Book Reviews of The Companions

The Companions
The Companions
Author: Sheri S. Tepper
ISBN-13: 9780060538224
ISBN-10: 0060538228
Publication Date: 9/1/2004
Pages: 549
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 50

3.8 stars, based on 50 ratings
Publisher: Eos
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

10 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Companions on + 1525 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Tepper has done it again! Would you believe an intergalactic mystery combined with an interpersonal pheremones, various interweaving combinations of baddies of competing species and planets--with betrayal at every level? Hold on to your hats, because it is a real page-turner.
Three planets in deep space were named by their human discoverers to reflect their environments: lush but forbidding Jungle, which swallowed up an exploratory team; Stone, phenomenally rich in gemstones and rare ores; and Moss, the most enigmatic--and dangerous--of the trio.
Joining her half-brother Paul, the famed linguist, on a two-person scientific expedition, Jewel Delis has come to Moss to observe the phenomenon of dancing light and to help decipher the strange musical "language" that accompanies it. But there are other mysteries alive on this exotic world covered in ever-shifting vegetation--and something more than illuminations has enticed her away from a disastrously overpopulated homeworld to seek answers at the universe's unexplored edge. For Jewel herself is a question mark with a radical agenda that will put her at perilous odds with her planet's ruling powers--and with the inscrutable alien races she encounters--as she risks all for justice for the endangered beasts of the Earth.
reviewed The Companions on + 293 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Sherri Tepper is wonderful. I highly recommend anything by her. Right up there with Asimov and Heinlein, in my book!
reviewed The Companions on + 168 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wonderful! Another great book by Tepper!

This book had a little bit of everything - satire (quite funny at that), drama, action, romance, and quite a bit of philosophy/ethics peppered in between. It reads so well, and quite quickly at that. I read it in less than 2 days. I kept trying to force myself to slow down, to really absorb all the ideas and questions in here ... but, I was way too eager to get to the end! It's definitely a book I will be re-reading just so I can fully absorb all the philosophical and ethical opinions/viewpoints shown. Definitely a book that makes you think. But, also, just a wonderful story in and of itself.

Would recommend this to others for sure.
reviewed The Companions on + 774 more book reviews
A mature and well-crafted work.
I personally find the sci-fi scenario where humans are squished together in huge building complexes that they rarely leave, and all other lifeforms have been forced into extinction due to humanity's lack of caring or active malevolence, to be truly terrifying, as it is all too likely that that is truly the direction that we are heading in.

I thought Tepper's point that a race that cannot co-exist in its natural environment is unlikely to be able to co-exist with itself is also relevant....

I find it incomprehensible that the forces behind environmental destruction are often those also touting Christianity as a prerequisite for civilisation...
If an all-knowing, benificent god created all life on this earth, then is not wantonly destroying that life the worst blasphemy imaginable? An insult to god's creation?
But - that's what they're doing, and I liked how she linked the anti-environmentalists to far-right religious groups in her theoretical IGY-HFO group.

HOWEVER

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In the Companions, I thought Tepper really ruined the force of her message by, at the end, revealing that the aliens/gods had saved the thought-to-be-extinct animals by zapping them into heaven/alternate universe.
That was like, "don't worry about destroying species, I'm sure god will make sure we don't really do it..." I'm sorry, but gone is gone forever and there's no "feel-good" fix that can mitigate that all-too-real horror.

Also, I think that she didn't really do enough with the discussion of genetic tampering that was brought up with the use of Zhaar technology. Is it ethical to tamper with a creature's natural way of existence to "improve" it? Is it really "saving" the species? This is a complex and relevant issue, and it was mostly avoided.

Making the Simusi so wholeheartedly and irrevocably evil, after linking them with the lovable and benign dogs, also created some oddities in the plot, I thought. It seemed that Tepper couldn't make up her mind whether "pets" are enslaved or not. Sometimes it seemed like she was arguing FOR having domestic animals, with all the old saws about friendship between species, and maybe the dogs think they've domesticated us - then in the scenes with the Simusi and their human slaves, the parallels are drawn (very heavy-handedly) to indicate that we have terribly enslaved domestic animals.... I was like, say what you want, but make up your mind!
reviewed The Companions on + 287 more book reviews
It took me a long time to get into, and it was never a page turner. At times, it was way too technical for my taste - I just wanted Tepper to get on with the story, which was good though Tepper's usual agenda was quite clear throughout. But it did give me a lot of ideas to think about - and I'll probably never look at dogs the same way again. *grin*
reviewed The Companions on + 29 more book reviews
Fairly typical Sheri Tepper. Not her best, which means better than a lot of other authors could do. She does seem to use a hammer to drive home her moral message where a lighter touch might do.
reviewed The Companions on + 21 more book reviews
Wow, another fabulous, unique read by Tepper!
reviewed The Companions on + 61 more book reviews
In this future world Earth is overcrowded and its young people have started colonies on planets in other solar systems. Young, intelligent Jewel finds the last dogs left and helps to protect them and improve the breed with the wish to find a planet where dogs can thrive. Along the way she meets many other beings from far away. She becomes a spy . She lives on a planet covered in moss that sometimes eats people. By the end of the book she has the answers to many questions that she had to live with all her life. An often surprising and very original sci fi adventure.
reviewed The Companions on + 22 more book reviews
Sheri S. Tepper is one of the best science fiction writers today; in fact, she is one of the best writers today. The Companions is a variation on one of her common themes, the lack of repect for the earth and for the other beings with whom we share it, and the interrelatedness of all things from the planetary to the galactic level. In the 23rd century, earth is overcrowded and many politicians are calling for getting rid of all life except humans. The protagonist, Jewel, is involved in an effort to save dogs from extinction, which eventually brings her to the planet Moss and to the Splendor. THe relationships between humans and dogs is lovingly explored and mined for a plot twist. Highly recommended.
reviewed The Companions on + 84 more book reviews
Good, enjoyable science fiction without a bunch of technical description of ships, weapons, etc., and very little romance. I have nothing against romance, I just get tired of it overwhelming a good plot. I really liked the description of the alien races in this book.