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The Gripping Hand (Moties #2)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  9,361 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
Robert Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read." "The San Francisco Chronicle" declared that "as science fiction, "The Mote in God's Eye" is one of the most important novels ever published." Now Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, award winning authors of such bestsellers as "Footfall" and "The Legacy of Heorot, " return us to the Mote, ...more
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 1993)
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Nov 30, 2011 Zach rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye, and everything that made the original book remarkable is missing, while everything that bothered me about it is back with a force. What made the original so compelling was the central mystery around the true nature of the aliens with whom the protagonists make first contact -- I can't talk about that without spoiling the first book to readers unfamiliar with it. There's very little of that sort of driving enigma present in The Gripping Hand. The novel ...more
J.M. Hushour
Feb 20, 2016 J.M. Hushour rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those rare novels that I just can't finish. If I'm halfway through and I still have found not an iota to like, I'll pack it in. When I was younger, I toughed out everything. "I never put a book down, no matter how bad!" Whatever, Young & Stupid Me. Life is too short to slog through terrible shit.
Now, I loved "The Mote in God's Eye". That was a four-star sci-fi space opera epic. This...I don't even know what to say. A lot of people found fault with the shallow characterization
Sep 28, 2007 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long-awaited sequel to The Mote in God's Eye. It doesn't live up to its predecessor, but Mote is perhaps the best first contact s.f. novel ever, so it's understandable why Hand fails to hit the mark.

Roughly the first half of the novel, before Kevin Renner and company return to the Mote system, is slow-going, but I appreciated the opportunity to see a bit more of the Empire itself, especially the capital world of Sparta. The character of Horace Hussein Bury is also fleshed out much more here than
Al Maki
May 17, 2013 Al Maki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: story
I first read this in 1994 and had low opinion of it. Re-reading it now I think there's more to it than I understood. It has two large problems. It's sequel to one of the most highly regarded science fiction novels ever so it would have to be of the stature of the Divine Comedy to not seem a let-down. I think it also suffers from too many ideas in too few pages (412). This causes the development to seem sketchy. It probably needed about a thousand to fully develop its burden. But then it would ha ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This is a two-time dnf for me. I like The Mote in God's Eye so much and I kept thinking, even if the sequel's not as good, it has to be worth reading, and I really want to find out what happened with the Moties. And both times--several years apart--I got about half-way through, bogged down and quit. The storyline just got too slow and confusing and I completely lost interest.
Very slow first half book, it got better but off it goes to listia. =)
Apr 07, 2017 Clyde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded up. I first read this story many years ago when it was first published.
Now having gone through it again, this time as an audio book, I have to say the story has held up very well. In fact I think I enjoyed it more the second time. Niven and Pournelle gave us a gripping story with lots of space action and interesting aliens.
This book can be read alone but to get the most from it, it would be best to read The Mote in God's Eye first.
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ron Arden
I didn't even know there was a sequel to "The Mote in God's Eye", but here it is. The story picks up from its predecessor 25 years later. Rod Blaine is now a Lord and his wife Sally Fowler are big shots in the Empire. They have 2 children, Chris and Glenda Ruth, who among other things have been raised by the Motie ambassadors from the previous book.

Kevin Renner, who was the sailing master on MacArthur, the ship that visited the Mote in the first book, has been the pilot of Horace Bury these pas
Nov 14, 2011 MattR rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction readers
Recommended to MattR by: my father
25 years have passed since the Moties were locked into their solar system by the human blockade.In the plot of The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven Horace Bury, the man given thje job of keeping the alien moties under control, and his assistant Renner find out that a new jump point to the motie system may open up allowing the moties to escape. Mean while a worm is invented to allow moties to live without reproducing.If moties don't reproduce they die. Burry and Renner discover the jump point just in ...more
Dec 02, 2008 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Niven/Pournelle fans
Shelves: fiction
Have you ever watched a sequel to a movie that you really liked, and partway into it realized that the whole purpose of the movie was for the stars to have a paid summer vacation? (Yes Ocean's Twelve, I'm looking at you.) The plot is thin, marginal characters from the original show up, there are a lot of exotic locales and gratuitous makeouts between characters (onscreen or off), and basically everyone in the production, if not the audience, is having fun.

The Gripping Hand is that concept applie
-Desarrollar, ordeñar y exprimir no son sinónimos.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Un cuarto de siglo después de los acontecimientos de “La paja en el ojo de Dios”, algunos de sus protagonistas siguen preocupados por la posible entrada de los pajeños en el espacio controlado por los humanos del Imperio y, en ocasiones, ven fantasmas al respecto por todas partes. Pero la verdad es que se están dando las circunstancias para que la peculiar raza pueda escapar de su confinamiento protegi
Kat  Hooper
Jun 15, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The Gripping Hand (1993) is Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s sequel to their popular 1974 novel The Mote in God’s Eye, which you probably want to read first. This review will have a couple of spoilers for The Mote in God’s Eye.

