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The Aftermath [Paperback]

Ben Bova
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

30 Oct 2008

The Second Asteroid War climaxed with the brutal destruction of Chrysalis: hundreds of men, women and children on the miners' habitat died terrible deaths in the vacuum of the asteroid belt.

But one ship escapes destruction. Low on fuel, her communications destroyed, the ore ship Syracuse flees towards deep space with fifteen-year-old Theo Zacharias at the helm.

Three years later, the war long over, Syracuse still drifts through the void. Meanwhile the man who now calls himself Dorn - the destroyer of Chrysalis - roams space gathering up the bodies of his victims. He encounters Theo Zacharias in a clash of purposes, hopes and fury . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; paperback / softback edition (30 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340823992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340823996
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 752,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The science fiction author who will have the greatest effect on the world. (Ray Bradbury)

A masterful storyteller (Vector)

Fun, thought-provoking, pacy and stylish . . . Gives a good read while turning your eyes to what might be in the not so distant future, just like Clarke and Asimov used to do so well. (SFX on VENUS)

A splendid book . . . of his many books, Mars must be the most important. (Arthur C. Clarke)

Vivid, poetic and wonder-provoking. (Foundation on JUPITER)

Book Description

Thrilling new adventure in Ben Bova's planet series.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An uncertain piece of writing. 2 Jun 2010
This is a slightly odd book, which seems uncertain of its target audience. There are whole passages which are redolent of Asimov's writing for teenagers in style, but the overall content is clearly aimed at an adult reader. In addition, an unsatisfactory 'deus-ex-machina' plot device is used to explain changes in character behaviour. Readable, but it doesn't make me want to look out for the author's other efforts. Perhaps for completists.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eventual Reunion 6 Sep 2009
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Aftermath (2007) is the seventh SF novel in the Asteroid Wars series and the fourth in this sequence, following The Silent War. In the previous volume, an alien Artifact was found and worked its changes upon various humans. It brought out the insanity in Martin, but changed Dorn and Elverda in other ways. The Artifact was moved to hide it from the rest of humanity.

In this novel, Victor Zacharias is a former architect from Earth who has become a belter. He and his family operate the ore ship Syracuse, buying ore from rock rats and transporting it to the smelters.

Pauline Osgood was born on Luna. She met Victor in Selene and then married him on Earth. She has borne two children for him.

Angela is the eldest child of Victor and Pauline. Angie is about eighteen and has a boyfriend on Chrysalis, the habitat at Ceres.

Theo is the second child in the Zacharias family. He is almost sixteen and interested in science and technology. Yet he is a terrible klutz.

Dorik Harbin was born in the Balkans and became a soldier in his teen years. He also became a drug addict to escape his dreams of death and destruction. Eventually he attempted suicide and was rebuilt as a cyborg. Since his exposure to the Artifact, he has changed his name to Dorn.

Elverda Apacheta is a sculptress from an Andean background. She is very well known for carving The Rememberer, a two kilometer long asteroid in Earth orbit. After her exposure to the Artifact, Elverda became Dorn's partner.

In this story, Victor is having problems adjusting to the teenage Theo. He forbids Theo from touching any of the ship controls because of his destructive way with machines. Theo believes that his father doesn't trust him at all.

Pauline points out the problem to her husband and Victor lets Theo watch the controls as long as he doesn't touch them. Theo is standing watch one day and notices a confrontation between an attack ship and Chrysalis station. He summons his father and they watch as the attack ship destroys the station.

Victor tries to change course away from the station like the other ships around Ceres, but somehow attracts the attention of the attacker. It fires on the Syracuse and damages the antennas and releases most of the fuel. Victor drops his cargo to shield the Syracuse from the attacker's weapons.

Then the attack ship moves around the released rocks to approach them. Victor jettisons the control pod from the Syracuse and flees to draw the attack ship away from his family. The attacker follows the pod and leaves Pauline and her children stranded in the Syracuse.

The ore ship is moving toward Jupiter without any communications. Theo cuts thrust and determines their orbital parameters. The Syracuse will return to the vicinity of Ceres in slightly more than eight years. The ship only has sufficient fuel to reduce the orbital delay to about four years.

Theo and Angie cease their juvenile bickering and learn to cooperate during their long voyage. Angie even learns to do technical tasks and to backup Theo in his spacewalks. They become a team.

This tale frustrates Victor for years after his rescue from the control pod. It provides Theo and Angie with an opportunity to mature as they try to keep their family alive in the slowly returning Syracuse. It also takes Dorn and Elverda out to reclaim bodies from the Asteroid Wars.

The story portrays the immediate aftermath of the Asteroid Wars. It brings all these characters -- and a few others -- together in a grand conclusion. Read and enjoy!

Recommended for Bova fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of space misadventures, persevering parents, and the maturation of young folks. If anyone has not yet read this tetralogy, the first volume is The Precipice. See my listmania for other books in the Asteroid Wars Series.

-Arthur W. Jordin
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantasic Finale 3 Aug 2008
By Mouldy Pilgrim - Published on
After a fairly slowly paced second volume and a more intense third volume, "The Aftermath" leaves many of the characters of the first three volumes in the background. Gone are Pancho Lane, Lars Fuchs and Martin Humphries, except for some incidental mentions. The main focus is on the Zacharias family and Dorn, (formerly known as Dorik Harbin), a cyborg repaired after an attempted suicide and trying to atone for a life of murder and death.

