This is a book unlike any other I have read so far. I have not read much sci-fi before and as Arthur C Clarke is a sci-fi legend, I decided to start with one of his most notable works – although it is certainly not a light read, as it packs an awful lot to think about into just under 250 pages.
The story begins in the year 2130 when a large celestial body is detected just outside the orbit of Jupiter. At first scientists think it is a comet but on closer inspection it is revealed to be a cylinder, so geometrically perfect that it must have been created by some form of life. It looks like mankind is not alone in the universe...
The plot focuses on a group of astronauts who explore the mysterious depths of this alien structure, becoming more and more confused by its purpose. It seems that nothing is as it first appears on the newly-christened Rama.
Upon completing this book my brain was metaphorically exploding with thoughts and questions, as the ending is inconclusive and so left me almost with more questions than when the characters entered Rama. However, I believe that this is for the better, as I don’t think that any conclusion would have been satisfactory after the sense of wonder and marvel created by what was going on inside Rama.
Another thing I enjoyed very much about this book is that it is one of few in which you are as clueless as the characters in the story, as you never know what the author’s imagination will come up with next! All in all, this book posed a very imaginative and awe-inspiring answer to the ever-present question, Are we alone?
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