Recall that by the year 3017 AD, humans had designed the Alderson Drive — an interstellar transporter which allowed them to jump out of our galaxy to colonize different star systems. Then they discovered the first alien species — the Moties — who were excellent engineers
Apr 16, 2011 Kathi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I enjoyed this probably more than my 3 star rating would indicate. Non-planetary Moties, some returning characters from The Mote in God's Eye and some new, space battles and political strategy--all pluses. But the big minus for me was that most of the book seemed to be build-up and all the action was really crammed into the second half of the book.
Mar 24, 2008 Joseph rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Crap. 16 year wait after the original and this is what they came up with?
Oct 24, 2012 Karen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karen by: The literary equivalent of self-flagellation... the desire to torture myself with truly horrendous writing
Dull tactical bullshit. This was an effort of will. I read every last page and now it's going in the recycle bin. I wish it on no one else.
May 24, 2015 Timday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
love a good sequel :)
Mucho mas flojo que el primero :(
Ray Gardener
Mar 18, 2017 Ray Gardener rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great follow-up, and it couldn't have been easy given how awesome the first book was.
Francesca Ferrara
Good plot triggers, I've found more interesting the first part in which characters are been developed and Empire scenarios and social patterns revealed, than the second in which the battle is too long described and characters psychology disappears in favour of battle description.
Nice book anyway, suggested only for those who have already read The Mote in God's eye.

Johnny Barrett
Feb 27, 2017 Johnny Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read!

Bravo, Mr. Niven, another great book. I look forward to reading book 3 in the series. You are a writer with a gift for creating a world in the readers' minds.
Lukas R
Jul 10, 2014 Lukas R rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: moties
The Mote in God's Eye while I though flawed in it's speed and storytelling was rather original so, despite the dismal reviews, I continued on in the series. The Gripping Hand has more of exactly the things that made the first book a bit of a bore. It takes forever to get the story of the ground, including a completely pointless storyline introducing an entire cast of characters that disappear as soon as the actual story get underway (which is after almost half the book). When the story finally s ...more
Jose Vera
“El tercer brazo” es la continuación de “La paja en el ojo de Dios”, uno de los mejores libros de ciencia ficción que he leído. Pero de eso hace ya muchos años.

La acción de este libro se desarrolla 25 años después que los humanos tuvieran contacto con los pajeños, los primeros alienígenas inteligentes con los que se topo el imperio del hombre.

Nos encontramos con viejos conocidos. Horace Bury, próspero magnate musulmán que esta usando ahora todos sus conocimientos y dinero para proteger el imperi
Jeffrey Daniels
This book was easy to put down. Sad, considering its precursor was quite the opposite.

Though I would prefer to review the book as a stand alone, it is billed as the "long-awaited sequel", which demands comparison.

I was not one of those awaiting a sequel, long or otherwise. While I thought The Mote in God's Eye had some flaws, it was a strong story and entertaining read.

The Gripping Hand is slow to start. Ponderously slow. There was also a ongoing feeling of disjointedness which was one of the ma
A. Roy King
"The Gripping Hand" is the 1993 sequel to Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven's 1974 classic science-fiction novel "The Mote in God's Eye." This sequel brings many of the same characters back together decades after the "Mote" events and concludes some of the unresolved conflicts in this story of human encounter with an alien life form.

One good aspect of this novel, as well as the original installment, is Pournelle and Niven's imaginative creation of an alien race. The Moties are a differentiated lif
Jeff Miller
Really quite a good SF book with one major fault, being that it is a sequel to The Mote in God's Eye one of the best SF books ever written. This sequel has much to like as far a military sf and in-depth social-political plotting in regards to both the humans and the aliens the Moties. The understanding of the Motie civilization via the lens of Arah history was also quit interesting. Some of the characters from the first novel are there with a concentration on the former Navy navigator and the Ga ...more
Benjamin Thomas
Sep 13, 2013 Benjamin Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Like many reviewers, I was blown away by The Mote in God's Eye, quite possibly the best alien first contact novel ever written. So it is not surprising that a sequel, written more than a decade later would have difficulty living up to that.

That first book was so good because it revolved around the slow building of understanding of just what the alien species (The Moties) were all about. Were they allies or threats or some combination? That is largely known now as we head into this book so there
Nov 21, 2012 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished this a while ago, just catching up.

I have really mixed feelings about this. In the first book, the lead-up to the Mote system and the denouement afterward weren't fantastic, and the time spent in the Mote system was really fun, suspenseful, etc. In this book, the time leading up to the Mote system was *fantastic* ... the time in the Mote system was, um, boring. And the ending felt rushed and sloppy. I think they were trying to write in a way that mirrored the character's feelings of bei
Jun 17, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Eighteen years after publishing The Mote in Gods Eye, Niven and Pournelle have written a sequel that, while not as novel, is more thrilling than the first tale of alien savants.

I think that the opening mystery tale involving “New Utah,” and the possibility that the Moties have at last escaped into the Empire of Man is an unnecessary set up. Even so, it is more interesting than much of the slow build up that follows. But the patient reader is finally rewarded with another amazing look a Motie ci
This is the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye where humans and 'Moties' once again have contact. The Gripping Hand is easier to understand if you have read The Mote in God's Eye.

Man has blockaded the Alderson Point to keep the Moties (Moties bred exponentially and would quickly overrun Man's Empire) bottled up in their own system.

Bury and Renner (from The Mote in God's Eye) believe the Moties may have escaped; they pull strings so that they can visit the blockade. The tension builds through the no
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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

Moties (5 books)
  • Future History (Moties 0.5, Falkenberg's Legion, #a-b)
  • The Mote in God's Eye
  • Outies (Moties #3)
  • Reflex

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