Book notes: Heaven’s River by Dennis Taylor

Heaven’s River by Dennis E Taylor book summary review and key ideas.

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Heaven’s River: Bobiverse, Book 4 by Dennis E. Taylor


Civil war looms in the Bobiverse in this brand-new, epic-length adventure by Audible #1 bestseller Dennis E. Taylor.

More than a hundred years ago, Bender set out for the stars and was never heard from again. There has been no trace of him despite numerous searches by his clone-mates. Now Bob is determined to organize an expedition to learn Bender’s fate — whatever the cost.

But nothing is ever simple in the Bobiverse. Bob’s descendants are out to the 24th generation now, and replicative drift has produced individuals who can barely be considered Bobs anymore. Some of them oppose Bob’s plan; others have plans of their own. The out-of-control moots are the least of the Bobiverse’s problems.

Undaunted, Bob and his allies follow Bender’s trail. But what they discover out in deep space is so unexpected and so complex that it could either save the universe — or pose an existential threat the likes of which the Bobiverse has ever faced.” -Audible

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Opening thoughts:

I’m pretty excited to read this book because I loved the first three parts of this series. I’m excited to see where the story goes in this last installment. I thought that the third book seemed like a proper ending to a trilogy, so I’m curious what this one will be about.

Key notes:

Part One: The Search for Bender

Chapter 1: Frenemies

  • The Pavs were surviving on their new planet but didn’t trust the Bobs, despite the Bobs helping them out

Chapter 2: working the options

  • There was a lot of personality drift between the different generations of Bobs
  • Bob was busy looking for Bender and tracing his path to see any reason he might have deviated

Chapter 3: Trouble

  • There was a section of Bob’s that were antagonistic to any interference or mandates from the senior Bobs
  • Bob encountered someone using advanced technology, but also found the remains of Bender

Chapter 4: Collection Run

Chapter 5: Investigation

  • Bob found out that Bender has been taken and extracted, possibly to be studied

Chapter 6: the search expands

Chapter 7: looking forward

Chapter 8: survey results

  • The Bobs made a plan to infiltrate this new alien world and split up the duties based on different groups

Chapter 9: Group Building

  • They checked in with the groups to organize responsibilities, but also figured they needed Bridget’s expertise for the expedition 

Chapter 10: Things Are Coming Together

Chapter 11: Breaking In

Chapter 12: Expedition Prep

  • Bridget agreed to be on the expedition and they shared preliminary findings so far

Chapter 13: Swimming with the Fish

  • Bridget, Howard, and Marcus were swimming around in the dolphin creatures on Poseidon to get a feel for being an aquatic species

Chapter 14: Council of War

Chapter 15: Functional Testing

  • They were doing android tests with the beavers species’ body

Chapter 16: Human Replicant Reserve

Chapter 17: First Day in Heaven’s River

  • They started the exploration as Quinlans

Chapter 18: Not Part of the Plan

Chapter 19: You Did What?

  • Overall, the Quinlan’s lifestyle was pretty idyllic, like living in Eden
  • Attention to detail for the entire living structure was amazing

Chapter 20: Just in Case

Chapter 21: Getting Involved

  • They tried to rescue Steve but was ambushed by a group of natives

Chapter 22: Living in Interesting Times

  • They were ambushed by presumably the resistance group but they handled them easily

Chapter 23: dancing with dragons

Chapter 24: interlude

  • Bob said they would discuss what may happen in the future if the Starfleet group kept expanding and wanted more power
  • It seems like Utopia doesn’t last long and isn’t stable

Chapter 25: Trouble Follows

  • They were ambushed again and couldn’t figure out if it was Steve’s attackers, another group, or someone who represented the administration government
  • Bridget learned from chatting with people that the Quinlans changed from a world with boundaries and finite space to this infinite space without boundaries due to some God who relocated them
    • If anyone breaks the rules, they get scattered and aren’t allowed to have technology
  • Bridget speculated that this idyllic life will slowly reduce the intelligence of the Quinlans until they were simply animals

Chapter 26: Tensions Rise

  • Bob and Garfield discussed how their viewpoints of being involved with humans might slowly become the minority within the Bobiverse

Chapter 27: Just Passing Through

Chapter 28: United Federation of Sentients

  • The UFS What discussing how to handle the Pavs potentially launching into space and claiming territory
    • The humans wanted to claim the territory before them, assuming they didn’t want to go to war

Chapter 29: Panic Time

  • Suddenly all of the relay stations shut down and Bob was on his own to take care of the expedition
  • They decided the best course of action was for Bob to clone himself to handle the rest of the expedition while they handled the communication issue

Chapter 30: Starfleet Attack

  • Lenny, a rep of Starfleet, admitted to forcing their political views down the Bobs throat
    • Bill berated him then kicked him out and banned all of them from Bobnet
  • Bill ordered all the Bobs to do a full audit and security lockdown
  • In the AI project, they could simulate an existing intelligence but not create one from scratch

Chapter 31: Strategies

Chapter 32: Losing on Purpose

  • Bob got captured by one resistance group according to plan and was questioned by their leader

Chapter 33: Ultimatums

  • Starfleet essentially declared war and there was full on espionage happening

Chapter 34: Higher-Ups

  • Bill was being interrogated by some of the resistance higher-ups

Part Two: Perverse Instantiations

Chapter 1: Escape

  • Bob found Bender working with the resistance within a radio box, rescued him and escaped
  • He chatted with Bender about the current situation and eventually found out that Hugh was going to clone himself himself locally to help Bob

Chapter 2: A Second Visit

Chapter 3: Up the Creek

  • Bob regrouped with the other Manny’s, taking roamer and knifes for money, then set out to the next town

