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Return to Mars [Hardcover]

Ben Bova
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jun 1999
Published in 1992, "Mars" was the story of the thrilling first manned journey to the mysterious planet which has fascinated astronomers since the dawn of time. Arthur C. Clarke called it 'a splendid book'; it was a bestseller throughout the world. Now, in "Return to Mars", a carefully picked international crew of astronauts, engineers and scientists is on its way back. Leading them is Jamie Waterman, the man who defied the accepted wisdom of the scientific community - and the direct orders of his superiors - to discover life on the planet. But there are those who still resent his success; others who have their own reasons to ensure that Waterman, with his almost mystic idealism, does not make the final decisions about Second Mars Expedition. And among the crew is someone whose mental instability could lead to catastrophe for them all. This is the story of a group of men and women whose human secrets will be as explosive as the scientific discoveries they make. It is the most exciting book Bova has written.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 426 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (3 Jun 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034070795X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340707951
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

In Ben Bova's 1992 best-selling 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, characterisation 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 sub-plot 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 about both 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,


'An epic space novel by an award-winning SF scribe' -- Books Magazine

'One of sci-fi's great contemporary writers...Ben Bova writes good, authentic science' -- Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Return to Mars is an entertaining read, a good example of the bread and butter of the genre -- Vector

‘A splendid book . . of his many books, Mars must be the most important.' -- Arthur C. Clarke on MARS

‘Extraordinary . . . this kind of story is the reason science fiction exists in the first place.' -- Orson Scott Card on MARS

‘I believe that the science fiction author who will have the greatest effect on the world is Ben Bova' -- Ray Bradbury

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Bova has made Mars the place to be. Like the first novel MARS, he leaves us with a tantalising need to know just what is really up there. Or in this case,'what was written'. I feel like I've been up there with the characters and have made the decisions and discoveries right alongside them. I want more Mr.Bova - just one more book will do, but I want it.
The negative aspects of this novel are that I still don't truly like Jamie Waterman and the girls he bags in both books are too all-round gorgeous to be true, but he is a noble character with a noble pursuit. I didn't buy the mystery villain either, didn't really need it, though it was in a way, a necessary device to bring the book to a decently poignant conclusion.
But why dwell on minor irritations. This is a classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sci-fi read 13 Dec 2008
By Mr. G. Battle VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The sequel to Mars could quite easily be read stand-alone. Following the discovery of life on the Red Planet a team once more ascends to conduct further research. In true sequel style there is more of everything that made the first one great. The action starts straight away on Mars, with the scene already set Bova wastes no time with the planning stage. Multiple missions with a new and diverse team mix up the action and suspense as Return provides gripping page after gripping page. The science element is never bewildering ensuring a compelling read. Flawless execution - a must for any sci-fi reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish there was more! 25 Aug 2000
I've just read 'Mars' and 'Return to Mars' in about 48 hours. They were superb. Return to Mars follows on well and I was kept interested throughout. I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
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3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read, but.... 24 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This, and the previous book, took a while to get my interest but in the end proved to be enjoyable with characters well envisioned. The really annoying thing about both books are the considerable number of errors when transcribed into Kindle versions. Did anyone proof read?! There were far too any errors to be missed. Spoilt my enjoyment......hence only 3 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Mars 7 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the second book in the series I have read and enjoyed both books tremendously. Although it is science fiction you can see and believe where it could possibly happen in the future. Great book to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not his best 30 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you read 'MARS' then this is a nice conclusion to it.....and interestingly it posits ideas which are today still possibilities to answer the question of where our life on Earth came from.
Yes its fiction, but like a lot of good SciFi, it contains ideas years ahead of themselves maybe becoming a reality.
Always readable, and in my opinion his best work was the Voyager series, but enjoyable nonetheless.
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