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Brightness Reef (Uplift Storm Trilogy #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  8,587 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
Millennia ago, the advanced Buyur civilization held sway on Jijo, but eventually abandoned it to restore its ecological balance. Ever since, the Five Galaxies have patrolled it to prevent resettlement. Brightness Reef is a bold and visionary saga of humans and aliens joining the fight for survival, and to uncover the truth about their mythic pasts.
Hardcover, 514 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Bantam Spectra (first published 1995)
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Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This happens to be one of those books that is both brilliant and lacking at the same time. I will explain myself.

The novel is actually quite as daunting and impressive as Startide Rising and The Uplift War in it's way, but it's mainly because Brin doesn't ever stint on world building. Ever. He goes all out and develops tons of alien races, tons of characters, and a great many implications for the amazingly complex alien culture among the 16 galaxies.

Truly, I have nothing bad to say at all abou
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
Bunny Blake
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
I read the first three Uplift novels back when they were fairly new, and since then they've been one of my favorite brainy space opera series. Recently I marathoned through the initial trilogy again and was pleased to discover there were three more books in the series since then.

The Uplift books are a great mix of adventure, world-building, and scientific speculation, and the alien races portrayed in these books are especially great. "Brightness Reef" took me a little longer to get into compared
David B
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six sentient species live together secretly in hard-won harmony on the planet Jijo, which the almighty Galactics have decreed to be left unsettled. All goes well until their discovery by a starship crewed by humans with a mysterious purpose throws everything into chaos and uncertainty.

David Brin is telling a big story here. The planet and the various alien cultures upon it are meticulously detailed and his concept of Uplift, whereby races achieve sentience and admittance to a heavily stratified
Lots of good talking points in this return to Brin's Uplift universe: interrogating ideas of humanity and sapience, cultural imperialism, and feminist commentary. But it's just so damn long and unwieldy!
Storyline: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
World: 5/5

Asx, qheuens, traeki, khuta, Hph-wayou, hoonish, Jijo, Zang, Izmuti, g'Keks, glavers, the Great Buyur, Alvin, Mister Heinz, Guenn Volcano, Terminus Rock, Joe Dolenz, Mu-phauwq, Yowg-wayou, humicker, Huck, Becky, Pincer-Tip, wrigglers, Ur-ronn, urs, Uriel, Mount Guenn, urrish, uttergloss, Drake, Ur-jushen, Holy Egg, er, hoon, Biblos, Aph-awn, Ur-Tanj, noor, Wuphon, mulc-spiders, Uncle Lorben, Sixers, Ifni, gingourv trees, hoonlike, garu, um
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
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
Sep 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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
Kelly Flanagan
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Liutauras Elkimavičius
Būna serijų, kur nuotykis išsenka rašytojui besistengiant išsunkti paskutinius lašelius iš sugalvoto pasaulio. Būna, kad nebetiki pritemptu veiksmu. Būna ir, kad fantazija peržengia logikos ribas stengdamasi atrasti kažką, kuo dar mus nustebinti. Ši Uplift saga turi kitą bėdą. Autoriaus fantazija neturi ribų, ji išradinga ir išmani. Bet veiksmo linijų tiek daug ir jos tokios susipynusios, kad aš jau noriu pailsėt nuo šio gausybės rago ir imu pauzę. #Recom #LEBooks
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to be a voracious reader, and although I find that my reading time is now taken up by other communication methods (iPad, Internet, etc.) I still enjoy reading a good book, or listening to audiobooks.
So, I've gone back and started listening to one of my favorite series of books by David Brin called the Uplift Trilogy. It's really a long story set after the events of Startide Rising, which is the keystone book in his whole Uplift "universe."
The short explanation of the story is that human
Andrew Riley
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second Uplift trilogy, or the Jijoian Trilogy is set in a universe where species are raised to sentience by a Patron race, to whom they then owe one hundred thousand years of servitude as a thank you. Humanity, having already raised Chimps and Dolphins to sentience stumble out into the galaxy at large without a patron race, making them rare "wolflings" generally doomed for extinction lacking protection in what is often a dangerous and violent galactic society.

