Heaven's Reach
David Brin
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Get *Heaven's Reach* delivered to your door! Heaven's Reach

David Brin
Bantam Spectra
June 1998
447 pages
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Astrophysicist David Brin, whose voice is one of the most engrossing in the speculative fiction genre, finishes off his second Uplift trilogy with Heaven's Reach. Both Uplift trilogies have been odes to human "Wolfling" ingenuity (the first trilogy won him both Nebula and Hugo awards), and Brin caps the series in a manner fitting the Uplift spirit.

Curled Up With a Good BookThe planet Jijo, in a system declared fallow (off limits to colonization) by the Galactic Migration Institute, has in fact long been home to pockets of six fugitive races. These widely different groups of sapients, including humans, have developed a workable "sooner" colony where they live and work together in hiding from the denizens of the rest of the known universe. Their existence on Jijo is primitive and peaceful; their colonist ancestors destroyed their technologies by sinking them in the recycling waters of the Great Midden. Hidden and complacent, they've lived for centuries on this little backwater planet, undisturbed.

Undisturbed, that is, until the Earthship Streaker, crewed almost entirely by Uplifted dolphins and on the run with a cargo of ancient artifacts that could trigger a multi-galactic war, lands on Jijo. The upstart sapients of Earth, extremely junior members of the Civilization of the Five Galaxies, have inadvertently stumbled across the secrets of the Progenitors, a near-mythical race some believe to be the first bringers of sapience to the galaxies. Now, fleeing other races who would use these secrets to achieve singular dominance in the Five Galaxies, humans and their own client races of neo-chimpanzees and neo-dolphins have stumbled across the small multi-racial population of Jijo, a population that is criminal in the minds of the Migration Institute.

Jijo becomes the field of battle for Streaker's final, desperate maneuvers against Earth's enemies and against more ancient enemies of the Six Races on Jijo. As a prophesied apocalypse begins its explosive, deadly cycle, the only things standing between Earth's and Jijo's annihilations are the upstarts' Wolfling abilities to think outside of the Civilization's box and the secrets carried along with a small band of Jijoan sooners along for the ride, adolescent adventurers from Six Races whose presence will make all the difference in the universe to Jijo, the Streaker, and Earth.

David Brin takes his readers on another breathless and harrowing ride through the Uplift universe. A brilliant author whose science and style are perfect matches, both believable and gripping, Brin has written masterfully yet again of races and individuals, histories and prophecies that will give readers suspenseful chills and send desperate hearts racing.

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