Brightness Reef (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #1)
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Brightness Reef (Uplift Storm Trilogy #1)

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  5,735 ratings  ·  88 reviews
David Brin's Uplift novels--Sundiver, Hugo award winner The Uplift War, and Hugo and Nebula winner Startide Rising--are among the most thrilling and extraordinary science fiction tales ever written.Now David Brin returns to this future universe for a new Uplift trilogy, packed with adventure, passion and wit.

The planet Jijo is forbidden to settlers, its ecology protected b...more
Mass Market Paperback, 661 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Spectra (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ben Babcock
You cannot ask for a better premise than Uplift. Of all the science fiction series I've read, David Brin has something special here. Uplift is more than just panspermia, because Brin has taken the idea of aliens genetically engineering pre-sapient life to full sapience and wrapped his own entire mythos around the concept. As a result of Uplift, galactic civilization is a network of intricate social relationships defined and bound by literally millions of years of tradition. Client races are beho...more
Tatiana
These are getting better, though the author still has some writing quirks that annoy me. These last three Uplift books are apparently all one long story. The first one, Brightness Reef, introduces us to the planet Jijo, and to the six erstwhile starfaring races that dwell there in exile illegally. Some of the storylines and characters are quite captivating, like that of Rety and of the Stranger. Others like Alvin, Huck and friends, I wish to get through quickly and move on. He has learned to go...more
Darth
Not sure why i keep at theses Uplift books.
I dont by the setup - I am not overwhelmed by any ideas in the story, the setting, the premise, etc...
They arent bad, they just dont do much for me. I find it hard to imagine people taking species responsibility over the course of thousands of years. It is hard to get most people who study a specific thing - to agree what happened 100 years ago. So to think we or any like species would carry any guilt for thousands of years seems unlikely.

For this part...more
Bria
A high four. Some of my favorite things were things that I appreciated in thought more than enjoyed as I read it, but that may be my harshest critique. I sometimes complain that science fiction is so concentrated upon its jawsome ideas that it forgets to also be literature, but the sort of self-aware literary technique in the secondary story line seemed a bit out of place sandwiched between the more conventional sections. Perhaps if the whole book had been written that way it would have worked,...more
Mercurybard
This was a hard one to muddle through--it wasn't until I realized that this trilogy is contemporary to the events of the Uplift Trilogy that I started to get interested.

Brin is experimenting with perspective--from the alien Asx to the Stranger who has lost all language when introducted to Alvin, the young hoon who tells his story in a first person journal style.

Of course, since it's Brin, the intrigue is thick.

Gone are the weird time passage "burps" from earlier books. Everything seems to flow n...more
Kelly Flanagan
This is a good book.the 6 different species on the planet Jijo are well created and interesting. There was lucklily a picture at the end of the book and after looking at that I understood the shape and parts of the different types of aliens there. There is also an interesting idea of 'Patron' species. In other words a species that takes another fledgling group and begins to uplift them. Genetically changing them slowly as well as teaching them things to make them into the next star-faring specie...more
Amy
The new Uplift trilogy continues the adventures of the crew of Streaker, though they don't figure much in the first volume. It takes place on the distant planet Jijo, where members of several different Galactic races (including humans) have colonized illegally. These "sooners" live in constant fear of discovery by Galactic authorities. It's a great story but you keep wondering when the Streaker is going to make an appearance.
Kirk Lowery
Brin is an excellent writer, no matter that his cosmology and worldview is upwhacked. In particular, the Uplift series of books are especially inventive and entertaining.
Lamar Latrell
In the epilogue, the author apologizes because the book the does not stand on its own, and notes that the scope of the book expanded to the point that a trilogy would be necessary. I think that sums up his relationship to the books. In a sense, he doesn't write them, they write themselves. That is to say, he really doesn't have much control over the story that he wants to tell.
To sum up:
He introduces five new sentient species (and one already familiar) fairly early in the book as castaways/escap...more
Dylan Harris
The fundamental theme behind David Brin’s various Uplift series of novels makes me feel uncomfortable. But that’s a good thing; one of the strengths of science fiction is that it can be used to explore uncomfortable themes without the associated cultural baggage.

