2010: Odyssey Two (1982)

2010: Odyssey Two Review

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2010: Odyssey Two Review

2010: Odyssey Two is a 1982 science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is a sequel to ‘2001’ and it is a very good, at times brilliant book which is still not fantastic.

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Whether we are based on carbon or

on silicon makes no fundamental difference;

we should each be treated with appropriate respect

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2010: Odyssey Two Review

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I won’t describe the plot here as it very complicated and needs to be read to be fully understood, but I will say that it is again very well written by Clarke whose writing is always phenomenal and filled with great descriptions as well as scientific approach. I found the entire storyline to be very interesting and actually quite different from its predecessor which is commendable.

The parts about Europa were fascinating. I did not like that the Chinese were so clich├ęd in their depictions, but at least the Russians were very well depicted. I loved how the Russians and the Americans worked together here, so wonderful to witness. But back to Europa, I was always fascinated by this planet and here those chapters certainly did not disappoint.

David Bowman was interestingly utilized, but I wish HAL was more memorable. The entire last third was stellar with a superb Jupiter disintegration sequence which was amazing to behold. And of course its very intriguing epilogue was simply fascinating, incredibly authentic and a perfect way to end the novel.

So I loved the first third and I adored the last one, but I honestly did not love the middle parts. That is mostly because the pacing was sluggish there, some of the chapters were admittedly quite boring and it relied too heavily on its characters where the characterization here was clunky from the beginning.

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2010: Odyssey Two Review

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It is actually pretty good for sci-fi standards, but not needed in my opinion plus it has way too many characters. Floyd is very good as the protagonist and I liked that he was back for this installment. Dr. Chandra certainly has his moments. And that’s about it as the others, although perfectly fine, are not great plus the romantic entanglements here were thoroughly unnecessary in my opinion.

Comparing it to ‘2001’, 2010 is definitely weaker, but not by large as some parts here are so exhilarating and so incredibly original and satisfactory that they rival its predecessor successfully. To me the book succeeds as a sequel because it is different from the original while still managing to give us some answers about some of the great questions asked before. It achieves that perfect balance between new and old and I liked it although I can definitely see why the fans of ambiguity would not like it themselves.

I can’t wait to read the sequel as this ending here definitely opened a lot of possibilities for a sequel which was great as it felt nuanced and natural instead of forced. Rarely have I read such a powerful epilogue such as this one here.

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2010: Odyssey Two Review

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2010: Odyssey Two is very oddly paced, but it is so well written and so fascinating in its plot and memorable in its imagery that I was enthralled more than a couple of times while reading it. I just wish that it was a bit tighter and it would have been awesome, but this way it ended up being very good and at times even great, but not amazing I’m afraid.

Nuanced and rich in terms of storytelling and fascinating in its imagery and especially the epilogue, 2010: Odyssey Two succeeds as a sequel to one of the best novels ever as it gives us some answers to the questions posed before while still giving us some new things. And although the characters are far from great and the middle parts are somewhat dull, this sci-fi work is still more than satisfactory and capable enough that it succeeds in spades as a great sequel.

My Rating – 4.6

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