Essentially, the plot follows different threads as they intertwine with each other and come together with the Artefact on the asteroid forming something of a centre point. Victor Zacharias chases his family across the Belt, trying to find them after being attacked by Harbin. George Ambrose still tries to run the habitat near Ceres, though he is not one of the main characters. Valker and his crew are thrown into the mix as something of the bad guys, and there is the HSS flunkies who are hunting down Dorn and his companions to prevent their speaking out about Martin Humphries little episode with the Artefact.

The book moves with a very good pace, and I have to admit that I enjoyed the simple, no nonsense style that Bova writes with. Unlike some authors, he keeps details to a fair minimum to allow for a heightened pace to the story. It serves the book well, though sometimes I was a bit confused on how to imagine certain things working. An example is the wheel shaped ships and how the command pods fit into it.

Overall, I enjoyed the series a lot and it was a good read. I would recommend Ben Bova to anyone who likes the idea of near-future sci-fi, and enjoys a good action filled yarn. I definitely enjoyed this one and it kept me absorbed until the last page.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting conclusion to the asteroid war series 25 Feb 2008
By Chris Fountain - Published on
Bova once again shines with this book. It is a great read and puts into place many pieces of the puzzle created by the various books of the grand tour of the solar system that Bova has been writing in recent years.

Bova's ability to weave together science fact and science fiction comes across strongly as events set in motion play out over a period of years to bring the key characters together in the conclusion of the novel and the series.

I can't add much to the enthusiastic review by Harriet Klausner except to make a correction - Dorn is not a 'ruthless cyborg' but is in fact reformed in mind and (literally) body. He is trying to atone for the grievous sins committed as his former persona of Dorik Harbin and tries desperately to avoid violence.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Asteroid Wars Come to an End 6 Mar 2008
By Jeffrey T. Munson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ben Bova has written a thrilling conclusion to his Asteroid Wars Series.

Dorik Harbin, a mercenary hired by Martin Humphries to kill Lars Fuchs, has just destroyed the Chrysallis habitat orbiting Ceres. Over 1100 rock rats were killed in Harbin's merciless attack. After the attack, Harbin noticed that another ship, the Syracuse, had witnessed everything. Syracuse is inhabited by Victor Zacharias, his wife Pauline, and two children, Theo and Angela. Victor makes his living hauling ore from the belt back to Ceres. Still in a killing rage, Harbin accuses Victor and his family of hiding Lars Fuchs. Despite their pleas to the contrary, Harbin is convinced and attacks Syracuse. Realizing what is happening, Victor escapes from the ship in the escape pod, trying to draw Harbin away from Syracuse, but leaving his family to fend for themselves. Fortunately, they survive, but at what cost? The ship is badly damaged and Victor has left. Now, Theo, Angela, and Pauline must fend for themselves.

After drifting through space for several months, Victor is rescued by a very seductive woman named Cheena Madagascar. Victor is taken back to Ceres aboard Cheena's ship, where he gets a job working on building the new habitat, but he longs to find his family. Soon, he comes up with a plan.

In the intervening time, Harbin and sculptress Elverda Apacheta have jointly discovered an artifact with mythical powers to change and transform people. Harbin, who tried unsuccessfully to kill himself, has now become a half-human, half-machine cyborg. When he sees the artifact, he is transformed from the murderer he once was into a sympathetic priest. He calls himself Dorn, and has vowed to find every body floating in the solar system left for dead after battles and give them proper burials. Elverda has decided to accompany him.

However, Martin Humphries wants to make sure no one finds out about how his encounter with the artifact affected him, so he's sent out Kao Yuan, another mercinary, to find and eliminate Dorn and Elverda. Also aboard Kao's ship is Tamara Vishinsky and in the end, it is her that seems to wield the real power.

Back aboard Syracuse, after many long months alone, it appears Theo has devised a plan to get him and his family back to Ceres before their supplies run out. But, they are visited by Valker and his crew. They are scavengers who overtake supposedly deserted ships and sell them for profit at Ceres. Unfortunately for Pauline and Angie, it appears that Valker and his men have more on their mind than salvage. Will Victor somehow manage to find his family before its too late? What will become of Dorn and Elverda?

I've read each book in the Asteroid Wars series, and I rate this one as the best. The last 75-100 pages fly by as the action is fast-paced and exciting. Bova has done his best work with this book.

I give this book my highest recommendation. The Asteroid Wars series is loaded with action and characters that the reader grows to like (or hate). Read this exciting book and series and experience science fiction at its very best.
4.0 out of 5 stars by the seat of your pants 22 Mar 2010
By Joshua Busch - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Aftermath, like all of Bova's Grand Tour books, is a page turner.

Bova writes 2 to 5 page chapters that each have a different character's point of view. The plot is fired by constant conflict.

Aftermath is more towards the classic science fiction side of things opposed to hard science, but has both mixed in there in this space opera.

Even if a reader hasn't read any of the other Asteroid books or any of the other Grand Tour books a reader could read Aftermath as a standalone book and find it enjoyable, entertaining, and thrilling.
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