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Eternity (The Way #2)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  5,534 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
A visitor from the end of time comes to take a handful of strangers into space, where they must destroy the ultimate marvel of science in this powerful sf classic."Modern mainstream SF of the highest order...Bear rockets the story ever onward and upward". -- Chicago Tribune
Paperback, 367 pages
Published December 1st 1994 by Aspect (first published 1987)
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Darwin's Radio by Greg BearBlood Music by Greg BearDarwin's Children by Greg BearEon by Greg BearHardfought / Cascade Point by Greg Bear
Greg Bear Books to Read
10th out of 25 books — 4 voters
Revelation Space by Alastair ReynoldsThe Martian by Andy WeirFoundation by Isaac AsimovRingworld by Larry Niven2001 by Arthur C. Clarke
best hard science fiction
269th out of 271 books — 423 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 01, 2009 Manny rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I saw positive references to Eon, the first book in the series, in Brian Aldiss's Trillion Year Spree, and I bought it before a long flight. I think I had read most of it, or even all of it, before I arrived in California. It was pretty dull, but somehow I bought the second one too, and it was even duller. Chris was saying the other day that Bear reminded him of Asimov. I don't disagree, though I think I'm even more reminded of A.E. van Vogt, whom Damon Knight memorably described as "a pygmy wri ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Feb 13, 2015 Nandakishore Varma rated it did not like it
Statutory warning to potential readers: the book is named based on the time it will take to get through it.
Apr 08, 2015 Tomislav rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the 1990 sequel to Greg Bear's 1985 Eon.

Eon was a very good hard-sf novel, that unfortunately has come to suffer from being written at a time (1985) when nobody knew the Soviet Union was about to go out with a whimper rather than a bang. By the time Eternity was written in 1990, that was known, and Bear downplayed a lot of the Cold War plot events that were already established in the Eon universe. Unfortunately, another paradigm was about to shift as well, and I refer here to inflationa
Patrick Gibson
Aug 30, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it liked it
Recommends it for: sci-fi (not fantasy)
Shelves: science-fiction
While I initially had mixed feelings about Bear's Eon, I have to admit that certain points of his world did capture my interest and I did feel the desire to read more. In this light, Eternity is excellent and shows us what happens to most of the important characters after the final events in Eon. In contrast though, the book was extremely slow to start and seemed mainly concerned about the characters attitudes and feelings as long passages were devoted to personal insight and environmental descr ...more
Emily Burkman
Jul 11, 2007 Emily Burkman rated it liked it
This follow-up to Greg Bear's earlier "Eon" clinched my feelings about this two-part drama of parallel universes, asteroid starships, and space-time distortions. It's been done before and done better. While certainly a complex tale, Bear's pedestrian writing style and Tom Clancy/Michael Crichton sensibility for plot twists and character development rob the story of any majesty or serious social observation. The beauty of a mathematically ingenious wormhole spanning universes and time itself beco ...more
Sep 22, 2010 Charlotte rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I must say the book kept me entranced to the very ending, finishing a 2am, but on the whole I really was not happy with how things worked out. Somehow I get the feeling he did not know what to do with the mess he had created. But since it kept me interested & since it is the first book I have read on my new Kindle it gets 3 stars rather than the two my assessment of the plot would incline me to give.

**Mild spoilers: My objections: All the interesting world building was in Eon, the whole thin
Michael Brookes
Jan 30, 2013 Michael Brookes rated it really liked it
One of the things that makes great science fiction stand out is the big ideas. Eternity is full of big ideas. The story is well told, although it takes a while to get going, but once it does it clips along at a fair rate. Highly recommended.
Aug 18, 2015 Sarebear rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star-faves
Some years ago, a decade or more maybe; I tried to read this after having read Eon within the previous 6 mo. to a year. I at that time found the culture of the granddaughter's planet excruiciating almost to read through; it seemed to feel jarring, so out of place with the rest of the book, and rather boring.

BUT, maybe it's just cause I'm more mature now, or what, but I pushed past the first 8th of the book I didn't get past before, and was engaged before I even got that far. Perhaps it's because
Mike Franklin
Nov 13, 2013 Mike Franklin rated it liked it
Eternity by Greg Bear

3/5 stars

Although it has the same characters and universe (multiple universes really) as Eon, the first book in the trilogy, this is really quite a different book. In some respects it was better than that first book, in others worse.

