Ben Bova, 1932-

Book - 2021

"In the outer settlements of the human-occupied solar system, there are rumors about what was found deep under Neptune's frozen seas when a Hungarian billionaire's ship was lost with all hands. But the rumors are far more tame than the reality. When the billionaire's daughter mounts a mission to find the truth, her discoveries will up-end humanity's understanding of our origins on Earth"--

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Bova, Ben, 1932- Outer planets trilogy ; 2.
Science fiction
New York : Tor 2021.
First edition
Item Description
Sequel to: Uranus.
Physical Description
233 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Ben Bova, 1932- (author)
Review by Booklist Review

For the last several decades Bova has been writing an extensive series of stand-alone novels set in a common future history. The Grand Tour series chronicles the expansion of humanity outward into the solar system and beyond. The latest entry in the series follows Baroness Ilona Magyar as she prepares an expedition to the outermost gas giant Neptune in the hope of rescuing her father, lost on a previous mission to the mysterious planet. While the Baroness and her crew do indeed find answers (not necessarily to her liking), they also uncover evidence of a past cataclysm and a possible future threat to humanity. Bova's world building is solid and believable, enhanced by clear, accessible prose. Focus is kept on the realistic characters, and it is through their journey that the reader comes to realize the greater cosmic implications in the story. Longtime Bova readers will be satisfied by this latest entry, and readers interested in classic hard science fiction à la Asimov and Clarke will find Neptune immensely enjoyable.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Hugo Award--winner Bova (1932--2020) isn't at his best in the second novel of his Outer Planets trilogy (after 2020's Uranus); the inventiveness that marked the author's strongest books is absent in a volume that ends up feeling like a lengthy tease. Ilona Magyr is determined to travel to Neptune on a deeply personal mission: her father, Baron Miklos Magyr, embarked on an expedition to explore that planet's oceans, and after three years of silence, he's been presumed dead by everyone but Ilona. She finances a trip to search for him, accompanied only by two men who both have a romantic interest in her, scientist Jan Meitner and capt. Derek Humbolt, "known throughout the worlds as the most fearless, most competent, boldest explorer of them all." Their journey to the bottom of Neptune's oceans proves unexpectedly hazardous as they encounter new life-forms that consider them potentially edible. What they discover about Ilona's father sets the stage for an even greater challenge, but Bova doesn't make humanity's response to that challenge plausible, and his imagined Neptunian life isn't particularly creative. The same plotline has been done better by authors like Jack McDevitt. (Aug.)

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