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The Barsoom Project (Dream Park #2)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,427 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Welcome to Dream Park-an amusement park where nothing is what it seems-except murder.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 1989 by Ace (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dixie A.
Feb 25, 2015 Dixie A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
I could call every book in the Dream Park series my favorite and not be lying. This one's my favorite for the theme: overcoming addiction disorders, specifically, eating disorders. That it also touches on insanity, and escapism as part of that insanity, only makes it resonate more for me. In that way, it's a very personal book, as I can relate personally to it.

In this book, a LARP game is going on at the same time as a presentation on terraforming Mars. The game is aimed not so much at gamers as
I'll come right out and say it. I'm rating Niven's and Barnes' "The Barsoom Project" at a Pretty Bad 2 stars out of 5. Where the original "Dream Park" used a clever blend of science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, and gaming to produce a good story, this book uses that same blend to produce something that reads like a ham-handed public service announcement. First, and most importantly, the theme and plot of this book revolve almost entirely around obesity: the "Barsoom Project" of the title is just a ...more
Rather disappointing; I guess I could've left this on my to-read list. Very similar to its predecessor, Dream Park, in the future there is a very sophisticated live-action role-play (LARP) gaming company, and there's another murder mystery which somehow requires the role-playing to continue In order to solve. The game itself involves some end of the world scenario which only an Eskimo deity can prevent ( game with a lame conclusion, too, where the all-powerful committee steps forth to place huma ...more
B.  Barron
Apr 06, 2013 B. Barron rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2014 James rated it liked it
I haven't read the first book, didn't actually realize it was part of a series, so I didn't have any expectations coming in. Overall I thought the premise was interesting and hooked me, but the story didn't reel me in. I would have liked the pace to be more that of a thriller than hard sf, I think it would have fit better with the story and added some tension.
Still, what was there was enough to keep me going until I finished it. Decent read, not great but not bad either.
Booth Babcock
Aug 22, 2011 Booth Babcock rated it liked it
The original book of this series "Dreampark" is one of my all-time guilty pleasure favorites (from an author responsible for many guilty pleasures). "Dreampark" was a mystery inside of a south seas epic inside of a science fiction story, all set in the ultimate 12-year old dorky role playing gamer's fantasy of a giant high tech theme park where you could role play in elaborate adventures. The original novel came out before VR was a big deal, and so the technology is endearingly disneyesque, with ...more
Aug 02, 2015 Martin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm a huge fan of Larry Niven's fiction, unfortunately this is one of his weakest books. I hated the "Geek Speak" or "Slan Chat," much of which was probably drawn directly from SF Cons. There were too many similar characters. There's no "drama" in the gaming portion of the book, as characters can't get killed except in their imaginations. The mystery "solution" did have proper supporting clues.
Anne Kaufhold
Mar 10, 2014 Anne Kaufhold rated it liked it
Not as good as dream park, this book wavers between genres and eventually accomplishes neither mystery, espionage thriller, nor sci-fi. Worth reading if you enjoyed the first book and want another peek at those characters. I hear the third will be better.
***Dave Hill
Aug 15, 2012 ***Dave Hill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text
The sequel to Barnes and Niven's first Dreampark novel doesn't quite live up to its predecessor. It's still fun, enjoyable, entertaining, and capable of making one sorely wish they could move into this particular SF universe so that they could play in one of the Games ...

... but the story is more scattered across multiple PoVs, and there are too many distractions and side-doings outside of the Game. The actual Game story is fun, and the Eviane subplot works pretty darned well, but the goings-on
Phyllis Griffiths
Aug 06, 2016 Phyllis Griffiths rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I enjoyed this book. Caution: If you read it at bedtime you may find that you have been reading longer than you wanted to. You may want to set a timer.
Sep 04, 2011 Andreas rated it liked it
Consisting of:

Dream Park
The Barsoom Project
California Vodoo Game (sometimes published as “The California Vodoo Game”)