Chapter 4: Played

Chapter 5: Hugh Joins Up

  • Hugh and Skippy group did experiments that seemed to conclude if you transport a Bob, there is no replicative drift
    • But clones will experience drift if the original is not taken down
    • That means Bob 1 has the soul of original Bob

Chapter 6: The War Heats Up

  • The humans cut off Starfleet Bobs and they were able to pinpoint a home location area

Chapter 7: The Battle of Newholme

  • One of the Bobs who was working with the human left his planet already before they issued an arrest for Bob’s and all their assets

Chapter 8: The Search

Chapter 9: A Declaration of War

  • The United Federation made statements of war against the faction group of Starfleet but the Bobs knew that there was a risk of the biologicals turning against them

Chapter 10: Catching the Train

  • Bob gained access to the train via the key card he stole

Chapter 11: The War in the Meatspace

  • There was a threat from the humans to lock out the Bobs
    • They might also ask legislation to restrict Manny use 

Chapter 12: Halep’s Ending

  • He found Bender’s matrix and they filled each other in
  • The administrator was an AI, and the Skippies (Hugh) have a motive to help with the expedition for their AI project
  • He managed to escape to Bender and made a plan to get to a safe location through another transport area

Chapter 13: Getting Busy

  • Neil and Herschel showed Will their projects they’ve been experimenting with

Chapter 14: Getting Out

  • While still on the run, he was trying to figure out how to get out of town while carrying Bender’s matrix

Chapter 15: Frustrations Mount

  • Bridget wanted to avoid the politics and lay low by going on an adventure away from people

Chapter 16: Still Trying

  • He had deep intellectual in scientific discussion with the old women Teresa
  • The rich fat Quinlan and also trying to break into his suitcase but Bob stopped him

Chapter 17: Trolling for Treasure

  • Bill was playing a dungeon with some gamers and learned from Gandalf that replicative drift it wasn’t bad because it brought diversity to their game playing

Chapter 18: Trouble with Snidely

  • The iron rule: treat people less powerful than you however you want
  • The silver rule: treat others the way you want to be treated
  • The golden rule: treat others the way they want to be treated
  • Teresa caught him with the cube and he was honest with her and told her the truth
    • She appreciated it and let him go

Chapter 19: Recall Is a Thing

Chapter 20: Moving On

  • Police ended up finding him and taking him down to the station

Chapter 21: Earth Abides

  • Carol wants Bob responsible for the Earth rehabilitation project and he has been making some progress

Chapter 22: Another Close Call

  • He escapes the jail and set off in the river to catch the boat that left with Bender on it
  • He met up with Hugh who helped him waterproof the crate and seal Bender in

Chapter 23: The Road to Garack’s Spine

  • Bob and Hugh split up so they could evade police forces

Chapter 24: Negotiations

  • Lenny, the rep from Starfleet told Bill that they were winning in their eyes because their plan damaged the reputation of the Bobiverse and Verts

Chapter 25: Crossover

  • Bob and Hugh managed to get around the blockade

Chapter 26: Winding Down

  • The war was winding down but now the humans were racing to claim more systems in space

Chapter 27: We’ve Arrived

  • Bob and Hugh were ambushed when they finally arrived at their town, and had to fight through their attackers

Chapter 28: Claiming Victory

  • Starfleet ended the war and called a truce but realized they would have to remain separate
    • But Bill knew there was more to this

Chapter 29: Dodging

  • The AI named Annec proclaimed that his sole function was to keep the Quinlan race alive and has done so for the past 20 generations
    • Now he’s listing and will cooperate with the Quinlan in the next phase
  • Hugh talked to the AI and made a deal in order to secure their freedom
    • But he wouldn’t tell Bob until later

Chapter 30: Clean Up

  • Hugh revealed they traded their own technology for the AI technology from Annec

Chapter 31: It Hits the Fan

  • Annec attended the Bob moot and most people didn’t like the agreement
    • But their technology in building a habitable environment means they’d only need a stable star to create new homes for humans

Chapter 32: A Few Loose Ends

  • Bill and Bob revealed to their small group that they suspect the Skippies were responsible for the Starfleet attack because they wanted the AI technology
  • They discussed now that the Quinlans were free, they were a potential threat to humans just like the Pavs
    • Now they continue to be the guardians of the galaxy

Chapter 33: Coda

  • He met up with Teresa in Heaven’s River and offered her a chance to become a replicant like him

Closing thoughts:

This was a great ending to the series! It definitely felt like an extra adventure to the main plot that happened from books 1-3, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

I do love how it closed the loop on Bender’s unsolved mystery. And it was great how they brought Bob back into the fold as the main protagonist.

The other idea I really liked was how they explored “replicative drift” as well as the idea of “souls.” It was something I wondered about, but I’m glad that they tied up that loose end.

It would be cool if they eventually turned these books into movies. It’s such an epic, sci-fi story. Not sure if it would translate well into the big screen, or even into a series, but I’d definitely be interested in it.

Overall, highly recommend if you like the series (obviously) and if you in general love a good sci-fi reading.

One Takeaway / Putting into practice:

Probably the biggest and most obvious takeaway for me would be:

  • The *true* golden rule: treat others the way they want to be treated

This makes sense, especially the way Teresa explained it. It’s important to remember not to treat others the way you want to be treated, but rather the way they want to be treated.


Book 4 in the Bobiverse series has original Bob in search of Bender who went missing years ago. Bob has to work with the rest of the Bobiverse to bring him home from a place called “Heaven’s River.”

Similar books:


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


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