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Behemoth: β-Max

(Rifters #3 part 1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,905 ratings  ·  65 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Tor Books (first published 2004)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,905 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Chris Berko
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the direction this series has taken and I love the flawed characters that inhabit these pages. Without giving anything away, we're back underwater with the claustrophobia and sense of urgency that was present in book one and more harsh truths have been revealed. This is great science fiction and an end of the world scenario that is savage but pragmatic.
Man Ching
Jul 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, ebook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is the first half of the third book in the Rifters trilogy. Peter Watts' style isn't for everyone ... it's sparse and really pretty dark ... but I really enjoy his books. He has a fairly bleak vision of the future, and his characters aren't what you would typically consider likeable, but I think that's what draws me to his novels. No candy coating here.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Long, dark, tedious. Yuck.
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was ok

Not that good, but a lot better than Maelstrom - that book really sucked. Again, he seems do best when his scope is artificially limited by setting - in the van in the wasteland, in the underwater complex. He has trouble with open world, but don't we all. More depressingly he took a turn toward the American Psycho, and frankly I hate that shit. Spare me the torture porn, even if you are trying to make a point. Honestly, he's kind of a violent and depraved guy if his books are any indication. In
Jun 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
Decent twists and turns in the plot and a nice solid ending outweighed the
occassional gruesome torture scene, but I still could have done without them.
Basic plot: two sociopaths band together to save the world from a third
sociopath. Well, at least they save what is left of the world after five years of
horrible plague and anarchy.

I read the two Behemoth books as one, uninterrupted e-book, so the review is the same for both.
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Much better than Maelstrom. The return to the deep blue was something I enjoyed. The tribal attitudes, tensions between two groups and the eventual war evoked Fallout vibes from me, and the isolation underwater is beautifully played out. Plot-wise I'm glad it moved in a specific direction - that Clarke was slowly losing her authority and the eventual discovery of B-max.
Michael Dubakov
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Much worse than the first two. Looks like author forgot first two books and tried to remember them in third one. Situations are not believable in general, so the script looks weird and fragmented. Major disappointment.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
The penultimate entry of this exceptional series keeps raising the stakes as the plot builds inexorably towards a nailbiting finale.
Honza Bulušek
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dark depths of the ocean are back with all their glory. What's not to love?
Brian Gaston
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Happy to give this one a 3.5 but it wasn't quite as interesting as his earlier work.
Jeremy Eaton
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
First two books were GOAT candidates for me, but this went way off the rails. Hoping the last book brings it all together and makes sense of whatever I just read.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Skipped the torture without missing anything. Was a decent read, and the end wasn't as bad as I had feared. Glad I finished the series out.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Uneventful until the end.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loves em. waiting for the concluding part to get delivered from the usa, cant get em here. lenie Clarke and her rampage across my consciousness.
Grzegorz Szopinski
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice mix of vol. 1 & 2, 3.5 for me. ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This isn’t a stand alone book, or even a complete novel. It’s part one of the last in the Rifters trilogy and if you haven’t read the first two, you’ll be absolutely lost. If you are continuing with the series, it will still be an effort to figure out what is going on. But it’s still worth the effort.
An uneasy truce between the corpses and the rifters, hiding out in the ocean depths, breaks down, when a new threat emerges. A threat and a cliff hanger that will take Luben and Clarke back to a mu
Ian Mathers
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
The world is not dying, it is being killed. And those that are killing it have names and addresses.
Utah Phillips

As an epigraph for this book, it's hard to fault Watts' choice of the above; depending on how you read it, it mixes black comedy and social responsibility, a very human lust for revenge (even if it probably won't do the world much good) and a despairing awareness that we have very much either created or at least largely contributed to our own problems. This is the instalment where, at
Bill Purdy
Mar 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Is it me, or is this guy (Watts) most constrained when he's writing about the environment he supposedly knows best (10,000 feet underwater)? Maelstrom felt so much more unbound (pun intended, especially for those of you who've read some of the twisted "erotic" scenes contained therein) than Starfish, and here, when the story returns to the murky depths of the Atlantic ocean, it feels a lot like Starfish all over again -- cold, sterile, and utterly inhuman. Of course, that's precisely what Watts ...more
Brent Werness
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ed French
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Probably the best reasons to read this trilogy is the unique perspective the author brings to the table. He's a marine mammal biologist, which has deeply informed the hard science as well as the characterization.