The novels are set in a theme park named “Dream Park”. Dream Park uses holograms and other methods to create completely lifelike environments for adventures. For example, one can become a group of medieval knights on a quest, and be totally immersed in the experience. The novels are very enjoyable, with some nice twists to the tale. It is also interesting to see how role playin
Steve Goble
I like the idea of this novel better than the execution. At times it reads like a fast-paced action story, then slides into a science icy ion think piece. Nothing wrong with that, but shifting about the point of view so much between characters frustrated me, as did a number of vague references to things characters knew about, but I didn't. A little of that is good, and adds to the sense of mystery. A lot of it is too much, and leaves me wondering where the plot really is. I might have enjoyed th ...more
Leo Knight
Feb 25, 2014 Leo Knight rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A really fun follow up to the classic "Dream Park".
C.F. Villion
I liked it well enough, but not my favourite of the series so far.
Mitch Dean
Mar 10, 2014 Mitch Dean rated it it was amazing
Also awesome!!
Brad T.
Oct 26, 2014 Brad T. rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Not nearly as good as the first.
Peggi Warner-lalonde
Larger than life and a fun romp.
Nov 08, 2011 Darth rated it liked it
Shelves: niven
In the follow up to Dream Park we have the continued adventures of the worlds wildest amusement park.
There isnt much adventure, and this actually reads a bit more like a mystery than a sci-fi / fantasy read.
It isnt bad, it isnt great. I read it because I read all things Niven. So if he published the LA phonebook I would be compelled to not miss out - though I might change my policy afterwards...

Geoff Conner
Dec 10, 2014 Geoff Conner rated it really liked it
Who doesn't love a little Larry Niven. Have to read the next in the series. Never bought the 4th, may have to.
Chuck Childers
Apr 21, 2011 Chuck Childers rated it really liked it
Not as original as Dream Park (of course not; it's the sequel, book 2 of the series), and not as over-the-top as California Voodoo Game (book 3 of the series), the book hosts - to me - a better mystery and a better adventure. It only suffers in comparison to the other books in the series. Recommended. Dream Park should definitely be read first.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
A very disappointing sequel to Dream Park. I felt that there were too many distracting sub plots and characters which made the story confusing and quite boring. This sequel wasn't nearly as entertaining or enjoyable as Dream Park.
Jun 21, 2015 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Not quite as good as Dream Park, but still enjoyable. So, if you read the first & have some extra time on your hands, you can pick up the second....aaand, I see there's a third. I'm off to see if the library has it. :)
Jun 08, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great combination of SF/F and mystery, I find myself wishing Dream Park was a place I could visit. Might even be better than the first book, with more threads and broader issues to follow...the plot thickens, as they say.
Dec 07, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
3.5 stars - Mystery, politics and interesting characters mesh nicely with a game players paradise to keep this book interesting.
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
Jun 01, 2011 Wetdryvac Wetdryvac rated it it was amazing
So far, doesn't appear as tightly introduced as the first book in the series, but that may simply be because the first book was so concerned with meticulous construction of world.
Rachel Florek
Sep 18, 2012 Rachel Florek rated it really liked it
This was everything - fantasy, science fiction, mystery...okay, not romance...oh wait, there was a little. It is extreme LARPing, and then some!
James Turner
Aug 06, 2014 James Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sequel to Dream Park. Not quite as good as but I love the concept. The characters are interesting, both the old and the new ones.
Jan 28, 2009 Tracey rated it it was ok
I got about 50 pages in when I decided I didn't really care for the story anymore. Gamers may enjoy this more than I did.
Apr 01, 2009 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, series
Lite Sci-Fi with a touch of mystery or maybe mystery with lite Sci-Fi. The Hologram amusement park of the future!
Laura-nassidesa Eschbaugh
I liked the mystery behind this, a little too much gaming fantasy stuff that is superfluous to the story.
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Barsoom Project by Larry Niven 2 7 Dec 07, 2015 11:50AM  
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more
More about Larry Niven...

Other Books in the Series

Dream Park (4 books)
  • Dream Park (Dream Park, #1)
  • California Voodoo Game (Dream Park, #3)
  • The Moon Maze Game (Dream Park #4)

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