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The Return: Book IV of Voyagers (Voyagers (Tor Hardcover)) Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 4, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Voyagers (Tor Hardcover) (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765309254
  • ASIN: B005MWQFD2
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,582,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Venerable SF author Bova returns to his Voyagers series after nearly two decades with this clumsy mashup of wildly different universes. Relativistic star flight has somehow catapulted Keith Stoner, Jo Camerata and their children, Cathy and Rick, to a parallel universe. Bova fans will recognize the setting of the Grand Tour series (most recently 2008's Mars Life), but to Keith and Jo, it is alien and seems to be doomed by environmental and cultural issues. Leaving his family to secretly tour the Earth, Keith finds a willing ally in engineer Tavalera, but their joint efforts to prevent human extinction are opposed by the shortsighted and authoritarian New Morality government. Bova's decision to merge two unrelated sets of books is baffling, and Keith's arrogant machinations transform the Grand Tour universe in ways that its fans are unlikely to appreciate. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

This fourth volume in the Voyagers series displays Hugo Award winner Bova's consummate ability to tell an absorbing tale about two men, each with a mission to free his world from blind dogma and orchestrated tyranny. The author's outspoken philosophy provides food for thought for his many fans and readers who enjoy hard sf. --Library Journal --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
I was sorry to see it end, but I enjoyed the series very much.
Dennis Phelan
If the author cares so little about his characters and setting, why should I care anything about them?
A. Kelton
Ben Bova writes great stories with interesting chracters and themes.
Emily Braun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Astronaut Keith Stoner was part of an American-Russian space venture when the alien starship arrived. He became trapped inside; frozen for almost two decades and never time merged with the alien technology. Found drifting, he was brought back to earth where he was revived. However, Keith knew he no longer was human and did not belong so he built a starship based on the alien side of him and left the planet with his Jo Camerata to explore the cosmos.

Over a hundred years later, he comes home but now understands how profound Thomas Wolfe's "You Can't Go Home Again" is. He and his mate Jo (accompanied by their children Cathy and Rick) recognize nothing. Mankind is killing the planet with the greenhouse effect rapidly turning the orb into a neo-Venus and the extreme conservatives hold power with a strict rigid iron fist while ignoring the consequences of doing nothing to save humanity's goring the planet. Keith leaves his family in orbit to do some surveillance, but except for the odd underground rebel, mankind's reign seems through

The fourth Stoner tale (see VOYAGERS, THE ALIEN WITHIN and STAR BROTHERS) is an interesting cautionary science fiction thriller that warns readers to take global warming seriously and kick out demagogues before it is too late; sort of homage to Zager and Evans' "In the year 2525". The story line is fast-paced as Keith and Jo are in for a rude awakening re the earth starting with the melted polar cap and that his knowledge of history does not match the official records of the planet he orbits. However, this earth he finds is never adequately explained in regards to how he and his family got there and why Ben Bova chose THE RETURN to take place where it does as the blending seems disjointed to fans of the author who will recognize early on references to the Goddard project on Saturn.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd McDaniel on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved this. I didn't think I was going to at the beginning, it had been so long from the originals.
As I read further though I began to enjoy the delicate skewering of the politicos the tree huggers, the religious nuts....
Nobody does it like Bova!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on October 18, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Return (2009) is the fourth SF novel in the Voyagers series, following Star Brothers. The initial volume is this series is Voyagers.

In the previous volume, a nanotechnology plague was released into the population. The Star Brothers were spread to protect against the Horror. Then Stoner and his family flew to the stars.

In this novel, Keith Stoner has come home again from the stars with his wife and two children. But home has changed while they were gone. In fact, they seem to have slipped between timelines.

Raoul Tavalera has also come home again -- without his sweetheart Holly -- and it too has changed. His family is still there, but society has devolved into tyranny.

Angelique Dupre was born as Aretha Deevers in a tent city in Georgia. She changed her name after joining the Sisters of the Savior, a New Morality order.

In this story, twenty-two years ago, a starship entered the system and was tracked to the vicinity of Jupiter. Then it disappeared, but recently emitted messages from Earth orbit to scientists around the world. Naturally, the politicians, military chiefs and religious leaders suppressed these messages.

Keith is getting impatient with the political intransigence. His wife Jo tries to calm him down, but Keith is determined to contact leading scientists. He starts tinkering with the aurora borealis.

Raoul has recently returned from the Goddard habitat near Titan. He thought life back on Earth would be exciting, but finds it to be rather dull. The New Morality keeps interfering with his life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emily Braun on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this story very much. I have not even read the other books in the series but I felt the book stood well on it's own. It is the story of Raoul Tavelara and Keith Stoner. As human civilization is about to destroy itself, Keith has returned from the stars with his family to bring a warning. Will human kind head the message? Will they even hear it? Roaul is the only one who can help Stoner bring this message. Ben Bova writes great stories with interesting chracters and themes. My only criticism is that his diagloge seems forced and artificial. I love the grand Tour series and Voyagers is a tie in.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Haugen on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not Ben Bova's best. The plot is weak and predictable. Not nearly as entertaining as the Voyagers series I-III. This novel gives the Voyagers series closure, but, it's not up to Ben Bova's usual standards.
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By A. G. Smith on May 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In light of the social, environmental, political, and religious challenges facing our world, this book, the fourth in a series, is a must-read.
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By A. Kelton on April 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I haven't read the Grand Tour novels, so maybe I would have liked it better if I knew and cared about the the non-Voyagers characters. The merging of Bova's story universes seems hackneyed, but not as bad as Heinlein's Number of the Beast or Stephen King. The mechanism of the merge (traveling at near light) is silly. It would make more sense if it was something like the FTL drive in John Scalzi's Old Man's War series (the jump takes you to the desired place in a parallel universe that's close enough to the original that it's the same for all intents). I just couldn't suspend my disbelief and get into the story. The other annoying part is that it isn't consistent with the original Voyager trilogy. It's like Bova forgot the details and didn't reread the originals [skip this if you don't want to be spoiled]. The characters do not acting consistently. Jo, the driven, powerful president of one of the biggest multinational corporations, sits around the spaceship, does nothing, and barely offers an opinion. The Star brothers/sisters aren't an active part of the story or conversations. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard whenever the Stoner's mentioned that they left their Earth in 1985. The original Voyagers was contemporary to original 1981, based on the cultural references and intro quote datelines. Alien Within takes place after Stoner has been frozen 18 years. Cathy was 14 when she was killed, so Star Brothers is at least 14.75 years later, depending on when Jo became pregnant. That's at least 2013 when they leave the end of Star Brothers. If the author cares so little about his characters and setting, why should I care anything about them?
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