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Mars Life | [Ben Bova]

Mars Life

Jamie Waterman has made an important discovery on Mars. A cliff dwelling reveals the fact that an intelligent race lived on the red planet 65 million years ago, only to be driven into extinction by the crash of a giant meteor. But now the exploration of Mars is itself under threat of extinction, as the ultraconservative New Morality movement gains control of the U.S. government and cuts off all funding for the Mars program.
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Publisher's Summary

Jamie Waterman has made an important discovery on Mars. A cliff dwelling reveals the fact that an intelligent race lived on the red planet 65 million years ago, only to be driven into extinction by the crash of a giant meteor. But now the exploration of Mars is itself under threat of extinction, as the ultraconservative New Morality movement gains control of the U.S. government and cuts off all funding for the Mars program.

Meanwhile, Carter Carleton, an anthropologist who was driven from his university post by unproven rape charges, has started to dig up the remains of a Martian village. Science and politics clash on two worlds as Jamie desperately tries to save the Mars program and uncover who the vanished Martians were.

Listen to Ben Bova's complete Mars trilogy, including the first book, Mars, and the second book, Return to Mars.

©2008 Ben Bova; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[A] gripping and convincing conclusion....Bova deftly captures the excitement of scientific discovery and planetary exploration. This compelling story, balancing action and plausible political intrigue, will easily be enjoyed by both fans and newcomers." (Publishers Weekly)
"Another attention-grabbing entry in a series that continues to grow in stature, scope, and complexity. Once again, Bova in top form." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (177 )
5 star
 (56)
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 (59)
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3.9 (83 )
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Story
4.2 (83 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    jsakeo Upstate NY, USA 10-07-13
    jsakeo Upstate NY, USA 10-07-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    14
    14
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    "By far the worst of this trilogy!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Being I was in the car and a captive audience, yes. I was very interested to see what Jamie Waterman would be doing in this book and how things would progress on Mars.


    What was most disappointing about Ben Bova’s story?

    The politics! This book became very political which added nothing to the story but showed Ben Bova as being a total left wing looney.


    Which character – as performed by Stefan Rudnicki – was your favorite?

    I liked Jamie Waterman in the entire trilogy.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No. It would not make a good movie.


    Any additional comments?

    The mars exploration in the book seemed more plausible then the politics. The politics was so far out there it seemed to be more science fiction then the main story. It was a veiled attempt to make the religious right look like a bunch of religious zealots and to show the devastation of man made global warming which is a total hoax.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 05-10-09
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 05-10-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    288
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    290
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    33
    0
    Overall
    "Start At The Beginning Of This Series"

    Based on this installment in the Mars series, Ben Bova does not do back story very well. If you start here, you will probably find the characters to be paper thin and the story much to do about nothing. If you have the background of the first two stories, it hangs together fairly well.

    Still, I was disappointed in this installment of the series. I really enjoyed the first two installments of this series which I have on audio tape and would give them 4.5 to 5 stars. Bova did an excellent job in the first two of creating suspenseful tales about the exploration of Mars, and I listened to them several times. This book seems more a polemic on fundamental Christianity than on the exploration of the solar system. Bova's caricature of Christian belief is over the top. As one of the majority of Christians who do not find conflict between faith and science, I thought his continuing tirade on faith versus science heavy handed and unconvincing (at one point he portrays a young high school student's persecution at the hands of the faithful for wanting to learn about Mars. He stopped just short of portraying Christians drowning kittens.) He did a much better job of finding some balance to the subject in his novel Jupiter (which I heartily recommend). If you have read/listened to the first two, go ahead and pick this one up to see how the saga ends (although you may want to wait for an Audible special). If you haven't read the first two installments, I think you will be disappointed if you start here.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 04-05-14
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 04-05-14 Member Since 2006

    Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
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    181
    50
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    FOLLOWING
    19
    4
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    "The worst of an uninspired series"

    I have found the characters in all three volumes of this series to be childish beyond belief. I'm not sure about Bova's background (note to self: have to look that up), but I can't accept that the type of people who would be selected for a series of missions to Mars would behave like 5-year-old children. It's routine, in this series, for team members to flatly refuse the orders of their assigned superiors with no attempt to hide/disguise it. Sorry Ben, but I believe the carrot and the stick wielded by any future interplanetary mission commanders would be too potent for mutiny to be a routine occurrence. Sure, there are behavioral outliers in any system, but not to the extent that Bova would sell to us. The ending of the series, was contrived and uninspired.

    Bova tries to explore, throughout the series, the conflicts between science and religion. In fact, it's a major theme. It could have added value to the work, if not done in such an unrealistic, over-the-top way. Bova puts large numbers of significant religious leaders on the intellectual level with those who still say the moon landings were all a hoax. Again, there are always a few nuts in the mix, but they are not dangerous unless violent. It's the sane-sounding extremists in any belief system (secular or religious) who are a threat. Bova totally missed the mark. It will take several tremendously positive reviews before I will be spending my reading $$$ on Bova's work, again.

    That said, I always enjoy Stefan Rudnicki's work. He has the kind of voice that adds enjoyment to the experience and a great deal of ability.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry EUGENE, OREGON, United States 08-05-09
    Henry EUGENE, OREGON, United States 08-05-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
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    22
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    0
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    "Scientists Rarely Counter Religion with Finesse"

    As science fiction, this book wouldn't challenge a teenager. As fiction, this book gave away the plot within the first couple of chapters. The ending was so contrived it groaned. The characters were two-dimensional and wooden. The overwhelming theme of the book is that conservative religious thought is at odds with scientific practices and theories. I decided to listen to the book to see if the author might come up with some new or novel ideas on this long-standing debate. I could have had a Mars bar and been more satisfied. On whole, I can't find enough value in this book to recommend anyone listening to it.

    The narration was clear and competent, but a bit too slow and steady for my tastes.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results
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  • Dean Wood
    2/14/10
    Overall
    "Excellent Mars novel."

    I liked all Ben Bova's Mars novels. I thought they were all plausible predictions of the exploration of the red planet. This is an excellent last chapter in the series. I just wish there was another book to read as this was very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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