The Uplift series explores race and racism without obvious reference to the terrible history of the first half of the 20th century. This allows Brin to consider this deeply disturbing subject without the baggage of antisemitism, or other...more
Eric
Brightness reef is not a bad book but definitely not as much fun as the previous Uplift books. Brin keeps rapidly switching perpective and over time this disconnects you somewhat from all the characters.

I understand that Brin is trying to mesh the experiences and histories of several different species into one coherent story but to me it seems that the large diversity of species is simultaneously the books biggest strength and its greatest weakness. I've read this book over a long period (month...more
Jared
I had to give up on this book. I got 38% of the way into the book and things were just starting to happen...almost.

The book is split into what seemed like a thousand view points, but was probably only seven (a human male, his three children, a young non-human sentient, one omniscient, and "The Stranger"). Of them, I cared about two of the human's kids; either them or their story line.

So, in this collection of Five Galaxies, all full of worlds capable of supporting life, by order of the Institute...more
Olethros
-Despliegue abrumador pero no totalmente necesario.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Tras un breve preludio de lo que parecen los últimos instantes de alguien en una zona pantanosa, conoceremos al joven estudiante Hph-wayuo (al que le gusta que le llamen Alvin) de la raza hoon, que disfruta leyendo historias clásicas terrícolas y que nos hablará de sus amigos, Huck la g´Kek, Pinzón el qheuen rojo y Ur-ronn la ur, una pandilla con representación de cuatro de las razas presentes en el pl...more
Onefinemess

I admit, this book did not start out on the right foot with me. All the perspective switching and back and forth through time - that was not what I wanted from this book! I wanted to get back to the god damned crew from Startide Rising! Brin is engaging in some epic level taunt/trolling here. I KID. KIND OF.

It made more sense when I read the afterword and it sounds like he intended this trilogy to be one book, but couldn't do it. So. These ~650 pages are basically just the set up. I'm OK with th...more
Michael E.
I don't like leaving a one-star reviews, but this book just didn't appeal to me, and I could not finish it. I can't say that I'm a Sci-Fi Junkie, but I do enjoy it when an author paints a believable picture of an imaginary world, and places a creative story in that environment. For me, from what I read, this book was neither believable on any degree, and the story wasn't getting very interesting.

The writing style was good, I guess. The setting and preface of the story was potentially interestin...more
S.
I've read most of David Brin's Uplift Universe, but I actually started with this particular series, and despite it being the final trilogy I can say with confidence that it's a mighty fine place to start. To this day these three books remain my favorite Brin novels.

Not only is David Brin an absolute master of Hard Science Fiction, his work is a good antidote to the pile of young-adult-inspired-barely-feasible-dystopias that are currently flooding the market and trying to coattail on the success...more
Servius  Heiner
I'm sure Brin has lots of fans... and in a way I might be one of them. His work reminds me of Vernor Vinge, just not as good. The story itself is great, but the writing is awful. There is no time sequencing between character point of views. Even when the the story combines two points of view taking place in the same scene. by the time he gets around to the other point of view you already know what the outcome is. I don't know why he does this, but he does it often. It doesn't bring anything to t...more
Al

David Brin's Uplift novels--Sundiver, Hugo award winner The Uplift War, and Hugo and Nebula winner Startide Rising--are among the most thrilling and extraordinary science fiction tales ever written.Now David Brin returns to this future universe for a new Uplift trilogy, packed with adventure, passion and wit.

The planet Jijo is forbidden to settlers, its ecology protected by guardians of the Five Galaxies.But over the centuries it has been resettled, populated by refugees of six intelligent rac

...more
Martyn F
Very interesting start of the trilogy. You have to put in quite an effort to get through the first 80 pages or so, though. He throws a lot of sentient beings at you, all with their own history. And a completely different planet, with its own vegetation, moons, time, etc. I honestly still don't know what qheuens looks like. A few drawings would have made it a lot easier.

If you get through all that (or maybe read the earlier books about this planet, which I didn't), Brin poses the very interesting...more
Jon
Mr. Brin never fails to reward the careful reader! This first novel in the newest Uplift trilogy is deeply weird, steeped in ideas and unbridled imagination, and best of all - full of wonderfully fallible and heroic characters (very few of them are human!). Brin's favorite trick is to drop a megaton reveal late in his novels and he does so here with jaw-dropping results - the last 100 pages were a complete blur compared to the sometimes plodding first almost-600.

