on 23 April 2012
Over the years I've read a number of Ben Bovas books although never really been a fan. I picked up a copy of Leviathans at the airport simply because I hadn't seen or heard of it before.
I'm sorry to say that what is a truly interesting concept and an excellent vision of the extent to which 'other' life might be different to our own cannot eclipse the exceptionally bad characterisation of almost every principal role. I found the plot had holes large enough to swallow the planet of the title and 'twists' that were as visible and identifiable as its moons. Suspension of disbelief didn't come into it, I only read on to confirm how bad it was.
The 'nemesis' character is completely and utterly unbelievable, the heroine is a cardboard cutout and the sidekicks just poorly exectured steroetypes. We even have a reformed criminal cyborg as the damaged man / damaged body who although unable to express it turns out to be one of the characters with the greatest emotional depth.
As for the 'science' in the fiction - well here we have the most prestigious research station in the solar system investigating just about the most interesting thing going on and they appear to have no plan or idea on what they are actually going to do when they head down to meet the leviathans (not realy a spolier .. it's in the title). Anyone interested in science and exploration will simply shake their head in disbelief - in fact Mr Bova coud probably do with re-reading his own far better work 'Mars' to get a more realistic picture of the overplanning that would be going on...
Give this one a miss unless you're a completist, it only gets two stars for the concept and my copy will be down at the village book sale in no time. Having written all this I'd still recommend some of the authors other books to the casual reader; 'Mars' is a good case in point.