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Rama II (Rama #2)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  17,531 Ratings  ·  466 Reviews
Years ago, the enormous, enigmatic alien spacecraft called Rama sailed through our solar system as mind-boggling proof that life existed -- or had existed -- elsewhere in the universe. Now, at the dawn of the twenty-third century, another ship is discovered hurtling toward us. A crew of Earth's best and brightest minds is assembled to rendezvous with the massive vessel. Th ...more
Hardcover, Book Club Edition, 406 pages
Published 1989 by Bantam Books
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Brad Ryder The sequels comprise a wonderful story. I just finished reading Rama Revealed and was sad to see it end. I got caught up in the whole experience and…moreThe sequels comprise a wonderful story. I just finished reading Rama Revealed and was sad to see it end. I got caught up in the whole experience and the people involved as Rama II moves through and out of our solar system. So imaginative! Arthur C. Clarke probably outlined the story, although the RwR sequels were likely written by Gentry Lee. His writing is okay, but he's a little free with the S-words and F-words. Lee's dialogue is a bit bland (everyone talks the same except for one guy, and only because he swears), and the story gets kind of schmaltzy (everyone has to kiss after every conversation). But overall everything holds together well. If there was another book in the series, I'd be reading it right now.(less)
Amber Dunten And before you ask things like, "Why would you want to do that?" or "Don't you realize the original was the best one?" realize that I actually love…moreAnd before you ask things like, "Why would you want to do that?" or "Don't you realize the original was the best one?" realize that I actually love the three sequels far more than the original. Yes, Rendezvous with Rama was genius in its way, but see my review of Rama Revealed, if you want to know why I think Gentry Lee made a good thing a lot better. I recommend the three sequels to people all the time because they feature one of my favorite characters in all of fiction, Nicole des Jardins.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 20, 2016 Patrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So. Two stars. That’s a really low rating for me. Normally, if I really don’t like a book, I just move on with my life. But this one had elements that hit close to home for me.

Sorry, I realize that I was just speaking Midwestern Understatement. What I meant to say was that this book is a tangible manifestation of my nightmares.

Is this an awful book? No.

Did I enjoy it? No. It frustrated me from the first page. From *before* the first page, actually. More than that, even. This book made me angry.
mark monday
Jun 01, 2014 mark monday rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: futuristik
Two men enter a curio shop and see a delightful object. "I made that!" exclaimed one man. "Now that I am long in years, perhaps I can improve upon it." Replied the second man, with some enthusiasm: "Indeed! I may be able to help with that project. I have certain new-fangled ideas that shall modernize your quaint antique!" Sadly, both men were quite mistaken.

why the urge to improve upon what was perfectly fine as is? this sequel adds absolutely nothing to the original - except a host of cheap soa
May 23, 2009 Danielle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who hate science fiction and just want to read about characters
Shelves: sci-fi, gave-up
I'm about 1/5 in and this book SUCKS. Nothing has happened, the pacing is at an absolute crawl, and all I'm getting in the way of story is far too much backstory on all the characters.

Oh, and some of the writing is bad. "She looked up at the lights and Francesca. The gold sequins on the front of the Italian journalist's dress had grouped into a pattern, or so it seemed to Nicole. She saw a head in the sequins, the head of a large cat, its eyes gleaming and its mouth with sharp teeth just beginn
Feb 28, 2011 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good: Anything not involving the characters. The history of the economic crisis, description of the saint.
Bad: Anything involving characters and character development. Minus the catholic guy who visits the pope and the saint's memorial.

I'm sorry, I just can't keep reading this. It's excruciating. I'm bailing at page 100. Parts of it are really good, like the 2 chapter history of the economic crisis. That was fun, detailed, well thought out.

But whenever this book interacts with a human being, I
Apr 27, 2012 Adrian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised that this book turned out to be so disappointing. I almost gave up a few times but forced myself to finish, expecting it to get better. Now I feel abashed, as if I sent a nigerian prince $10,000.00 because I believed his email about his terrible, urgent need.