I set this one down and immediate...more
Taylor
Apr 19, 2010 Taylor rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: David Brin fans
Shelves: sci-fi
I love David Brin, but this was a hard book to get into. In typical Brin fashion, there are tons of characters, twisty plot and an interesting universe. But, for me, this book had pacing problems. The first 2/3 to 3/4 of the book were a slog to get through. The last part picked up nicely and redeemed the book somewhat. Perhaps, being the first of a new (and planned - the first trilogy wasn't exactly planned, IIRC) trilogy, this pacing makes sense. But as a stand-alone work, this didn't work for...more
Ben
Oi. This book...just...not a fan. I really wanted to like this book, and I gave it a hard, honest try...I just couldn't do it.
I came into the series with moderately high hopes. I'd read the first Uplift trilogy and enjoyed all three of those books. This one however...not so much. Most of the characters have no depth. The plot is interesting...but takes forever to get going. I just couldn't find anybody to relate to here. I really liked the idea of the book; I just didn't actually like reading i...more
Michael Evans
Ok, I originally thought this wasn't great, but once I got through the juvenile language of the first few chapters uttered by the adolescent aliens, it actually turned out pretty good. The scope of the story is epic. There are two main themes in these 6 books that are very well explored:

1)intelligence is too complex to be evolutionally emergent, so it took 4-5 billion years for it to happen the first time, and every time since has been the result of genetic manipulation by intelligent species t...more
Cjbrew
Couldn't get past the first few chapters, and I'm not one to wuss out on a book. His writing style irritated me immensely, particularly the incessant diversions to describe his ridiculous imaginary creatures -- rather than letting us glean information along the way. I also found his characters rather shallow and difficult to sympathise with.

The change in voice between different species is also a bit annoying -- other authors seem to pull this trick off a lot better. Although some other reviewers...more
Justin
Brightness Reef is some of the best science-fiction I've read in a long time. The world is totally new, as are the alien races (I've not read the earlier series). Yet all are approachable. The entire cast of characters is endearing and thought-provoking.

This novel does what the best of science-fiction does, it gets me to think. It triggers new synapses, and I appreciate that. I'd recommend this novel to any science-fiction buff, yet I don't think it's unapproachable for the newbie either. In the...more
Rob
I loved the first Uplift series. I read it relatively early in my scifi reading career and I was blown away. Brin writes such a great combo of hard sf and space opera. He aims BIG and then he delivers. He's so original.

This book, like his often are, was tough to get into because it is so complicated, and he let's you figure it out on the way; he doesn't hold you by the hand. He pulled it together and I was very impressed. But the real story, drama, and power of this story has yet to come and I'...more
Martin L. Cahn
Not quite as good as the second two books of the first trilogy, but excellent in comparison with a lot of other science fiction. A little hard to keep up with the different races at first, but it gets easier as you get into it. As for the core mystery -- who The Stranger is -- it's both obvious and surprising at the same time. Not many authors can do that. And there are more mysteries to be discovered as I head off to the next book, Infinity's Shore.
Shannon
Not one of Brin's best, but still enjoyable. Some really interesting concepts, and some neat use of language. Like in the other Uplift books, Brin has a good time communicating the weirdness of alien languages.

I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't picked it up explicitly looking for some space opera. Instead I got a bunch of low-tech refugees who hadn't seen a starship in thousands of years. How frustrating!
Richard
Brightness Reef was a bit of a slog.
The first ¾ of the novel was engaged in world building and bouncing through the point of view of the various narrators. The event that sets the action going is a long time in coming. I’m hopeful that now that the set-up is complete the continuing story in Infinity’s Shore and Heaven’s Reach will have the more engaging pacing that was evident in The Uplift War (which was quite good).
Joe
Mar 13, 2008 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Sci-fi
Shelves: science-fiction
This is part of a grand trilogy that started with the Uplift War, Startide Rising and Sundiver, and while they share the same universe, they aren't required reaqding.
This Trilogy about the world Jijo on the otherhand are all tied together and they weave a grand tapestry together about all of the loose ends from the previous three novels.
In the end Brin makes his case for greatness and leaves you wanting more...
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David Brin is a scientist, speaker, and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Existence, his latest novel, offers an unusual scenario for first contact. His ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends...more
More about David Brin...
Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, #2) The Postman The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, #3) Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, #1) Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy, #3)

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