Publishing Date: December 2013
Publishers Description: How do you get to the Red Planet? Not via a benighted government program trapped in red tape and bound by budget constrictions, that’s for sure. No, what it will take is a helping of adventure, science, corporate powerplays, a generous dollop of seduction—both in and out of the boardroom—and money, money, money!
Review: First off, the cover art is really sad. Poor showing for the Scifi genre with Bova’s name attached. A behemoth ship being built above Earth or hovering over Mars would have been much better. Instead we have a suit in a boardroom with a picture of the Mars landing. Weeeee!!!!
This was a pretty fun read. Thrasher is just great throughout the novel. Well developed in a shallow skirt chasing sort of way. The billionaires were presented as forming a set of very eclectic personalities, but we never saw the development of these personalities which would have made for a very interesting novel. Instead we follow Thrasher around the world on his forays to unite the world in his quest to realize a Mars landing with a live crew. Throw in some hot chicks here and there, either as virtual eye candy or for Thrashers pleasure and we start to get one-dimensional.
There have been some really good scifi novels that embraced the visual antics of sex, kind of like being there too. Bova intimates that sex is occurring without the descriptors. Like, you just have to take his word that it happened. If your going to spend a fair amount of time describing women that Thrasher interacts with or goes to bed with, then go all the way with the scene development. It will not cheapen the novel. If Thrasher has a mild love interest and is not as focused on women, then play it thin on the scenes.
This novel is in the Scifi genre but I would say that it is fiction. There is no culmination with the actual landing of Mars. There are no aliens, bacteria, ancient structures or hidden water caches underground. It is an entertaining novel about the fiscal/political construct to achieve Mars. It is fun and insightful with good writing but not awe inspiring.