Set against the trackless void of space, Ben Bova's new novel is a duel between two men. One is the murderer of a whole world; the other is one of his victims.
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 . . .
Hugo-winner Bova s fourth Asteroid Wars novel (after 2004 s The Silent War) is a bewildering attempt to exploit loose ends. When crazed assassin Dorik Harbin disables the spaceship Syracuse, an ore-carrier run by Victor Zacharias, Victor is forced to jettison an escape pod containing his wife and children. Unfortunately, the Zacharias family s desperate efforts to survive are lost among a host of other stories. While son Theo and daughter Angela battle incredible odds to make their way back to inhabited space, Victor steals another spaceship, Pleiades, and goes looking for his family and Syracuse. Various other characters, including Harbin, who becomes a repentant priest named Dorn, go on quests in other spaceships. Chapters are named for the spacecraft in which they take place, which helps orient readers, but Bova doesn t focus enough on the technical features of these ships or the natures of those in them to bring either to life. The action remains equally muddled.