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In Ben Bova's 1992 bestselling book Mars, geologist Jamie Waterman and his crewmates discovered the existence of primitive lichen on the floor of the great Martian canyon known as the Valles Marineris. In Return to Mars, Waterman is headed back to the Red Planet, this time in charge of an expedition that hopes not only to study Martian life but also to prove that exploring Mars can be profitable. Waterman also wants to revisit a part of the canyon where he thought he spotted a primitive cliff dwelling during the first Martian mission. The second voyage to Mars runs into trouble right away, however, as Waterman clashes with Dex Trumball, the son of a billionaire who's backing the expedition. Dex wants to turn Mars into a tourist attraction, while Waterman wants to preserve the planet for scientific research. Both men are also attracted to the expedition's beautiful psychologist, Vijay Shektar, who can't seem to decide which of the two she likes best. As if that weren't enough, one of the Mars team may be trying to sabotage the mission, while back home the elder Trumball is pulling strings in order to force Waterman to step down as the expedition's leader.
Like Jamie Waterman, Bova takes on a lot of responsibility in this second Mars book. He's trying to create a complex story that relies equally on science, characterization, and politics, mixed in with a healthy dose of mystery and a dash of thriller. As usual, Bova nails the science but fares less well--though by no means poorly--with his characters. He pulls off the politics with confidence, but the thriller subplot seems forced. Finally, the mysteries (there are several) all succeed reasonably well, though some are more compelling than others. The whole makes up a thoroughly enjoyable novel both about what life might be like on an expedition to Mars and what Martian life might be like. It's a better book than its predecessor, and it can be read entirely on its own thanks to Bova's carefully interwoven details about the back story that took place in Mars. --Craig E. Engler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The sequel to Bova's popular Mars (1992) returns Navajo Jamie Waterman to the Red Planet as the mission director in tenuous command of a crew of scientists and astronauts jockeying for political power, romantic liaisons and scientific renown. And as anonymous journal entries also indicate, one of the explorers is seriously deranged. Waterman's chief rival on the mission is C. Dexter Trumball, the heir of the man who substantially funded the flight. Trumball has promised his wealthy father that the mission will make money, and he is determined to win his father's love and respect, even if it means turning Mars into a tourist attraction. For ideological reasons, Waterman is equally bent on keeping Mars free of tourists, especially his beloved "cliff dwellings"Aa nearly inaccessible structural anomaly that he believes will prove there was once intelligent life on the planet. Waterman must struggle to find the Navajo way of negotiating the crew's various desires and manias. He must also contend with the powers-that-be back on Earth to ensure that scientific concerns continue to supersede crass commercial interests. Bova makes the speculative hard science aspects of this novel vivid and appealing. His characters, however, are less enchanting, and the inclusion of a saboteur seems like overkill, since the environment he describes is more than capable of destroying anyone for simple carelessness. The novel ends with plenty of room for a sequel to pick up and continue the saga. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
There is no one like Ben Bova to write science fiction in general and about Mars in fascinating detail. Didn't Ben predict that lichens exist on Mars a long time ago?Published 13 months ago by Wolfgang Manowski
Ben Bova's Return to Mars is a sequel to his first Mars novel. It occurs approximately five years later with the main character of the first novel now in charge of the mission. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Pius Charles Murray
I enjoyed this book immensely and thought it was better than the first. it can be a little slow moving but it overall a gripping read. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Justin LeCheminant
Requires special headphone adapter otherwise both sides of tape play simultaneously. This isn't made clear and adapter costs £25. Rip off.Published 18 months ago by B. Morrell
This was an absorbing story both as science fiction and observance of interpersonal relationships under unusual conditions. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Johanna S. Martin
After reading Ben Bova's Mars, I was pretty anxious to read the sequel, Return to Mars. I enjoyed the audiobook a lot, but I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed... Read morePublished on August 3, 2013 by Steven Brandt @ Audiobook-Heaven
SciFi with a difference - the author tries to include some science! The author acknowledges advice received from NASA Ames Research centre, and it shows. Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by Ian J. Miller