Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee
In this sequel to Rendevous with Rama what appears to be a second Raman spaceship is approaching our solar system. It is about 50 years later, and Earth has gone through some catastrophic upheavals politically and economically. A group of the most intelligent people in the world are put together to be cosomonauts on a new mission to investigate this ship. Military and civilian scientists are mixed together in the group.
There are personality conflicts within the group. One cosmonaut is going along as a journalist, not as a scientist. She may be involved with two of the men on the trip. Different scientists have different ego problems. At least one wants to be in charge of all decisions of how the expeditions inside the alien ship will be handled. Another only wants to explore one of the cities located inside, sure it holds the secrets to Rama. One man wants to expand his Christian faith to see how the Ramans are included. Others have their own agendas as well.
This book holds the intrigue of exploration of a foreign ship and adds the action of human interaction. The narration starts after Rama II has been sited; it starts before the take off so we get some on Earth history of the cosmonauts who will be the central characters as the tale unfolds. This book is a worthy sequel to Rendevous with Rama. I am pleased that the Christian is not portrayed as a fanatic. Instead he is a man of great faith despite the others around him. The cosmonaut that seems to come unbalanced is well written as he tries to split the group.
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