The majority of the trilogy is s
Manuel Barrera
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent primer on the future and present diversity of life from a scholar, physicist, and humanist. David Brin's "new" (to me) trilogy in the Uplift saga is smart in its depiction of sentient speciation in a universe likely to be much more diverse than we may believe at this moment. However, the power of Brin's works lie in his illustrating the very human diversity, and our individual responses to it, that we encounter every day in this world. Our reactions of solidarity, of horror, of hatr ...more
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want human interest stories about non-humans
Shelves: sci-fi
Spoiler alert: There are no bright reefs in here. Brin has taken two words that he likes, put them together, and named his story that. He then filled up 650 pages with multiple threads of a tale that I'm not all that interested in. This book is at least 3x longer than it needs to be. I can summarize:
1) There are various aliens who have come into illegal exile together for various reasons. Their motivations are slowly revealed.
2) Their plan is to devolve into pre-sentient lifeforms. By the way, e
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well done start to a new Uplift trilogy. I was wondering what was going to distinguish this one from the others (which all seemed to be somewhat self-contained stories), and it turns out that these next three books all follow roughly the same story. One thing to be warned about, though, is that while this book seems mostly self-contained, it's probably worth reading the earlier Uplift books, particularly the latter two, Startide Rising and The Uplift War .

As for the composition, this is an en
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Lonely planet left for recuperation for next settlers is actually occupied by 6 different races of refugee aliens including humans. Every faction has secrets and ambitions, but till now they manage to live together in peace. After starship arrives everything changes. And to mix it all up strange man who cannot speak and do not remember his past is rescued at sea.

Caution! This book is intended as only part of trilogy as it leaves many questions unanswered, so be prepared and forewarned :)
Kirk Lowery
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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.
Adam Whitehead
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The planet Jijo is home to representatives from six different races, each hiding from the Civilisation of the Five Galaxies for their own reasons. Most of their high technology has been abandoned, lest it lead pursuers to them, but at great cost peaceful coexistence between the six races has been achieved. At the time of the Gathering representatives from these races meet to discuss the future...but this Gathering is interrupted by the arrival of a starship. Fearing the worst, the people of Jijo ...more
Dylan Harris
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I hated the beginning of this book. The Tom Sawyer allusions, the lack of human characters to relate to, everything just bothered me and I found it completely uninteresting. But it got better, and better and better. Bit by bit. Brin does a fantastic job of interweaving stories, which I hated at first, but grew to enjoy. I'm glad I suffered through this because I'm enjoying the world he made, yet again.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting aliens of various types and, thereby, plenty of twists and turns. Not the greatest science fiction, but worthy of a read.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had so much hope for this book. There's still some interesting things but the multiple foreign view-points and "language" changes just make it so hard to read and follow what's happening.
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
Lamar Latrell
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
To be honest, I didn't like this book as mush as Startide Rising or The Uplift War. It's really noticeable that this is just the first part of a trilogy - the book starts really-really slow, and neither of the plot strands are actually finished at the end, they just feel arbitrarily separated from their continuation in Infinity's Shore. Even though the book is quite long, it doesn't stand as a novel on its own right.

I feel the author tried to cram way too much world- and character-building into
Lianne Burwell
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I bought this trilogy back when it originally came out, but for some reason, despite loving the other three books in the Uplift universe, I just never got around to reading these. Probably because they didn't seem to tie into the events of Startide Rising, at least at first glance. Now, years later, I am finally getting into them.

Jijo is a fallow world. The former leaseholders have retreated, and the creatures of the world have been left alone in the hope that one might reach pre-sapience and be
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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 about David Brin...

Other Books in the Series

Uplift Storm Trilogy (3 books)
  • Infinity's Shore (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #2)
  • Heaven's Reach (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #3)

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