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9 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Quite Impressed
I'm sure there's space out there (puns not intended) for a Kim Stanley Robinson-esque epic/series about the colonisation of Venus, but for now I must say that Bova has slotted together a quite impressive story-driven narrative with this book. It's a *tale*, as opposed to a piece of techno- or sociologically-centred literature, as KSR might write.
Quite unlike his...
Published on 19 Aug 2003 by general_geiger

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An incredible disappointment
I am an absolute Ben Bova fan. I have particularly enjoyed the 'Moon' and 'Mars' series and was very much looking forward to enjoying 'Venus'. The book came as a huge disappointment. The story goes too fast, as if Ben Bova has wanted to put too many things into one book. As a results the characters in the book have lost all depth and I found it impossible to care about...
Published on 25 Aug 2000


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Quite Impressed, 19 Aug 2003
This review is from: Venus (Paperback)
I'm sure there's space out there (puns not intended) for a Kim Stanley Robinson-esque epic/series about the colonisation of Venus, but for now I must say that Bova has slotted together a quite impressive story-driven narrative with this book. It's a *tale*, as opposed to a piece of techno- or sociologically-centred literature, as KSR might write.
Quite unlike his two "Mars" books, the tale is one of unremitting corruption, greed, violence, and death, these facets almost unsettling in their explicit profuseness. The hero is a weakling, whose main character advancement is to prove himself otherwise to a ship-full of brash, macho survivors he finds himself marooned with, when he is rescued from the death of his own ship high in Venus' cloud-tops. The gore and sex-soaked contents are almost-but-not-quite sickening, and anyway manage to portray enough of a moral message to excuse them. The central conceit swinging around hatred, rejection and family loyalties is exceedingly well done. And there's a twist towards the close which, although well-executed, is distinctly lifted from a well-known film I could name...
The make-up of the book seems to encapsulate the planet: hellishly gripping, morally corrosive, thick and murky and unremittingly hostile, turning up the heat the deeper down you go. Soaked in familial loathing, death and greed. Which of course gives it a certain appeal. And the ending is thoroughly bittersweet. Bravo!
A nearly unrecognised masterpiece, in my opinion, like so much other hard SF. Four point five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly good read, 6 Aug 2005
By 
Zed "zed999" (Bedfordshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Venus (Paperback)
I read this book a second time after some considerable years, and enjoyed it even more.
It's true to say that some parts are predictable (even the first time round), but I don't think it is necessary to try too hard to be different just to avoid criticism like this.
For me, SF is about entertainment with some inspiration thrown in, and this book provides it in heaps. It is the perfect book to read at the airport, in the garden or when you just want to "free your mind" from the daily grind.
I think most mainstream SF buffs will love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, action packed, and gripping!, 26 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Venus (Paperback)
I had already read both Moonrise and Moonwar by Bova, (both of which I 100% recommend) however I felt that Venus offered something very different. Venus will grip you, as will his other books, the story will keep moving and you'll keep reading. Venus is not for the die hard Shakespear/Austen fan, it's certainly not going to be studied in schools! But, if you enjoy reading a fun, fastmoving and lively story, then Venus is for you!
(If you have any queries or questions on any of Bova's books, feel free to contact me.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bova does it again., 9 Oct 2001
This review is from: Venus (Paperback)
Ben Bovas writing leaves me breathless. I'm not one of these amateur reviewers who enjoys ruining the plot while giving my opinion on a book, so I'll be breif...but exuse my excited ramblings, i've just finished reading it!! In no way is Venus a Teenage read as someone said here, sure it's not brain bustingly hard sci fi, but that doesn't mean it cannot be enjoyed by the stuffiest of sci fi critics. Bova has a style all his own of clear smooth energetic writing in his stories, but still keeping them human, not getting lost in boring facts only someone with a degree in astrophysics would be able to grab hold of. That's what makes him easily one of the best writers in his genre in my opinion. Venus is action packed, with many unexpected twists with the characters, and probably the most real "hero" I've ever read about. Fast moving action packed. Intelligent Sci Fi but still enjoyable and easy to read for those of us not actual scientists. Quite simply, Sci Fi as it should be done. Amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars recommended for good straightforward story telling, 16 Sep 2000
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This review is from: Venus (Paperback)
For those of us who like our science fiction rooted in hard facts, Ben Bova,s 'Venus' is recommended. A nicely depicted hero 'with flaws', that is physically weak and prone to loss of courage, but when the chips are down you can rely on him to come good. Some love interest, but not detracting from the (to use an appropriate metaphor) thrust of the story, which is the voyage to the planet. As for this story line: you try and make a gripping human drama about a hellishly hot sulphuric murk that is venus. On foot exploration and humanoid aliens are out. It's not surprising that the planet doesn't show it's ghastly face till the end, but it's presence successfully motivates the action, which is gripping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An incredible disappointment, 25 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Venus (Paperback)
I am an absolute Ben Bova fan. I have particularly enjoyed the 'Moon' and 'Mars' series and was very much looking forward to enjoying 'Venus'. The book came as a huge disappointment. The story goes too fast, as if Ben Bova has wanted to put too many things into one book. As a results the characters in the book have lost all depth and I found it impossible to care about any of them. The plot is obvious from the start, yet at the same time so far fetched it is just not credible. What remains is an easy-to-read adventure book, which can help pass time but is no more than an 'airport book' and does not in any way come near the standards Ben Bova got us used to.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Competent, interesting, but somehow lacking, 7 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Venus (Paperback)
I'm currently working my way through BB's "Grand Tour" novels (Mars, Jupiter, Venus, etc), and I'm finding my response to all of them to be similar. They're enjoyable, fast-moving stories grounded in what seems to me to be mostly credible science, but are let down by rather clunky characterisation and rather obvious plotting.
It may be a deliberate ploy to make all of his lead characters so unsympathetic, but it's also rather irritating, particularly as their flaws are explained away by rather basic psychology (father hated him / Red Indian feels he's an outcast / torn between religion and science). And I guessed who the unbalanced one was in RtM, and what the true story of Fuchs was in Venus, and these little gripes detract from what would otherwise be first class stories.
So: buy, enjoy for the pace and the science, but be prepared to skim past the character profiles...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight Space Adventure, 24 Oct 2005
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Venus (Paperback)
Having just completed the Kim Stanley Robinson "Mars" series, I was attracted to this Ben Bova title, expecting something of similar quality , but unfortunately this was not to be the case. "Venus" was a fairly insubstantial novel; the writing style was juvenile, the dialogue awkward and the characterisation cliched although ,to be fair, I think it is aimed at a different ,less discerning market than Robinson's books. On the plus side, "Venus" wasn't a bad adventure story, the scientific and technological elements of the novel were credible and by the end of the book, I felt I knew a great deal more about the planet than I had before and the kind of surprises that might lie beneath its inpenetrable clouds. Maybe someday someone will write a novel(s) about Venus to match that of Robinson's "Mars" trilogy, but this effort from Ben Bova falls well short of that benchmark.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Must've been a good idea at one time, 28 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Venus (Hardcover)
I read MARS and I read RETURN TO MARS, I then gave them to others to read and they were as blown away as I was. But then came VENUS... There's no detail, no real characters, no great plot, and some of it seems, well, and I hate to say this, but some of it seems 'teenage'. No disrepect to teenagers but having an idea is one thing, executing it takes wisdom and depth. This book has neither. It's as bad as MARS is good. A terrific disappointment. Especially when I've seen what this writer can do.
Still, I'll buy the next one, because everyone has an off day.
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Venus
Venus by Ben Bova (Paperback - 20 July 2000)
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