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Hybrids (Neanderthal Parallax #3)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,461 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
In the Hugo-Award winning Hominids, Robert J. Sawyer introduced a character readers will never forget: Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal physicist from a parallel Earth who was whisked from his reality into ours by a quantum-computing experiment gone awry - making him the ultimate stranger in a strange land.

In that book and in its sequel, Humans, Sawyer showed us the Neandertha
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Tor Science Fiction (first published September 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I started my review of Hominids, the first book, by saying it was a pretty good start to the trilogy. Not great, but pretty good, and ultimately a little disappointing because a Hugo-winner should be better than, well, pretty good. Now I’ve finished the trilogy and Hybrids is solid ending. Not great, but, well, solid. Still I don’t feel the minor disappointment I felt with the first book because my expectations had been lowered from great to average, so reading a nice, solid ending was satisfyi ...more
Bruce Kroeze
Oct 04, 2010 Bruce Kroeze rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I could not finish this book. This book is literally the single worst SF book I have tried to read in a decade.

The characters? Abysmal, cardboard cutouts who go on rants which last pages. Worse than Ayn Rand, worse than Arthur C. Clark.

The ideas? Nothing new at all. Just more of the same. Neanderthals are smarter, nicer, more moral, and all-around-better than Homo Sapiens. Their world is unspoiled, ours is a hell hole.

The political ideas?

- Eugenics are great. It would benefit society to force-s
Jan 06, 2012 Mei-Lu rated it it was ok
Hybrids is the final volume in Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy and I have to say... the series really degenerated from a promising start. While this book is better than the second book, it's not as good as the first. The problem is Sawyer's characters. I feel as though Sawyer writes his novels in the same way an academic writes a paper. He has done all of this research into paleoanthropology and primatology and now he's assigned each characters aspect of society that he wants to ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Matthew rated it it was ok
The book discovered a plot rather late in the narrative.
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Quittman
Feb 28, 2011 Beth Quittman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The conclusion to a bafflingly successful series. The author descends to new depths of misandry as he demonstrates how all the world's violence and problems are because of men and/or religion. Meanwhile the Neaderthal utopia is a Nazi's dream, with 24-hour surveillance, forced sterilization, and eugenics. I'm still not sure if this is tongue in cheek or obliviousness. I would assume it was commentary but the heavy-handedness of the rape subplots lead to believe it may very well be straight up.

Jan 23, 2014 Zedsdead rated it really liked it
Book three of the Hominids trilogy. Our human female and neanderthal male protagonists decide to use technology to have a baby, and a dastardly human plots the extinction of the neanderthals and colonization of their world.

Hybrids is aptly named as it mixes a lot of win with a lot of silliness.

1) The wonderfully logical neanderthal civilization. Sawyer imagined a technologically advanced hunter-gatherer society, as opposed to our agricultural society. It's tremendously different but all of
D.L. Morrese
Oct 13, 2011 D.L. Morrese rated it liked it
The third book in The Neanderthal Parallax series returns to the soft science fiction theme of two cultures colliding. This final book has a single antagonist, a racist (or would it be species-ist?) bigot who wants to take the unexploited and unpolluted Neanderthal world for Homo sapiens. Of course to do so will involve a minor case of genocide but he has the tools and he has the technology, kindly provided by the Neanderthals themselves. Mary, the geneticist heroine from the last book, has to s ...more
May 27, 2013 Leslie rated it did not like it
The most cringe worthy book I have EVER read. This series started off with an interesting concept but proved to be totally repulsive. It's like the author crammed a bunch of- ill give him this- actual scientific theories together with awful plot lines and character dialogue making one huge awkward mess. This last one was by far the worst. I really don't see how an extremely uncomfortably graphic depiction of a woman's rape in the first book was remotely necessary, unless you count the ridiculous ...more
R. Michael Litchfield
Sep 25, 2010 R. Michael Litchfield rated it it was ok
Is it accurate to consider a book disappointing when you really don't expect much from the writer? Hybrids was the most lame of the trilogy, actually that's not fair, hominids was actually pretty good and humans was better than most of the other Sawyer books I've read but this was just a mess. The characters were flat and lifeless, they seemed to stumble around on his stage with no real point or purpose and on the whole it was a struggle to give a damn about them. The only excitement was at the ...more
Jul 11, 2014 Susanna rated it it was ok
So I actually finished the third part of the trilogy. I'd love to write a review but I am afraid that I am still busy tying and gagging my inner anthropologist.
Tidy ending with a (view spoiler), but it's safe to say that Sawyer has thoroughly exhausted what he could offer based on this premise by the third volume in the trilogy.

Everyone in these novels seems to use extremely short and simple declarative sentences, even when they aren't trying to communicate across a language and species barrier. I have no idea if this is a deliberate stylistic choice and what if anything it means, but I suppose one might try them out on a
Jan 29, 2015 Jessie rated it really liked it
This parallax has accumulated a lot of haters, and I think some of the vitriol is justified. The characterization is abysmal. I think it actually got worse throughout the series, and I wouldn't have thought that was possible after book one. (Poor Louise Benoit.) Yet I cared less as I read more because the thought experiment is just so compelling. If you view the books as a series of dialogues (a la Hofstadter) rather than a series of novels, you'll get used to the very clunky way Sawyer inserts ...more
Jul 20, 2014 Renny rated it liked it
I feel there is so much potential in the this series but this book did not fulfill it. I did not like Mary's character very much from the first novel and I found myself growing more and more annoyed with her as this book progressed. I can read books which contain characters I dislike but I prefer complexity in my characters and Mary did not deliver this. In part it was the choices she continues to make which often seemed a bit simplistic and uneducated for geneticists. Also I felt at some point ...more
Mukta Mohapatra
Aug 04, 2015 Mukta Mohapatra rated it liked it
Mary and Ponter are living in the Neanderthal world and trying to make their relationship work. Mary is jealous of his male partner Adikor and she is having trouble adjusting to the new world.

