Half-Navajo geologist Jamie Waterman has been selected for the ground team of the first manned expedition to our mysterious neighbor planet. Joining an international team of astronauts and scientists, he endures the rigors of training, the dangers of traveling an incredible distance in space, the challenges of an alien landscape, and the personal and political conflicts that arise when the team must face the most shocking discovery of all.
©1992 Ben Bova; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"A bulging, impressive, all-you-ever-wanted-to-know, you-are-there Martian odyssey." (Kirkus Reviews)
This is a solid science fiction title set in a slightly dated near future. Ben Bova has written an interesting story about the first human expedition to Mars that I found quite engaging and addictive. Some of the story elements are now dated (eg. Floppy disks, battlestar galactica approach) but nonetheless the story holds up as realistic and for me, at least, exciting.
I had previously read the title in hardcopy prior to 'reading' it on audible and I think I appreciated it more evenly - throughout the entire book - the second time around. I attribute that to the format - you can not easily scan or skip ahead in an audiobook - but also to the narration of Stefan Rudnicki who kept it interesting. Stefan manages to deal with the many accents passably or at least better than I could.
A very nice read!
This tale unfolds slowly, but it's engaging and well-told. Clearly intended as part of a series - which I don't often care for - it nonetheless manages to stand on its own. The characters are carefully unfolded and come to life under Rudnicki's outstanding narration. (I don't think they come better than Rudnicki.) Bova doesn't follow the usual formula leading to an ending where everything blows up. If fast-paced, hard-hitting action is what you're looking for - and there's certainly a place for that - you likely won't like this one. If a well-told, good story is your interest, this won't let you down. I will read this next one.
I am pleasantly surprised as to the entertainment that Mars has given me. It does seem to be a bit heavy on politics and not enough 'Tars Tarkas.' But what I really enjoyed was the quality of the reader. Stefan Rudnicki did an excellent job in his reading. He was the right voice for this Book. I am looking forward to listening to more about this venture and other audiobooks by Stefan.
The book was a good listen. The narrator did a good job. As someone said in a previous review it was dated but not for the techology only but for the attitudes.
Ben bova does a good job entertaining the reader and listener with story. I found the racial intolerance a bit exagerated and the profanity totally unnecessary. I know people use this type of language in real life but this is not about real life. Otherwise it is a very good listen. The science was good and the little insights into how the media works and the native american folklore was worthwhile.
The ending was very anti-climatic
A bit more action
A bit slow. Ending was very poor.
Tell us about yourself!
I have been reading Ben Bova books for years and have most all of his audible books here. Mars is one of his best stories and Stefan Rudnicki is very good in his delivery. However, I don’t understand why Egypt and Argentina are represented as significant space powers here in the book. The one quandary is after all these years I have come to the conclusion Ben doesn’t like a great number of things. He doesn’t like the news media, politicians, government or people with power. His representation of the news media is negative as are the people in government and politics. They are usually the protagonists. People in his books are constantly planning silly and selfish subterfuge and act very impulsively like children do sometimes. Come on Ben, Dan Brown has that style mastered. The story is good enough to out weight all of this though. Listen to it and just enjoy it.
Listening to the 1st in this series got me hooked and wanting to find out more. Our Navajo hero is at times predictable and hormone centric but the premise was good and the story interesting.
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there are some things that make this book seem dated and some are that they mention that they have to change the "film" in a camera and that it is better to use a new camera so as not to expose the film to the environment on mars - another is the "tape" in a video camera, which video cameras have tapes but like the "film" camera it would be digital on an internal storage and maybe some kinda flash or crystal storage thingie (NASA uses digital cameras all the time probably before 1992 when this was written)
also there is strange parts about Indians, American Indians that is and there culture which makes the book seem strange at times but it only lasts a couple of scenes
there isnt much detail describing the size of things like the habitat they are living in on Mars and how big the rovers are or even exactly what they look like (they do describe the shape of it but its not much and could be describing a rock or something)
I plan to read the other books that follow this and I hope for the same quality with them as I got with this one
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.
"What we could miss by not going to Mars"
I enjoyed the three books, I like the Idea that a native American is the driving force to mars, Red man Red planet etc.
I only gave it a 4 star because I think there's another book needed for the ending. But on that point I will read his other books as I like his style.
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