I read the first three of Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey novels years ago. I read the first novel, 2001 - A Space Odyssey, shortly after I saw the movie on the big silver screen; I wanted to read it because the events depicted by Clarke and Kubrick in the film left me a bit shy of understanding what they were trying to show. Reading the book cleared that up for me a bit, but I still wondered about the true intent of Clarke’s story.
When the sequel, 2010 - The Year We Make Contact, came out, I rented the DVD (or VHS, don’t remember) and watched it at home. It was more easily understandable than the first in the series, but I was inclined to read the book anyhow, so I did. To my surprise, the movie had left out a complete sequence from the book; in addition to the joint Russian/American expedition to Jupiter, there was a separate Chinese expedition which ended in disaster on Europa. A sole Chinese survivor of the disaster reported to the Russian/American crew that they had landed on Europa only to find that their lights had attracted some sort of gigantic life form that capsized and destroyed their spacecraft. Other than the omission, the movie followed the book pretty well.
The next sequel in the series, 2061 - Odyssey Three, was never made into a film and neither was 3001 - The Final Odyssey. Tom Hanks was involved in the proposals for films for both, but they never panned out. I did read the 2061 novel, but I won’t go into any details other than to say that there was an expedition to Halley’s Comet and that there was a crash landing on Europa and a subsequent rescue. The book was entertaining, but not the best in the series.
This week, I finally got around to reading 3001 - The Final Odyssey. I ordered the book last week, got it yesterday and started reading it then and finished it today (only 237 pages long, not including epilog and references). I won’t post any spoilers in case you want to read it yourself, but there is a complete plot summary here. I give the book 3.5 out of 5 stars.