|Submitted by Chandra Amaravadi |
(Jul 19, 2002)
In this novel, Grant, a young, newly-married scientist is shipped off by the New Morality to serve his mandatory 4-yr public service, to Jupiter, to spy on scientists in the research station there. Ben keeps the plot moving as Grant adjusts to life in the station and eventually learns of the clandestine mission to probe Jupiter's oceans. This is an exciting adventure story, but one that leaves no deep impressions. Bova's style is easy when compared to Asimov or Le Guin. The description of station life is very authentic. The characterization of Grant, thrust into the role of a grad assistant is excellent as he faces one dilemma after another. Apart from this and the characterization of his power-crazy boss, the station director, other characters are on the shallow side. This novel is very remniscent of 'Fantastic Voyage,' a sci-fi film of the 1960?s. One can safely say NASA + H.G. Wells (the time machine?) = Bova. Bova's descriptions of Jupiter is so vivid that one is almost transported to the planet's surface. If one can suspend his/her disbelief, given Jupiter's crushing gravity, (apologies to Mr Bova, no matter how well engineered the craft), this novel makes for a good travel companion.