She and Ponter decide to have a hybrid baby and they find the technology to do so even though they are separate species.

As they are picking the genes for their child, we finally learn some of the negatives of the Neanderthal society. If anyone shows negative characteristics like violence, they, their sibli
Jul 31, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
A fast read and a nice ending to the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy. The closing paragraph provided for a nice humorous touch....I wonder if authors get kickbacks for placement marketing ;) It was wonderful to see Mary Vaughn's journey, physically between both worlds as well as her own personal journey regarding her views on religion, sexuality, and relationships.

I would like to see a 4th installment to this story that describes how Mary, Ponter, and Bandra's lives evolve after the birth of gener
Aug 25, 2009 Simon rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
A weak ending, as Sawyer moves away from the compelling ideas of the first two books into (regrettably characteristic) didacticism, stripping his characters of what little depth they had in favour of driving his points home with as much blunt force as possible.
Apr 23, 2012 John added it
Shelves: read-in-2010
A solid ending to an excellent trilogy, marred a bit by uneven pacing between action and exposition towards the end, a touch too much of deus ex, and a complex plot issues being resolved a bit too neatly. That noted, this is great biological sci-fi, and is recommended.
B Kevin
Sep 13, 2012 B Kevin rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This was a disappointing end to a rather preachy series. I think the plot really fell apart in the end. If you thought 'Lost' (the TV series) ended well, you will like this. If you think 'Lost' was a cop-out, so was this.
Scott Thrift
Jan 06, 2011 Scott Thrift rated it it was ok
Again, I wished he would tell the story and skip the sermon. The danger of speculative fiction is always the author's visions getting in the way of plot.
Feb 06, 2016 Andy rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It really is a wonderful conclusion to the Neanderthal Parallax, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The books explores both species of human wonderfully, showing both the good and the evil of each. I really appreciate how well thought out these worlds are and how they interact. The only things that keep me from rating this a five star is that I feel some characters weren't explored or featured enough in the narrative, and that the ending felt a bit rushed.

This book is an artf
Feb 19, 2015 John rated it liked it
Not quite what I expected. The novel was fraught with plots that it wasn't very clear to me what was important and was minutia. If there was an overall message intended to be delivered, it was lost on me. At best, the combination of love story, social commentary, and ecothriller felt like multiple stories weaved with naive preaching to me.

If the sub-plots were to be thought of as episodes in a series, then I think it would more enjoyable as the plotlines can be compartmentalized yet run through.
VanGogh's Beard
Mar 08, 2011 VanGogh's Beard rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
If you enjoyed the Twilight novels, you will enjoy this series.
Sep 10, 2014 Holly rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
This is not a bad ending to the trilogy. I think the book could have a been a bit better, but it still kept my imagination and attention going til the very end. In this book we see Mary and Ponter struggle to stay a couple. Mary is trying to adjust to living in Ponters world where each partner has a lover of the same sex, having kids every ten years, and living apart except for when two become one. They also add into the mix of trying to have a kid of their own even though they come from two dif ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Keith rated it did not like it
Shelves: borrowed
I don't recommend it.
Quarta di copertina
Mary Vaughan e Ponter Boddit, due scienziati che vogliono avere un figlio. C’è un ostacolo, però: lei appartiene alla specie Homo sapiens ed è nata nel nostro universo, lui è un Neanderthal evoluto e rappresenta la specie dominante di un mondo parallelo. La tecnologia per superare il gap biologico esiste: è nelle mani di uno scienziato Neanderthal che vive nelle solitudini del suo mondo. Il problema, tuttavia, non è come raggiungerlo, ma come superare la violenza e il razzismo
Mar 06, 2015 Haldoor42 rated it really liked it
This is the third in Robert Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax series, and I thoroughly enjoyed his take on what life on our planet would be like if another Hominid species had survived and Homo Sapiens had not. It was an interesting comparison, and with Sawyer being Canadian and his main characters other than the Neanderthals also being Canadian, it was a fresh take on approaching things in some ways. Most SF books of this type tend to be written from an American perspective, and since peoples all o ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Hybrids (Neanderthal Parallax #3)
by Robert J. Sawyer

The third book in Robert Sawyer’s Neanderthal series rehashed many of the topics of the first two books while simplistically covering some new ground.

Judging the series overall, it could have been covered in one or two books, but there just isn’t enough story for three. Much of book two and three could have been cut then melded together for one cohesive tighter book.

(view spoiler)
Oh, Cornelius and your white man struggles. Seriously, there's just no place for a qualified white male in the professions these days. People who've read this series know what I'm talking about.

Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, let me start by saying this review is going to look a bit at Hybrids and a bit at the Neanderthal Parallax as a whole. When it comes to series, I usually find it easier to evaluate the entire story rather than individual books.

Yet even after finishing this
Jun 06, 2009 Shomeret rated it really liked it
Well, I'm the reader who supposedly doesn't exist that started with the third book in the trilogy. I'm the sort of person who does that on a regular basis because I think that all novels ought to be able to stand on their own. So the repetition of events from the previous novels was valuable orientation. I think that authors should recapitulate. Even though most readers aren't like me, they will often forget what happened in the previous books and need the reminders.

I really like the premise of
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Robert J. Sawyer is one of Canada's best known and most successful science fiction writers. He is the only Canadian (and one of only 7 writers in the world) to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction: the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Mindscan.
Robert Sawyer grew up in
More about Robert J. Sawyer...

Other Books in the Series

Neanderthal Parallax (3 books)
  • Hominids (Neanderthal Parallax, #1)
  • Humans (Neanderthal Parallax, #2)

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