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The Asteroid Wars by Ben Bova
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541340,344 (3.08)None
The precipice. Once, Dan Randolph was one of the richest men on Earth, but now that the planet is spiralling into environmental disaster, he must look to the wealth of the stars to save the economy. Martin Humphries is also aware of the potential of space-based industry, but he does not care if Earth perishes so long as he makes a profit. And, he will do anything to gain control of Randolph's company, Astro Manufacturing.The rock rats. "When top-notch pilot Pancho Lane came to work at Astro Manufacturing, her only thought was to keep her dead sister cryogenically preserved until she could be revived. So, when Martin Humphries offers her money to spy on her boss, it's a no-brainer--until Dan Randolph taps her to fly the first fusion ship to the Asteroid Belt.The silent war. Martin Humphries has exiled his rival Lars Fuchs to the depths of space and taken his wife for his own. For Humphries, nothing short of total domination will ever be enough. But another power is building its strength in secret, waiting for its chance to seize the Humphries empire… (more)

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The Precipice: Two very rich industrialists believe they may have the key to the Earth's salvation and embark upon a partnership with the goal of moving Earth's heavy industries into outer space... but only one of the partners really has Earth's best interests in mind. Mr. Bova highlights current environmental issues and creates an intense if somewhat traditional good-guy, bad-guy space opera with compelling characters that made me want to continue reading beyond the ending of The Precipice.

The Rock Rats: Taking up right where The Precipice left off, The Rock Rats continues the story of good versus evil, albeit with a change of characters - some of the characters in the first novel of the series gave their lives for the cause in which they believed. I dropped one star from the rating because this second novel suffers from "middle novel syndrome." The Rock Rats carries the burden of sustaining the reader's interest while allowed to provide few resolutions to the questions left open by the first novel... and the characters here (most of whom were continued from The Precipice) are less affable than characters no longer present in the story.

The Silent War: The third novel begins about six years after the end of The Rock Rats. The strange interlude where Martin Humphries visits the artifact on a distant asteroid doesn't make sense here, but provides some foundational information for later in the story. After this interlude, the story resumes from the point where it left off six years earlier. A good bit of the length of this third entry in the series is marred by a plodding pace that could have been vastly enhanced by some objective editing. The problem with "middle novel syndrome" continues from The Rock Rats... and, well, this part of the story is just plain less interesting; however it is still worth reading because it provides some of the background needed to fully understand the concluding novel in the series.

Continued in http://www.librarything.com/review/51360189

This review was previously published on Dragonviews ( )
  1dragones | Nov 25, 2009 |
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