Only one of the characters was at all likable.
Jamy's Grandfather and his strong belief and willingness to stand up for his Navaho upbringing were awesome.
This is a story about an expedition to Mars. And thats it. No surprises, no plot twists, no major highlight or peak. Mild drama and depressingly obvious plot. And what is the deal with Bova's personal "dossiers"? Too lazy to write a story that encapsulates the backstory and eloquently describes the different characters - just write a "dossier".
This book does not have a real ending ... mostly because it never gets started.
A huge dissapointment.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
Mars by Ben Bova is about Earth's first manned mission to mars. The book was written in 1992 so it might be a little out of date. The main character, Jamie, Is half Native American and the story makes a big fuss about racism in America towards this culture. This book isn't my favorite of those that I have read so far from Ben Bova. The story went by very slow. Yet, Ben Bova is a good enough writer to keep me interested enough to listen to the whole thing. Just do not expect high amount of action. This has a more realistic feel and might be more similar to a real mars mission, not some Buck Rogers fantasy adventure. I found the characters likable. I think mainly this book could have used a nice editing job and a little more suspense. Overall, I am satisfied with this read and I will continue to buy Ben Bova's work. A bunch of other stand alone novels falls in the same time line as this one, so there is more to look forward to after this read if you like it. As to that, I can recommend Empire Builders.
It wouldn't be on the top of my list to listen to again, but it was enjoyable.
No, but he did a great job on this one.
No, but it kept you interested in what was going to happen next.
Ended kind of abruptly. I thought there was more the author could have done with the end of the book. There were so many plot lines left hanging.
I've listened to several other books by Ben Bova, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, so I was pretty excited going into this new book. That excitement was quickly short lived when I realized that there was very little detail into the science-fiction aspect of the story. The technical jargon that I have come to expect from Bova was relatively absent. Not to mention that the first hour or so of the book is told through various characters, leaving no clear protagonist. I was slowly getting lost in my expectations of the book when right around the 1 hour mark, the protagonist introduces himself. It's done very surreptitiously, and you almost don't even notice it. However, once the leading character steps to the forefront of the story, that is when and where, the story comes to life!
Well, not the story story, but the backstory. You know, the little nuiansces of events that have already happened, that provide a more comfortable atmosphere for the present tense......Well, not so much here. In a very short period of time, you come to the profound realization that the backstory is so much better than the story itself! Yes, it does make the present tense infinitely more interesting, but the backstory is filled with drama, anxiety, suspense, mystery, politics, and most importantly, the darker sides of human nature. Bova really does a superb job of getting you into the minds of alot of different people, spanning the globe in terms of cultures and habits, and what he shows you is quite intruiging.
Stefan Rudnicki again does a good job in this audiobook with his wide range and his seemingly authentic accents.
In the end, the backstory detailing the human side of the Mars expedition is more compelling than any technical detail!
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
A very enjoyable look at the political and scientific challenges involved in a program of exploration of Mars. Rudnicki is great, as always. He did a more than respectable job of voices and accents.
Some of the technological references are dated and the characters take actions that I found a bit unlikely, but I enjoyed it overall. If you like your SciFi near-future and with predictable technology, then you will consider Mars to be time and credit well spent.
Nice listening,worth every cent.
of course i'll do,but i'll put some books in between.
Stefan it's very very good,nothing to add.
If steven spielberg or sodenbergh will do it,yes.
If you're looking for explosions and aliens or sci-fi high tech stuff coming to you every moment...let it go.
Mars is Ben Bova's love letter to space exploration; it's a novel-length booster for a manned Mars program. A very well-conceived and engaging (in places) novel, you should not read it expecting it to be space opera or really, any kind of adventure aside from the inevitable dangers of flying to another planet. Mars stays strictly hard SF, so even when the possibility of life on Mars arises, you can be sure it won't come in the form of ancient cities and little red men, nor hazardous beasties who need to be shot or run from.
The main character is Jamie Waterman, a half-Navajo geologist who is a member of the first Mars expedition. The expedition is a multinational effort, with astronauts and scientists from every country that could afford to chip in. Much of the drama in the book involves the politics of the mission — the Russians and the Americans jealously keep track of how many astronauts of each country get to join the landing party, the Japanese astronauts are hyper-conscious of how they are representing their country, and the promiscuous hottie who does every other man on the expedition deliberately drives the Russians crazy by not sleeping with them because Russians killed her grandfather fifty years ago. Meanwhile, back home the founder of the Mars project is trying to balance concerns for the mission (including the fact that his own daughter is one of the scientists on Mars) with satisfying the politicians, in whose hands rest the decision to send more Mars expeditions or not. There are politics in space and on the ground, along with dossiers on each character that add depth to their backgrounds so that we understand why each one behaves the way they do on the mission.
That said, while the characters were each fleshed out and the story is compellingly plausible, with just enough hazards introduced to make the mission more than a long walk in space, it's a little spare as sci-fi goes. The major life-threatening situation that arises — a "Mars flu" that mysteriously afflicts everyone and stumps all the physicians trying to figure out its cause — has a clever forehead-smacking solution. There are hints of Martian life that don't really develop into much by the end of the book, though they are enough to whet the appetites of scientists, and readers of subsequent books in this series. There is some political intrigue between Jaimie Waterman, his ambitious journalist girlfriend back on Earth, and the opportunistic Vice President of the United States, each of them trying to get what they want from the other to advance their own agenda.
An enjoyable if slightly dry hard SF novel that should certainly go on your "Mars or Bust!" reading list. 3.5 stars - good book, though not very exciting.
I was sucked into the story line right away and wasn't able to put it down once I got started. The narrator's performance was equally awesome, making every character come to life with each its own voice and accent. Sublime. I was so disappointed I reached the last chapter, just to find out there are two follow-on books. Made my day! Recommended A++.