The surface of Venus is the most hellish place in the solar system. The ground is hot enough to melt aluminum. The air pressure is so high it has crushed spacecraft landers as though they were tin cans. The sky is perpetually covered with clouds of sulfuric acid. The atmosphere is a choking mixture of carbon dioxide and poisonous gases.
This is where Van Humphries must go. Or die trying.
His older brother perished in the first attempt to land a man on Venus, years before, and his father had always hated Van for surviving when his brother died. Now his father is offering a ten billion dollar prize to the first person to land on Venus and return his oldest son's remains.
To everyone's surprise, Van takes up the offer. But what Van Humphries will find on Venus will change everything--our understanding of Venus, of global warming on Earth, and his knowledge of who he is.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In 1993 Bova took readers to Mars and himself onto bestseller lists. Last year's A Return to Mars also sold well. So a narrative about manned exploration of Venus seems an obvious step for this popular author, and Bova's new novel will indeed please his fans, as it offers his usual mix of solid science, serviceable (if sketchy) characterizations and lickety-split plotting with plenty of cliff-hangers. It's late in the 21st century. Three years ago, the first human to visit Venus, Alex Humphries, son of decadent multibillionaire Martin, never returned. Now Martin is offering $10 billion to whoever will retrieve Alex's remains from that planet's hellish surface. Racing against one another for the prize are Alex's aimless younger brother, Van (the story's narrator, who's just been disowned by Martin), and legendary asteroid-miner Lars Fuchs, who detests Martin as much as Martin detests Van. Van's expedition goes bad early on; high above Venus, colonies of alien "bugs" eat through his ship's hull, forcing him and his crew--several of whom die--to seek refuge on Fuchs's stronger craft. Personality conflicts rampage there, particularly between domineering Fuchs and mild-mannered Van, and there's romantic tension between a young female biologist and Van. The real drama, however, arises from revelations that explain the roots of the hatreds among Van, Fuchs and Martin, and during Van's dangerous descent in a small ship to the surface of Venus, which Bova depicts with strong visual imagery as a deadly inferno--albeit one inhabited by an unexpected life form. This novel clicks along only predictably as Van's coming of age tale, but as a voyage to an unknown world, it excels.
Wow... Never saw that coming!! Excellent book. Can't wait to read more from Ben.
Venus- Ben Bova
Venus is gripping Sci Fi thriller written by one of the masters of the craft. It's focus on Venus differentiates it from the usual space operas we see these days. Overall I would recommend it to fans of the genre.
However I was moved ti write this review because of the infuriating low quality of the editing and proof reading of the e-book I bought. There are numerous repeated typos throughout the book. So many in fact, that it detracted greatly from the reading experience. For example the word "life" had been replaced by the word "the" throughout the e-book. Similarly the world "line" had been replaced by the word "Une" throughout. In addition there were many other errors.
How was this allowed to happen? This would never be allowed in a paper book and I don't see why we should put up with it in an electronic book. I hope Apple and the publishing house work quickly to correct this!
The book is an excellent vision of a semi-futuristic world that is grounded in reality. While not completely accurate scientifically some of the events that take place are quite acceptable with a wink and a nod. It is for the most part believable despite a few leaps the author takes to heighten the danger and suspense.
It is quite uniquely written. The author excels at expressing the dull, monotonous travel one would experience in a long interplanetary voyage. You begin to feel that you too are aboard this ship experiencing the same boredoms and emotions the characters do. The characters themselves are very relatable and enjoyable. The realistic experience of space travel as relayed by this book is punctuated by sudden, sometimes disastrous events that shock you out of the dull progress are both suspenseful and entertaining.
This is as close as you'll ever get to Venus.