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Second Foundation Book Review Summary

The first half of this book is GREAT, perhaps the best part of any Foundation book ever written. It details the story of the Mule, firmly in charge of the galaxy, as he tries to track down the second foundation. He commissions a search led by Hans Pritcher, one of his converted generals, and a new guy, Bail Channis. To make a long story short, Bail Channis is a second foundationer, and tries to lure the Mule to a remote planet, Rossem, as part of a trap. The Mule shows up, but knew all along that it was a trap and that Bail was a second foundationer, and destroys the planet is believes is the home of the second foundation, the nearby planet of Tazenda.

But then the Mule finds out that neither Tazenda or Rossem is the Foundation, and the second foundationers have used this opportunity to send their men to his home planet to unconvert them and get them to fight the Mule. The Mule, seeing he's defeated, lowers his mental guard and allows the second foundationers to mentally readjust him.

While this was one of the best stories from a dramatical perspective. It didn't make a lot of sense. If the Mule knew that Channis was a second foundationer, why would he expect Channis to lead him to the second foundation? Couldn't he simply learn everything Channis knew by converting him on the spot? The second foundationers told the Mule they had sent their agents to his home planet the previous day; couldn't the Mule have sent a radio message home telling his people not to accept any new ships? The ending, in short, seemed too pat.

The second half of this book was awful, perhaps the worst of the original trilogy. It details the story of a little girl as she inadvertantly uncovers the second foundation. The idea behind the story, of the second foundation "allowing" itself to be uncovered by the first foundation, is an interesting one, but the way it was written was very boring and juvenile, unless one likes reading stories where the main protagonist is about 10 years old and pining for her mommie and daddy. At the end of the book the second foundation sacrifices a few of its agents to convince the first foundation that they've been located. But of course, they haven't.

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Second Foundation

The first half of this book is really great. It details the story of the Mule, the dictator of the galaxy who uses mind control to reenforce his power, as he hunts, and is hunted by the Second Foundation, an organization of telepaths. Finally, only at the end of the first half do we figure out who has maneuvered whom.

The second half focuses on a little girl in the center of a conspiracy by the telepaths of the second foundation.
This report prepared by Steve








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Chapter Analysis of Second Foundation

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   deposing an evil leader    -   unraveling a conspiracy Mental/magical powers focus    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's If magical mental powers:    -   mind control

Setting

A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes How much dialogue?    -   mostly dialog

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Isaac Asimov Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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