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(Rifters #3)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  434 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Starfish lit the fuse. Maelstrom was the explosion. But five years into the aftermath, things aren't quite so simple as they once seemed...

Lenie Clarke-rifter, avenger, amphibious deep-sea cyborg-has destroyed the world. Once exploited for her psychological addiction to dangerous environments, she emerged in the wake of a nuclear blast to serve up vendetta from the ocean f
ebook, 608 pages
Published 2007 by Peter Watts
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Start your review of Behemoth (Rifters, #3)
The final battle of the viruses, and the sociopaths.

For long stretches this was a good book. Certainly better than the second one, which, frankly, was a bit of a mess.

This time we're back to the deep sea, where the characters discover a new mutation of the virus and suspect each other to be responsible for it. Mistrust is spreading, conflict is brewing and a violent confrontation seems inevitable. We then go back ashore where the populace keeps dying and the flora and fauna is mutating. This sec
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, z-to-a-watts
“Whenever I find my will to live becoming too strong, I read Peter Watts.”
James Nicoll

LOL. That’s not why I read Peter Watts, but I do understand his point. The world in Rifters is the ultimate hell. Think of the worst post-apocalyptic universe you’ve read of and you do not come even close to how this world is. As I said in my review for Maelstrom, I would rather kill myself than live in such a world and that says something about how realistic the worldbuilding is in this series.

Same about the c
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After the last book gave us a world above the ocean and the one before gave us the world below, I wondered just where this (duo/single?) third novel would take us.

Indeed, it gave us a synthesis. We had a treat of biology, more gene-modding, collapsing ecospheres, and even a bit of cooperation as the virus that had once been biological had become computational and had destroyed our modern world AND infected us biologically.

This is a true dystopian, no matter how you look at it, but it is also a w
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"The essence of humanity's spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another."
- E.O. Wilson

U prethodnom osvrtu spomenuo sam Guilt Trip, genetski modifikator koji korporativnim agentima suspreže savjest tako što se umjesto nje veže na iste receptore. Jedna radikalna skupina napravi genetski modifikator Spartacus kojim zaraze dio korporativnih agenata. Spartacus spriječava vezivanje Guilt Trip, ali i potpuno onemogućuje savjest, što treba omogućiti razum
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Prelude: ´lawbreaker

We meet Achilles Desjardins again. And...

“The past receded; the unforgiven present advanced. The world fell apart in time-lapse increments: an apocalyptic microbe rose from the deep sea, hitching a ride in the brackish flesh of some deep-sea diver from N'AmPac. Floundering in its wake, the Powers That Weren't dubbed it ßehemoth, burned people and property in their frantic, futile attempts to stave off the coming change of regime. North America fell.“


We are at the bottom
Mårten Ericson
Jun 09, 2014 rated it liked it
I found Peter Watts last year when I was desperately looking for some serious sub-surface science fiction. I stumbled upon "Starfish" - the first of the four/three in this series - which blew me away more or less. The book is simply excellent. Filled by thirst for more I soon thereafter got hold of the follow up "Maelstrom" which in return was more like a heavy punch in the face on the reader. It had nothing of the deep sea seductions or lure of its predecessor – mainly because the story took pl ...more
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: via-kindle, sf-f
Too long, too bloated, missing the tight tension of the previous two. Some of the same tricks of the preceding volumes are tried on again, with less impressive results. I wanted to like this, and was even mostly able to ignore or stomach the gratuitous content, but felt that the series spluttered to an inglorious conclusion.
Jun 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
Dear authors, if you want to write torture/snuff porn then write torture/snuff porn, publish it as torture/snuff porn, and market it to people who want to read torture/snuff porn. Don't hide it 75% into a 600 page book to surprise your readers. And yeah, it is torture/snuff porn, about 3 chapters of it, it adds absolutely nothing to the story or character development. Or maybe it does, who knows. I am not reading it, much like I am not going to stick my hand into an open septic tank in hope ther ...more
Aug 12, 2018 marked it as freebies  ·  review of another edition
You can download the whole Rifters series for free from the author's website here: ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have the version with both books in a single copy.

While it is nice to see the ending of the series, and a ray of hope for the future, this was the worst book in the series in my opinion.

It hits like the ending to the remake of House on Haunted Hill. Great effects and tension throughout the movie till the end...when they are chased by a badly rendered ink blot. One sees that and thinks that it was going so well, what the hell happened?

The rifters seem to have gone crazy with paranoia waiting to
Ziggy Nixon
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: hard scifi fans (definitely cyberpunk)
Recommended to Ziggy by: free copy from author
"You may agree with Publisher's Weekly and call this the capstone to one of the major works of hard-sf in the new century. Or you may side with Kirkus and dismiss it as horrific porn, rife with relentlessly clinical scenes of sexual torture. (Hell, you may even decide they're both right.)"
Peter Watts, 2007