Rendezvous with Rama (The book proceeding Rama II in the series) was a wonderful book. It was a classic example of "hard" sci fi, Arhur C. Clarke at his best. It had fascinating science, great atmosphere and tension, and buil
Doug Armstrong
Sep 21, 2012 Doug Armstrong rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody.
Recommended to Doug by: Gentry Lee
I don't know if I can even be bothered to finish this one. Arthur C. Clarke was never very good at writing believable characters; his strengths were the amazingly inventive premises, attention to detail, and ability to make even the craziest technologies seem scientifically possible. So here we have a novel that Clarke apparently created the characters for (it shows) and outlined ideas, but is actually written by some other author. I absolutely loved the original book, Rendezvous with Rama, it w ...more
Though not in the same league as Rendezvous with Rama, this was quite enjoyable. I was surprised that Lee, a scientist with JPL, made this a much more character focused novel. He didn't do a bad job at it or anything but that probably wasn't what most people wanted out of a Rama sequel.
Ana  Vlădescu
Definitely longer than the first book, "Rama II" is also much more character-centric and person driven than the first one. This installment is all about reminiscing over some lost childhood or getting entangled in relationships with unlikely people, in highly unlikely places. I still love the idea of a ship that resembles "Rama", an enclosed ecosystem so very different but so alike to our own Earth, where stages of evolutionary development are burned over the course of hours, instead of millions ...more
Apr 30, 2012 Steve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
What a pile of crap! Gentry Lee took over what was an amazing hardcore science fiction novel in Rama and turned it into some crappy drama, with novice style intrigue, a bunch of ridiculous characters that having you going from indifferent to totally hating them. This is a afternoon soap opera with the background of space. I loved Rama, I loved the ideas brought up by Arthur Clarke, and I was so excited to learn more about the Ramans and their ship that the second encounter should have brought, i ...more
May 29, 2013 Randall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
"Worst science fiction book ever" and "Arthur C. Clarke" -- in the same sentence? Sad, but true. How is that possible? I can only guess that Clarke was getting senile, and Gentry Lee, while possessing impressive credentials, just must not be any kind of fiction writer at all.

However it came about, this awful book is the result. As a confirmed science fiction fan, having read hundreds of scifi books in my 57 years of life, the contest is over for the worst of them all.

I hesitate to provide specif
John Tye
Jul 01, 2011 John Tye rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My working theory is that by 1989, when Rama II was published, anything with Arthur C. Clarke's name on it was considered above editing. Though Clarke, being creator of the series and the more prominent name, gets top billing, Lee is said to be the main perpetrator of this work, a follow-up to Clarke's award-winning 1972 Rendezvous with Rama. Both novels deal with expeditions to mysterious alien spacecraft, fifty-kilometer-long spinning cylinders containing an entire world with plains, a sea, ci ...more
Jun 17, 2017 Mövlüd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Romanın sonlarında A. Klarkın necə olub C. Li ilə birlikdə Rama mövzusunu davam etdirdiyini açıqlayan hissə var. Anladığım qədəriylə S. Kubrikdən əvvəl Klark heç kimlə və heç bir vəchlə ortaq bir əsər yaratmaq istəməyib. Hətta ilk Rama romanının sonundakı "Rama' lılar hər şeyi üç dəfə edirlər." kimi davam kitablarına "açıq qapı" tərzindəki ifadəni işlədərkən Klark and içərək deyir ki, belə bir düşüncəm heç vaxt olmayıb :) S. Kubrik ilə "2001- Kosmik Odisseya" əməkdaşlığından sonra bu məsələlərə ...more
Apr 01, 2010 Steven rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly couldn't get very far into this book. I really enjoyed Rendezvous with Rama, but this novel failed to hold my attention for two reasons:

The worldbuilding was well-thought out, but was written like a well-written history textbook, or the sourcebook for a roleplaying game. I wanted to get into this world, not read its history texts.

