Sadly, this is the last book Ben Bova left us before his untimely death due to COVID-19 related causes on November 29, 2020.
"Far-thinking ideas and the characters' determination to grab the last hope are characteristic. Fans won't want to miss this coda to Bova's prolific literary life."—Publishers Weekly
It is time to start the colonizing the solar system. Ex-astronaut, current space advisor, and all-out trouble shooter for the President, Jake Ross, is determined to make it happen.
And what better way to return to America's glory than by returning to the moon and setting up a permanent moon-base which can then serve as the launching pad for Mars and beyond.
But as usual, political intrigue and conflicting priorities are threatening the whole program. Add to that a President who is about to die, a strong contingent in the legislative body which thinks that money spent on a moon-base is money wasted and the general apathy of the public, and you have an almost impossible task.
Even NASA, natural enthusiasts of a project like this, are dragging their feet because they have lost control of the top spot in the project.
However, none of those opposing forces have contended with the resolve and the skill of Jake Ross. He will create the base on the moon. He will send humans out to many worlds.
The fourth Power novel (after Power Failure) from the late Bova (1932–2020) feels like two stories tied loosely together: a thoughtful, slow-burning narrative about the political fight to put man back on the moon, followed by an action-packed, military-centric story about a strategy to keep the world safe from nuclear war. Returning hero Jake Ross, the science advisor to the U.S. president, is the father of the Artemis program, which aims to bring humanity to the moon—and eventually beyond. Though the program faces many obstacles, Jake has the guts and cleverness to outmaneuver all of them. Though thought-provoking, the stakes to Jake's story feel mild as there's little doubt that he'll succeed, and the climax is underplayed as the novel switches its focus to Capt. J.W. Hazard, the head of a military space station within a globally cooperative satellite network, first conceived by Jake, to prevent a nuclear war. Now those who oppose the network have a plan to spark the nuclear apocalypse—and Hazard must play long-shot odds to stop them. While the execution is somewhat flatter than Bova's typical work, the far-thinking ideas and the characters' determination to grab the last hope are characteristic. Fans won't want to miss this coda to Bova's prolific literary life.