The prose is tight and the world he creates is barely illuminated within it, but it's deeply compelling and draws you into its dark world. It's underwater cyberpunk centered less on digital data and more on simple, brutal, living and killing biological machines.

By the end of the trilogy
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still has the Wattsian flare, but I feel his narrative is a bit all over the place. Also, this book takes a much bigger step into the sadism side of things, but thankfully it's not overdone. The book definitely picks up in the last third when the tensions are somewhat released and the action kicks off.

It also kind of annoyed me because there felt like a lot of 'recaps' from the previous books. So characters would talk like 'oh yeah well I had to do X back then' and of course, the reader is alrea
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I think this was my favorite of the series so far. Loved how every motive was suspect and no facts seemed certain, especially about Behemoth and the fate of the surface. Enjoyed the return to the ocean floor setting, but disliked its exclusivity, after opening up the world and scope so much in Maelstrom. Lenie's getting whiny, don't understand why so many people want to follow her now, liked her better as The Destroyer of Worlds. Is Desjardins supposed to be a sympathetic character or a villain? ...more
Compared to the previous book, Maelstrom, this book had significantly fewer passages that focused primarily on technology and science. This third book was more character and story-driven and I thought it moved at a faster pace.

This story held my interest, but it never quite captured me like the first book (Starfish) did. Perhaps it’s because in Starfish the world and the characters were still new and interesting. The story in Starfish was good, but I think it was elevated by the uniqueness of th
Mar 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: at-home
The first of the two part last book of the Rifters Trilogy, this is almost a full and complete story in itself, however it is only the first part of an actual full and complete story. At this point, we're still following our hero, but other characters from the previous book Maelstrom are still around. This is five years after the end of the last book.

I enjoyed this one because we return to the depths of the ocean and some of the social dysfunction of the first book. It is sadly only the first pa
Andreea Pausan
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
After the strangeness of the deep and the revenge carried by Lennie across the continents, 5 years later, the civilization is almost destroyed. Virtual Lennie survives and fights and replicates and dies in the remaining jungle of the Maelstrom. Achilles Desjardins is a demi-god finally giving in to his sadistic psychopath nature while holding the fort against the catastrophes plaguing the planet. At the bottom of the Atlantic, "fish-heads"and "corpses" have a fragile alliance, ready to collapse ...more
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Part one of the conclusion of the Rifters trilogy opens five years after Maelstrom, in a world in which Lenie and a bunch of Rifters have an uneasy truce with the "corpses" (corporate types) in their subsea station, a disjunctive development I didn't find entirely plausible, but of course it doesn't last, as things get even worse. Not really a stand-alone; ends on a cliff-hanger, with a new biothreat, called Seppuku, on the loose, and Clarke and Lubin headed back to the surface for what one can ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
well written with a lot more emphasis on the people and I'm glad to have Lenie back in the water but ultimately there's something about this book I just didn't enjoy (prbly Nolan).Lenie seems to have lost most of her punch and while it's nice to have her be the more grounded sympathetic character she's lost whatever it was that made her the meltdown Madonna and now she's just a passenger along for the ride.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Oh man, we've really hit bottom haven't we? While the computerese in the previous one was awful, in this one it is plain ridiculous. And the plot is, by now, a tired old thing. Behemoth in the first book was a superbug, in the second they have something they can do about, and in the the third somebody tweaks it? What, just to carry the story forward? Run out of ideas have we, Mr. Watts?

I'm giving up on Seppuku.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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