed at times. It was still a good read, but I think I expected somewhat more out of it after the first two books.
Javier
I SO wanted to love this book. In fact, I did, right up to the ending! Still, it was a fun read and I was totally drawn into the conclusion. I just wasn't happy with the way it ended. If Sir Arthur C. Clarke had not passed away, we might have seen a sequel. But, alas, I don't think we will and I'm stuck using my imagination to see how the whole thing really ends. That may have been the point of the sorry ending, but where's the fun in that? LOL. ;)
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Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
...more
More about Arthur C. Clarke...
2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1) Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1) Childhood's End 2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2) The Fountains of Paradise

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“The universe is full of energy, but much of it is at equilibrium. At equilibrium no energy can flow, and therefore it cannot be used for work, any more than the level waters of a pond can be used to drive a water-wheel. It is on the flow of energy out of equilibrium—the small fraction of “useful” energy, “exergy”—that life depends.” 1 likes
“Mammoths, building a signal to Mars, on the North American ice cap.” 0 likes
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