Today I finished up the third volume in Asimov’s original Foundation trilogy. I know that after the original three books he wrote 4 other volumes dealing with the Foundation, but the original trilogy tells a complete story.
Third book in the series. Sequel to Foundation & Foundation and Empire
Similar to the first two books, we’re introduced to a wide range of characters. One of the most notable characters in this book was Arcadia, a 14 year old girl who is very smart and capable, much to her father’s chagrin at times. All of the characters were well written, but Arcadia was really the only one in this book to stand out for me. Although the Mule is in this book as well.
The second book in the series dealt with what happens when Seldon’s plan is knocked away from it’s intended course due to the appearance of the Mule. This book shows how the Mule is ultimately defeated and how Seldon’s plan gets placed back into motion to bring about the second galactic empire.
I’m a little torn by this book. I really enjoyed the story, but I was a little upset that it was similar in structure to the second book – only having 2 main episodes as opposed to 5 in the first book. It was really interesting to watch everything in the book fall into place, and everything works within the framework of the story. All that said, I have one major issue with this book, the writing is dated. The story is very good, but there are some long passages of infodumping that are tedious to get through. Asimov also uses some dirty tricks to hide information from the reader until he decides to tell it to you. While it’s an issue with the book, it’s not really a weakness, more a sign of the book’s age. I really enjoyed the book.
A fitting conclusion to one of Science Fiction’s most revered stories.
I said in my post for the first book that the scope of this book should be the definition of the word Epic in fiction, and after finishing the trilogy, I stand by that assessment. The writing of the series – particularly in the third book – was a bit dated at times, but the quality of the story still stands.
When it comes to reading I tend to pigeonhole myself as more of a Fantasy Fan than Science Fiction. At times in this series the science got a little rough for me to follow, but it’s overall a fairly easy read as relates to the science. If you’re even a casual fan of Science Fiction this is a worthwhile series to look into, and while the first book is the strongest, the sequels are also quite good.