Reviews of 2061: Odyssey Three (1988)
Review by mrdude (2005-12-24)
2061: Odyssey Three, the third book in the Space Odyssey Series by Arthur C. Clarke
Yet another addition to the story of humans and monoliths. Odyssey Three jumps about half a century forward in time to continue the story of mankind's endeavors in space. My first impression of this novel was space opera. Now this usually implies no hard scientific background and might as well be classified as rouge fantasy adventures in space, which is not what this novel had to offer. This novel in fact did have some science up its sleeve, but I felt a much larger bulk (and much more than its two predecessors) was devoted to character development and plot line. It seemed to me that Clarke wanted to make this novel much more accessible to the masses, and in some ways it lost some of its luster for me because of that. I also wonder if much of my disappointment may be unfounded and only be due to lack of closure, which would be natural since there is one more volume in this series, perhaps much more is revealed in it.
There were many good aspects of this novel as well. The plot line drives the book a extremely quick place, something I find to be the case with most of Clarke's works. Situations that he presents are quite tantalising as well, the book in fact starts a group of scientists planing to do a manned landing on Haley's comet. Overall this is a good read, I would not suggest it as a stand alone novel by any means but as an addition to this series it fares moderately well.
(review also posted at the IBDoF)