The few characters I actually saw right away didn't have a "save the cat" moment. I had no reason to empathize with them, and didn't.
As a result, I got maybe
Oct 22, 2016 Denis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover
II: This is the sequel to A. C. Clarke's Rama I, and I think it delivers. It has what the original novel did not have: Well developed characters and sub-plots, and I find that Gentry did a fine job at this. For example, this being published in 1989, well before reality TV became the expected norm, he had the idea that the world would be watching this historical event of a small crew exploring this new Rama in real time, assuming that in the twenty third century, we would still be into that sort ...more
Marlon Dean
Sep 19, 2009 Marlon Dean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who want to see the mystery of Rendezvous with Rama run deeper.
A worthwhile book if you enjoyed "Rendezvous with Rama". First, the bad, and there's a fair bit: Rama II is not as good as Rendezvous with Rama, the society is bland, the technological speculation isn't as exciting and the mysteries don't appear until the decidedly more interesting last third (or half, or thereabouts) of the book. When the mysteries do come however, they are just as amazing as in the first book, maybe even more so as the first part of the book, while boring, did a great deal to ...more
Jun 04, 2007 Bradley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The measure of a good book for me is two fold. Is it as good now as it was when I was 12? Do I meet people in real life and compare them back to a book's characters? Or at least that is my measure of a good book right now.

This meets both. I could not stop reading this at every opportunity: lunch, breaks, at night. Just as good as when I was a kid. And many many times I have thought that someone reminded me of a person I had only sort of met. And then I remembered that every computer programmer I
Mar 20, 2008 Caitlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first book in the series, Rendezvous with Rama, was a good read and I was excited about this sequel. No no no. The first was focused on exploration and discovery and the characters were imperfect but hard-working, decent people. Rama II is poorly written, bogged down by inane machinations by cliched and unlikeable characters, and worst of all, reduces the fascinating mysteries of the first book to an increasingly ridiculous premise. Like with the three new Star Wars movies, I wish I could cl ...more
Dec 20, 2009 Neven rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you liked Rendezvous with Rama, skip this unless you're the world's biggest fan of Gentry Lee. An almost completely unrelated book, this is filled with third-grade soap opera and constant, petty digressions from Clarke's fascinating ideas.

Clarke is not the world's greatest writer and the first Rama book was stilted and nerdy, but it was also ripe with enthusiasm and seriously awe-inspiring ideas. The addition of B-movie drama here doesn't deepen, humanize, or in any way improve Rama; it just
Sep 20, 2015 Brett rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Let me add my voice to the chorus of other reviewers saying what a load of crap this book turned out to be. The original Rendezvous with Rama was an intelligent and thoughtful treatment about what first contact between humans and another intelligence might look like. Fifteen years later, Rama II arrives with none of the qualities that made the original enjoyable, and instead brings a bunch of characters whose emotional register is similar to the characters from the telenovellas we used to have t ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ah, now I remember this book. Contrary to what I said in my review of Rendezvous with Rama I now recall that four years ago I actually read the first three books in this quadrilogy, not just the first two. This book is frightfully dull but not quite bad enough to warrant quitting the series.

One of the good things about this book's predecessor is how quickly it gets into the action. The cosmonauts are inside Rama within about ten pages. Here we get a hundred pages of inept character development b
Stoyan Stoyanov
I am glad I came back to this adventure by Arthur C. Clarke. I have not read a Clarke novel in a very long time and reading this one reminded me what I had been missing. As usual, the science fiction element is really fascinating but it is just a backdrop for a very close examination of human nature, faith, love and betrayal. The novel reads almost like a philosophical treatise at times. Especially interesting for me were the complex implications for our concept of God if ever we discover intell ...more
Sep 26, 2013 S. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cheshire
Like most sequels created due to audience demand, much of the same equation is just spread out over thinner bread. Okay that metaphor mixed. Sequels are oftentimes the same butter spread out thinner over a new slice of bread. Yes. You know what I mean.