I found this book was much less confusing than Eon; it managed to make the whole Hexamon society much more understandable and accessible. In Eon I felt I was being bombarded by too much new stuff all the time and this made the book and certainly
Derek Daigle
Nov 19, 2015 Derek Daigle rated it it was amazing
This is how to write science fiction. This is how to treat literature for the artform it is (supposed to be). The imagination of Greg Bear is rooted some place beyond this world, I have never read or watched a story that is half as huge as this. I mean, he makes it seem 100% convincing that travelling from universe to universe is as effortless as taking transit downtown. And it isn't just the fact that this godlike imagination is what makes this book so great, but it's the cohesiveness of it all ...more
Sep 11, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it
First and foremost: the first book in this series, "Eon", is required reading if anything here is going to make any sense. This book builds on a lot of the "big ideas" of that novel, showing some of the ramifications of the events that took place. Forty years later, society is rebuilding after the aftermath of those events, particularly the devastated Earth.

The narrative focuses on the perspective of a few characters, and this is both a strength and a weakness. It definitely ties things to the p
Dec 14, 2010 Russ rated it liked it
This is the sequel to Eon, which I just reviewed. This book deals with some of the consequences of the artificial universe described in the first book. Because most of the book deals with re-opening the new universe, as well as politics, it's not as interesting as Eon. However, there is a large portion of the book which deals with a main character taken over by a vicious alien intelligence. Those parts are the most interesting.

Overall I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it.
Mar 26, 2011 Andreas rated it really liked it
The sequel, Eternity, is about how mankind must give up it’s manipulation on space-time. After the message of hope brought by the first novel, it is interesting how in Eternity Bear takes humanity back down a notch, not closing the door to the future but simply reminding us that the gods do not take kindly to hubris. And through it all, Bear’s astounding imagination is combined with a gift for good, clear and interesting prose.
Feb 24, 2010 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This, the sequel to Eon, is much better than its predecessor. Jeopardy is introduced early and the book appears to be about some things; going home and getting old. Unfortunately I still found it hard to relate to most of the characters and their varied fates.

There is, I discovered, a third book - I feel that I'd like to read it more to see where the SF ideas go than from a desire to follow the characters further. I'm in no pressing hurry, though.
Keith Diamond
Feb 15, 2013 Keith Diamond rated it it was amazing
I am an hardened fan of Greg Bear and have read a number of his books, i.e. Eon, The Serpent Mage, The Infinity Concerto, Blood Music and others. I have found them all to be a great and grasping read and reccommend them to anyone who likes good quality science fiction stories. The concept of this book being the second in the series is remarkable. His first, Eon was an amazing story and Legacy was also an incredible read.
Mike Veitch
May 25, 2015 Mike Veitch rated it really liked it
A really good follow on from EON, however it was unlikely to have been as good as the original. I enjoyed catching up with the characters from EON and meeting some new ones. Where the story failed compared to the original is the ending, it is somewhat less structured and possibly rushed, where it does well is the sheer size and scale of the universe coupled with some big ideas and some nice twists.
Jeff Daly
Nov 15, 2013 Jeff Daly rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook version, read by Roy Abers.

I enjoyed the book a great deal. Less so than the first book of the series, "Eon". Perhaps that was due to the fact that the first book introduced me to so many new ideas and was the initial world-building for the series. Still a great read.

