Originaly released in 1988, this collaboration between grandmaster Arthur C Clarke and Gentry Lee is a mixed pleasure.
The story starts in 1994 with the Marines testing a new missile. Predictibly something goes wrong and the missile mysteriously disappears.
Journalist Carol Dawson, using equipment provided by her friend/lover, Dr. Dale Michaels from the Miami Oceanographic Institute, goes to investigate the rumors of a missing missile and along the way hires a boat from Nick Williams & Jefferson Troy.
This is where things start to get interesting because during the dive they find an strange and mysterious artifact. Ultimately, we learn that the artifact is actually a cradle that contains seeds with genetically engineered species based on samples retrieved from Earth millions of years ago.
Behing this trully great premise lies flawed execution. It has been often reported that over 90% novel was written by Gentry Lee and it sure shows. Plot and character development are among the worst I have ever read and the slow slug through the book is painful. If you combine this with the awful sex scenes, you get unsatisfactory journey where, in the end, you just don't care that much about the cradle or the characters and that is a shame because based on the original idea, this could've easily have been a classic.