"I disagree with both assessments. Yes, it's hard-sf but its not 'accessible' enough to make it a 'major work'. And the 'horrific porn' isn't that gratuitous (the guy is a real bastard and I've
I can't bring myself to give this book a star rating, although it probably deserves 4 or 5. It was too difficult to read. There is a lot of graphic sexual violence. I had nightmares and felt physically sick at times. Yet I couldn't stop reading because I had to find out what happened to the characters I had come to care about in the first two books of the trilogy. It's a well crafted & well written story, but if I'd known how it would affect me, I might not have started the first one. ...more
Sławomir Molenda
How it's possible that such an amazing hard sci-fi writer like Peter Watts spoiled such brilliant story started in Starfish? Behemoth is not entertaining anymore. Just poorly written chaotic plots and talking "persons" without perception of real human beings. I can't feel Lenie Clarke motives anymore. It's very sad, but third part of this incredible trilogy hit the bottom and I gave up.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Satisfying wind-up of the series. Typos were distracting in the later half of the book.
Adrik Kemp
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Similarly to Echopraxia, this didn't reach the heights nor give a satisfying conclusion to any character arcs.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world is slowly dying from a nigh-unstoppable plague, a plague that Lenie Clarke unwittingly spread years ago while on a quest for personal vengeance. Clarke herself has been living under the sea, cybernetic rifters like her living in an awkward alliance with another party partly responsible for the state of the world. That alliance is fraying, however, as a new strain of the disease is making and appearance in what they once believed their shelter, and when neither side trusts the other, it ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Okay, I'm not feeling the best this morning, but I've been good and faithful in writing reviews for stuff so far, so I shall persevere. Happy Thanksgiving! That was Thursday, of course, and it's Saturday now, but we're going to have Thanksgiving dinner this evening because it's a sort of cross-Atlantic Thanksgiving and yum. Bleh.

Not much to give thanks for in Behemoth, though, other than thanks for a great book, Mr Watts! I read this one on the phone, too, which got wearying after a while, and
Natasha Hurley-Walker
Good, but not quite as gripping as the previous two. I didn't like the way the story abruptly broke setting halfway through. The three main miserable broken characters face off against each other in a psychologically tense way, especially about two-thirds through when you're double-guessing which character is actually trying to save the world, and which is trying to destroy it. Unfortunately I felt like the women other than Lenie in the story were very much made into playthings and victims, whic ...more
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last book in a sci-fi psychological horror trilogy about biochemistry of guilt and kind of microbe/cybernetic apocalypse (and huge squids, of course)... pretty dark and chilling at times (no effort to pull any punches whatsoever), but also vary well written and though out science fiction... possible issues: the book, even though it is not supposed to be divided in two (as actually physically published), is telling half of its story in more of a claustrophobic microcosm deep in the ocean, whi ...more
Michael Johnson
Behemoth, the third and final installment of the Rifters Trilogy, ended the series suitably well. Sadly, I can't say it was my favorite of the three. I felt that the main character, Lennie Clark, was too whiny. The story, without actually giving anything away, is that she had a hand in killing billions and wanted no more blood on her hands. Unfortunately, I found myself wishing she actually get strangled, for once, just to stop her complaining. Nothing against the author by any means, I just per ...more
Jay Goemmer
Good science fiction premises to begin with, then we gradually find out the protagonist is socially inept, and incapable of carrying on reasonable mature relationships with others. Add the 20th century profanity storm which erupts during an argument, followed by uncomfortable and disturbing sexual exchanges.

I dumped this one at (virtual) page number 101 out of 656. If you insist that your "literature" leave you feeling gross and disgusting, this is for you.

It's *definitely* not for me. I'm lum
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Good story & good characters, but I'm a bit bothered by Lenie Clarke. Here it becomes clear that she's not particularly skilled or bright (at least compared to her friends), but people have always looked up to her. She gets angry and she does guilt, but neither of those explains her pivotal importance.

Perhaps it's just a case of being in the place (not completely 'right' or 'wrong' place) at a dynamic time, but that's a frail reed to hang 3 books and an apocalypse on.
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grand finale!

Well, what can I tell. This book shows how pessimistic Watts' look on life can get. Once again, slightly different than first two parts of the trilogy, once again, decent read. There's a good deal of slightly disturbing scenes (of which I hated Mandelbrot's death most), and the ending is rather "stitched" to the actual plot (IMO) - but apart from that, it's high quality hard SF. Recommended.
Isabel (kittiwake)
So many things were about to happen. The end of Life As We Knew It. The beginning of Life As We Don't. It had already started. Her biggest regret was that she wouldn't be around to see it.

I thought that Behemoth dragged a bit so it's not a five star book like the first two, but it was still a satisfying end to the trilogy.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Back under the ocean, we find here what we already loved in starfish: the isolated communities, the ability to feel other's emotions, the difficult relationships and those who give up being actually humans to live like fish. But this time, they have to cope with a direct opposition in front of them: the corpos.
An intense rhythm, a great shift in the power relations, and the beginning of the end.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the final book of this trilogy, I found myself thinking a lot. What would the apocalypse be like? Could we hold it off? Is it worth it? Humanity is as broken as depicted in the Rifter trilogy, and every day on the news you see more and more cases of mayhem, destruction and despair. How many Lenie's are there, just waiting for their own Behemoth?

I will never, ever forget this book.
Przemek Skoczyński
Jan 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Trochę jak słaby sequel kinowego hitu. Niby wszystko podobnie, a jednak pomysły już maksymalnie naciąganie i emocje opadły wraz z końcem drugiej części. Jeśli to miała być synteza najlepszych momentów "Rozgwiazdy" i "Wiru", to się nie udało.
Liz Brau
Nov 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost a totally awesome book. A bit too graphic in some parts for my taste. But a very cool world idea.
Końcówka rozczarowała. Początek trylogii b. dobry, kolejne części coraz słabsze.
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Rifters (3 books)
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  • Maelstrom (Rifters, #2)

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