started: 2010-09-24.Sep.Fri 11:07:45
finished: 2010-10-01.Oct.Fri 12:14:14

duration: 14h:20m:44s
Sep 28, 2014 Jack rated it really liked it
...the title could have used some tweaking. While I was reading the novel, I kept of thinking of the fragrance, "Eternity" by Calvin Klein. Other than the title, however, this sequel to "Eon" focuses on a few less characters, but instead compensates by expanding the universe that "Eon" left off at. Of note is the description of the Jarts, which resemble the Borg with a kind of spiritual flavor . The sequel also finds itself going into more abstract notions, which makes "Eternity" less of an adve ...more
Louella Mahabir
Aug 06, 2012 Louella Mahabir rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books ever! My brain felt a little slow on the draw but I made it. This was so well written. This is the work of a man who has already accomplished his little menial stories to find his own style and bypassed the "I am the shit!" stage too. Such good work. It is a pity i read the second one first.
Donny Price
Nov 26, 2013 Donny Price rated it really liked it
Superb sequel to Bear's masterpiece Eon, returning us to the plot and main characters several decades down the line from the plot of the first novel. Excellent work with preserving/developing characters and creating an interesting story without losing much of the momentum of the prequel. Definitely would read again. A+!
Varlan Georgian
Apr 25, 2013 Varlan Georgian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De fapt am recitit-o si cu siguranta am inteles mai multe decat prima oara cand am citit-o ca pe o carte de sine statatoare.
Roddy Williams
Set some decades after ‘Eon’, the novel is split between the world of Gaia where the forces of Alexander the Great conquered the known world, and Earth, which is now controlled by the Hexamon.
On Gaia the granddaughter of Patricia Vasquez has inherited the clavicle which can be used to open The Way. In Patricia’s lifetime gateways appeared briefly and capriciously but now one has appeared and has remained stable for three years.
On Earth the planet is still undergoing a healing process following
Andrea Bampi
Sep 20, 2014 Andrea Bampi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non scrivere un seguito per Eon sarebbe stato effettivamente un enorme spreco. Bear aveva aperto troppe porte (anche nel contesto della trama...) per poter pensare di abbandonare l'ambientazione per dedicarsi ad altro. Non lo ha fatto e credo abbia preso la decisione giusta.
D'altra parte, questo secondo episodio nel Ciclo della Strada non riesce a scrollarsi di dosso la più classica ed inesorabile "maledizione da seguito".
Non è possibile trovargli difetti significativi come romanzo di Hard
Michele (Mikecas)
da: Al di l dei toni sempre esagerati delle presentazioni in quarta di copertina, si tratta effettivamente di un seguito che non delude, sia come tematica che come tensione narrativa, ed essendo il seguito di un romanzo complesso come Eon, gi difficile da controllare narrativamente di per se stesso, rappresenta sicuramente un'impresa non da poco. Bear, di cui avevo anche presentato L'Ultimatum e Il Pianeta della Vendetta, riprende la storia dopo poco temp ...more
Liz Burton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 05, 2013 Eric rated it liked it
This continues the story of Olmy of the Hexamon and the "native Earthers" from Eon. If you haven't read the previous novel, there's no reason to read this review further: this book is not for you. If you have read it, you know the Earth's in a bad way (the "way," get it, that's a pun), and the Hexamon half a century later has been helping it to rebuild it. Unfortunately, progress has been slow, leaving the Hexamon and Earth with a somewhat shaky relationship. The blame for this slow recovery is ...more
Hassan Chaudhri
Dec 24, 2007 Hassan Chaudhri rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of 'Eon'
Shelves: scifi

Eterenity is a sequel to Greg Bears 'Eon', and this should be the deciding factor in whether or not you read it. Unlike some sequels that allow you to pick up and jump into the story, Eternity is best read immediately (or at least soon) after Eon.

As a sequel, Eternity builds on the events of Eon, leaping ahead some years from the original narrative to catch up to familiar faces caught up in new events. Although the scale of events in Eon was epic, Eternity manages to expand the scope of the stor
I liked the first book in this series enough to track town this second one (and the third), which isn't easy for books published in the 1980's. And I enjoyed this, but perhaps not as much as the first. The fascinating characters and the difficult situations they face are still there. But this time, my inability to understand the physical set-up bothered me a bit more. I don't know whether it was Bear's problem in not explaining well, or my problem in not really paying attention as I should. But ...more
Jun 23, 2009 Kevin rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shelly Singhal
Jan 06, 2016 Shelly Singhal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant conclusion to the trilogy

This book was a fantastic ending to a creative story about the choices people make between knowledge and life. I loved how it ended, and while I don't understand the science, I think he captured the human desire to explore in the face of the desire for love and stability. Well done.
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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

The Way (3 books)
  • Eon (The Way, #1)
  • Legacy (The Way, #3)

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“In the end, there is cruelty and death alone over the land. Not in a single ray of light or grain of sand will you find solace, for all is dark, and the cold gaze of God’s indifferent, heavy-lidded eyes falls on all with equal disdain. Only in your inner strength is there salvation; you must live just as a tree must live, or the cockroaches and fleas that flourish in the land and ruin of Earth. And so you live, and feel the sting of knowing you live. You eat whatever comes to hand, and if what you eat was once a brother or sister, so be it; God does not care. Nobody cares. You whore, and if you whore with man or woman, nobody cares; for when all are hungry, all are whores, even those who use the whores. And disease flourishes when all are whores, for germs must live, and spread across the land and ruin of Earth.” 1 likes
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