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Is it necessary to read "Sundiver" before reading this book, or does it work as a standalone?

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Daniel Bratell It works standalone. The characters are new and the spoilers on the first book are minimal. The only part of Sundiver that you would really miss is the background on the universe and the political system but it's pretty much reiterated anyway.
Joel Bradshaw Just confirming: Daniel is spot-on. The first book gives you a little more insight into the universe/uplift politics/background, but that's all reiterated plenty well enough in this one. The story is completely different and standalone.

That said, Sundiver was an excellent book as well, and I highly recommend it, but you can easily read it after this and not have any issues.
T. Ellis Reading this series for the first time, I'll just add on to the others' comments that I *wish* I listened to reviews and skipped Sundiver. It almost turned me off from continuing this series -- it was so obnoxiously bad. Great world-building and conceptually fascinating, but terrible characters and plot. Ughhhh, so bad.
Rodzilla Any of the three, Sundiver, Startide Rising, or the Uplift War, could be read as a good stand alone novel. Sundiver, slightly weaker, could be left out with no problem. But I think for maximum enjoyment one would read Startide Rising, and the Uplift War in sequence. There is a synergy there, even though both stand alone.
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by David Brin (Goodreads Author)
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