Since there are some spoilers for the first two books in the Space Odyssey series, I’ll put this behind a spoiler cut.
[Spoiler (click to open)]
This book is about Heywood Floyd (from the first two novels) aged 103, going to visit Halleys Comet, but soon becomes a story about a rescue mission to a craft that has landed on Europa, which apparently humans aren’t allowed to land on according to a cryptic message received from the alien Monoliths. Also, Jupiter has been devoured (as of the end of 2010: Odyssey Two), making way for a new sun called Lucifer.
The best bits of this book are the vivid way that Arthur C. Clarke describes the spectacular alien landscapes, including “sharks” swimming around in the oceans of Europa, but apart from that the story felt a bit unoriginal, and was very slow moving, and far too long-winded at times, being very talky and full of detailed backstories of characters and events, which at times just felt like they were there to pad the story out.
The book also has Dave Bowman and Hal showing up again, though they only make a brief appearance at the end.
Overall, it wasn’t a great book, and not as good as the two that went before it, but worth giving a go.
Next book: Equal Rites (Terry Pratchett)