"2061: Odyssey Three", however, leaves something to be desired and definitely cannot be regarded in the same light as the previous two books. Clarke's undeniable wit and especially his gift for writing prose are still very much present, but I find "2061" to be lacking a bit too much in the plot department. Forget the drama, tension and mysticism of the "2001" and "2010", because unfortunately you won't find that here. More importantly, we are not let in on much more regarding the Dave Bowman mysterious existence - or lack thereof - and the few we get about that and Europa's secret is scarce at best and confusing at worst. And it's frustrating that every situation that could possibly lend itself to something interesting and dramatic ends up resolving itself in a banal fashion.
Even the under-achievements of Clarke are not bad books. And it's certainly hard for me to classify "2061" as a bad work. The problem is, the standard had been set so high that "2061" just doesn't live up to it. Perhaps the final odyssey, "3001", sets the record straight? No matter. "2010" and especially "2001" more than make up for everything else, even if they leave a lot of questions hanging in the air - or should I say, in the void of deep space?