What are the sequels that improved? I can't think of any off hand. Movies like terminator 2 and aliens we by different directors I believe. Books: pinball, 1973? I wonder if some theorist can explain why there are basically no literary sequels that
Apr 10, 2011 Andreas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mysterious giant cylinder is found in space, falling inwards on a trajectory which will take it through the solar system. It is dubbed “Rama”. An expedition is sent to probe it’s contents.

Along with 2001, Rendezvous with Rama is the defining work of Arthur C. Clarke. The book is full of his trademark sense of wonder, and Clarke manages to convey awe at alien things like few others can. The first book is a solo effort. Clarke then teamed up with Gentry Lee to write a sequel trilogy. The whole s
Krešimir Pavelić
Barem 70-80 stranica viška! Ajd ima ok stvari malo, ali čitaš ko sinusoidu! Zanimljivo, i onda 5-10 strana opisuje šta je ko sanjao da radi na zemlji, pa nekaki prijami, pa neki problem, pa šta Pero misli, pa šta Đuro misli, pa ovo, pa ono, brate ubi radnju. Pa međusobni odnosi, ko da čitam Dinastiju ili Santa Barbaru... I onda nekake urote, zavjere, pa šta s tim na kraju? Ok, razradi lik, odnose, ali ne ubijaj knjigu sa tim.. Vidi se dva autora rad, i dok su mi djelovi koje je pisao Klark zanim ...more
Wendy Wolpert-DeWitt
Jun 16, 2017 Wendy Wolpert-DeWitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This book starts slow, but ultimately builds to a page-turner.
Gaston Prereth
I read this immediately after reading the first Rama book and possibly this quick succession flavored my enjoyment (or lack thereof) of this average space adventure, but even in isolation this book fails to deliver on most of the key components of a good science fiction novel.

The Novel starts slowly and, while the descriptions of Earth's economic slump were interesting enough, they felt out of place in this book and only sought to remove one of the great features of the first book, the politica
Si Barron
On the front of my edition there is only one quote "Clarke is the finest living writer of science fiction"- well ok so it's technically wrong Clarke being dead but it's also highly misleading as the actual author of this book is this far less renowned Gentry Lee. It is also revealing that this quote is not in praise of this particular book and yet is the only quote on the cover!

This book is 90% a Mills and Boon potboilling soap-opera and 9% 1950s Flash Gordon type sci-fi. Only 1% I would suggest
David Kerschner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2014 Daniorte rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No puedo decir que es el peor libro que he leido de A. Clarke porque se nota que no lo ha escrito el. Su nombre será meramente una estrategia comercial o una especie de mecenazgo pero uno se siente engañado, si lo que buscaba era un libro de Clarke.

Mientras que en Cita con Rama todo sucedía rápido y el principal tema era la grandeza de Rama frente a la ingenuidad del hombre, mostrando cosas desconcertantes con una tematica social secundaria. Aquí la esencia del primer libro queda subordinada a u
Apr 25, 2012 Logan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy a painful letdown
Recommended to Logan by: the first book
The book really felt like it was written by two different people One of the authors attempted to make a drama filled sci fi book and the other was intent on creating a rich back story for the drama to take place in. I felt that this book lacked the interesting parts of the original and drug out way too long. A lot of the action is split up and the characters did not interact in a meaningful way. I felt like several attempted and then abandoned short stories were shoehorned into an unimaginably g ...more
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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 about Arthur C. Clarke...

Other Books in the Series

Rama (7 books)
  • Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1)
  • Bright Messengers (Rama, #1.5)
  • Double Full Moon Night (Rama, #1.75)
  • The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)
  • Rama Revealed (Rama, #4)
  • The Tranquility Wars (Rama, #4.5)

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“In my life I have found two things of priceless worth - learning and loving. Nothing else - not fame, not power, not achievement for its own sake - can possible have the same lasting value. For when your life is over, if you can say 'I have learned' and 'I have loved,' you will also be able to say 'I have been happy.” 174 likes
“It's a shame that we humans are never able to pull in the same direction . . . [n]ot even when confronted by infinity.” 9 likes
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