The Gripping Hand (Mote Series #2)

The Gripping Hand (Mote Series #2)

by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

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Gripping Hand 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Contrived and confusing. Also very obviously the Sequel to Mote in God's Eye which you need to have read first. Even so it's very much a what else can we get out of this storyline type novel, complete with the same characters going back to the same world, albeit 30 years later. There are a few cosmetic changes in that Rod and Sally are now married and hence we get their kids instead, and one genuinally new character in that of the reporter Joyce. Trader Bury still fears the Moties and as he ends his career in espionage for the Navy in the company of Renner, he finds himself possessed of a desire to investigate the Motie blocking fleet to be sure it is still performing it's duties to keep the Empire safe from harm. There is quite a long prelude as we explore Bury's reasons for this desire, and the polticing necessary to allow him. Just about that time a massive Dues Et Machina means that a new Alderson point will be created in the Motie system hence reason to suppose that the Moties might escape despite the resolutness of the Navy Blockade. Bury and friends arrive in time to meet the Spacefaring Moties, very very different from the society found on Motie Prime. Lots of factions, poltics and fighting over scant resources of outer space. The factions and politics are difficult to follow. Especially when a 2nd human ship is involved, and it becomes tough to remember which human is on which ship, what they know, and which Moties they're dealing with. At the saem time you're trying to envisage 3D movement of ships through space and stars. This is not easy even when it's well written, which this (although not bad) isn't. This confusion mars what was otherwise quite an entertaining section. Eventually most things are sort of resolved, but the books stops abruptly before we learn any of the details. This is annoying as their has been quite a detail focus up until this point.It isn't as good as the previous volume, by any means. The wonder of the Motie system can't be relived by just visiting there again, no matter how many new details you try and add. The experiences of First Contact arne't just replicatable. But it isn't a bad book, not too shabby a sequel. There is space for even more work on the end of it, but I probably won't be reading it.
JonathanGorman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eh, still a read that pulls someone in, but the actual trip to the Motie system is somehow disappointing and the end seems a bit abrupt and overly chaotic. The volume I read also had some weird editing mistakes, occasionally using a character's name that couldn't have been there. (Jennifer instead of Joyce when they've already separated and all the conversation is between Joyce and another Motie.)
Karlstar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the follow on to The Mote in God's Eye, a science fiction classic. As such, it completes the story, but doesn't add as much to is as you'd like.
GlavoRoma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let me start by stating I am a huge fan of "The Mote in God's Eye." I have re-read it many times. Maybe that is why I find this book so disappointing. I've started this book three times and each time I have put it down out of boredom and plain disinterest.
fordj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent and very imaginative hard science with aliens read - highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the believable depiction of very different alien race and culture.
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klobber More than 1 year ago
A good read, just a little bit below the quality of the first book. Some parts got really hard to follow.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly unrecommend this book. I love Larry Niven's early works, including the first Mote book, and this is simply an insult to his memory. The characters' behavior is solely dictated by the requirement of pushing them around to different locales without regard for logic. And the plot is simply an insult. And while some of the characters act as if the first book never happened, other characters act in completely different ways that don't even make sense compared with their earlier incarnation. Oh yeah, everyone's an idiot. All the characters are entirely stupid and never do the right thing. Had any of these characters done the right thing, the book would have been dreadfully boring, but it really was pretty boring anyway. I've read this book twice (the second time to convince myself that I wasn't mistaken (I wasn't)) and read the first Mote book many many times. And I would much rather read the first one again than to ever read the second one ever. If you read the first one and would like to know how everything turned out, take my advice and just leave it alone. You don't want to know. Unless, of course, you're an idiot who likes to be pandered to and you don't care what you read, in which case you might really like this one. But if you don't enjoy wasting your time, don't read this book. There are a lot of great Niven books out there, and by the time you finish reading the last one, you'll have already forgotten how great the first one is. And if not, there's always Clarke or Asimov.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this sequel to The Mote in God¿s Eye, humans and the alien ¿Moties¿ once again come into contact with dramatic results. The Empire of Man has a blockade to keep the Moties bottled up in their own system because the Moties are explosively expansive and would quickly overrun the Empire. Horace Bury, an Imperial Trader, and Kevin Renner, his pilot, travel through the Empire helping Naval Intelligence quell rebellion. But Bury and Renner, veterans from the first contact with the Moties, have another goal: to make sure that the Moties stay penned up in their system. When they find possible evidence that the Moties may escape, they pull all the strings they can find in order to visit the blockade. Events unfold quickly and they end up once more in the Mote system, trying to prevent a disaster. They have help of Chris and Glenda Ruth Blain, the two children of the first expedition¿s captain. The Blaine¿s have unique insight into the situation because they grew up around the only Moties allowed into the Empire. The tension is thick at times, and the space battles are well plotted. However, there are large stretches consisting of political intrigue and Motie history lessons that slow down the plot considerably. I think the sections are interspersed well enough to hold the reader¿s interest. Some of the plot twists were hard to follow, especially once the Moties are involved. However, considering the chaos involved during battles and throwing in completely alien thought patters, it¿s probably fair to have some confusion in the plot. The characters are engaging, but I found it a little annoying that some of them just drop out of the story at the end without resolutions. The Gripping Hand is definitely easier to read if you have the background found in The Mote in God¿s Eye. However, like most sequels, it doesn¿t live up to the promise of the first book. It¿s entertaining, but not destined to be a classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though I have not read the previous book, The Mote inGod's Eye's, I really enjoy this one. I like the way it combines history with the future in a unique manner. The whole book was phenominal. I give Niven and Pournelle a standing ovation for thier miraculous achievement.