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Leviathans of Jupiter Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 1, 2011

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Multiple Hugo–winner Bova's 18th Grand Tour novel (after 2009's The Return) is a quick-paced space adventure. Physicist Grant Archer, part of the exploratory team in 2002's Jupiter, is now a research station director dedicated to proving the intelligence of the leviathans his team encountered 20 years earlier. He's aided by four newcomers to the station: biologist and art student Deidre Ambrose; deep brain stimulation expert Andy Corvus; cyborg Dorn (familiar to readers of Bova's Asteroid Wars novels); and engineering physicist Maxwell Yeager. Katherine Westfall, a powerful International Astronomical Authority member, is also en route to Jupiter, on a mission to shut down Archer's team. Bova is at his best writing about the leviathans and their perceptions. The human motivations and emotions (particularly romance) seem more shoe-horned in, with the exception of Archer's engaging scientific passion. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

In the well-received Jupiter (2001), Bova introduced scientist Grant Archer and the city-size life forms he discovers in the vast oceans of Jupiter. Now Archer returns, seeking to discover if the leviathans are intelligent. With him is a young woman who wants the expedition to jump-start her scientific career; against him is a woman who blames him for the death of her sister. But as the expedition plunges deeper into Jupiter�s atmosphere, the planet itself becomes the real protagonist, with its bizarre environment of bone-straining gravity, storms the size of planets, and internal heat from the days when it was trying to be a star. And then there are the leviathans themselves, apparently thriving in that same environment�but how? Finding the answer will keep readers turning pages, particularly if they are aficionados of hard-science sf�of which this is a stellar example and Bova one of the major creators. --Roland Green

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765317885
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,166,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Munson on February 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Twenty years ago, Grant Archer and his team descended into Jupiter's vast ocean. Once inside, they discovered massive living creatures; "leviathans" which fed on particles and fought for survival against the dreaded darters. Archer barely escaped with his life, thanks to the help of one of the leviathans. Now the director of Station Gold orbiting Jupiter, Archer intends to send another crewed mission into the depths of the Jovian ocean to try to establish communication with the leviathans.

Four crew members are slated for the mission: Diedre Ambrose, a microbiologist; Andy Corvus, a scientist; Dorn, an ex-mercenary; and Max Yeager, designer of the ship to be used on the mission. However, other forces are at work as well. Katherine Westfall, a member of the IAA, is determined to see the mission fail. Convinced that Archer is wasting money, she has come to Station Gold to set him back in line. Westfall will stop at nothing to make sure that the mission fails, even if it means sacrificing the crew.

Finally, the ship sets down into the Jovian sea. Once there, the crew tries to establish contact with the leviathans. But the pressure takes a heavy toll on both the ship and crew. Will the crew be able to determine if the leviathans are in fact intelligent creatures, or will the ship succumb to the tremendous pressure exerted by the Jovian ocean?

I've read all of Bova's previous "Grand Tour" novels, and I was pleased to see that he decided to re-visit Jupiter. The story line from the first book was very good, and this book does a good job of picking up and expanding on it. Bova's books are full of adventure, and "Leviathans of Jupiter" continues in that tradition. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jedi M. on November 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been reading quite a bit of Ben Bova recently. The first one I read was Jupiter. It hooked me right in to a completely believable future of humans he has created. None of Bova's books are the fantasy sci-fi that Star Trek, Star Wars, etc... are, but they are more of a true science grounded in current ideas about space travel and exploration.

Overall Opinion:
Leviathans of Jupiter was a good, engaging read. I did not ever feel the need to put it down and always wanted to continue to the next chapter.

Bova's characters in Leviathans seem to always be created from the ground up and are always believable. There is not much introspection from the characters, it is more of a day to day record of what they are doing. Not much feeling comes from the characters so it is more like you are watching a movie when thinking of the characters. Bova usually does not choose a main character and prefers an ensemble cast, however this book primarily focuses on one character.

The story was essentially that of Jupiter; A group of scientists who all have their own varying jobs on the station wish to contact the natives of Jupiter, the Leviathans. There is a semi-weak character who wishes to stop them but there is very little conflict.

Bova has created a believable future of the human race in his "Planet" books, including Leviathan. He uses technology currently being spoken of and researched: nuclear fusion ships, nanotechnology, artificial gravity, etc... He may not have any ground breaking technology ideas but he seems to have a true scientific basis for most of the tech in these books.

Make into a movie?
I've come to the conclusion that Bova's novels would not make good movies for the general public.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Jones VINE VOICE on October 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a six-time winner of the Hugo Award just saying Ben Bova may be enough to recommend Leviathans of Jupiter but I will add more. If you are a Science Fiction fan and have never read anything by Ben Bova you are in for a treat. If you have read his books in the past you will not be disappointed.

Leviathans of Jupiter is part of the Grand Tour continuing series but if you have not read any of the series do not let that stop you. While the background and some of the characters reappear in some of the stories each book in the series stands alone. Grant Archer led an expedition to explore the depths of Jupiter in the book of the same name. That expedition barely escaped death when their vessel malfunctioned. They were saved when one of the city sized leviathans helped. Grant is convinced that the leviathans are intelligent and 20 years later he is trying to launch a new mission to study the leviathans. Not everyone wants the mission to succeed and therein lies the story.

Ben Bova knows how to tell a good story and with the knowledge from his PHD in physics he adds science in just the right amounts. He uses dialog and action mixed with small amounts of description to keep the story moving. I had trouble putting the story down and finished the 400-page book in record time.

I miss good old fashion Science Fiction and it was a real joy to find and read Leviathans of Jupiter. I hope Ben Bova continues writing in this series.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MD42 on November 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was extremely disappointed after reading Leviathans of Jupiter; here's why: There wasn't an ounce of originality to the story. It was immediately evident to me that Ben Bova used L. Frank Baum's masterpiece "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" as the blueprint for this novel.

First, we have the beautiful, naive young heroine, Deirdre (Dorothy), who has never been away from home, traveling on an Intergalactic Transport to start a new career at a research outpost orbiting Jupiter. On the transport, she follows illuminated yellow arrows in the hallway floor (the yellow brick road) where she meets up with her three companions in this adventure: skinny, gawky Andy Corvus (Scarecrow), Dorn, a Cyborg (Tin Man), and shaggy-haired engineer Max Yeager (Cowardly Lion). Eventually we also meet Grant Archer (the Fortune Teller/Wizard), Katherine Westfall (Wicked Witch), Nanotechs Franklin and Janet Torre (Munchkins). And ALL of these characters exhibit the same personality traits of their Wizard of Oz counterparts. About the only thing missing from this story was the dog, Toto!

Ben Bova also heavy-handedly pushes pro-christianity beliefs onto the reader, which I found offensive.

I found this book to be a waste of both time and money; not worth the paper it's printed on.
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