Susan's Reviews > Venus
by Ben Bova
by Ben Bova
Though I often consider myself more keen on good characterization and dialogue than a fast-moving plot, when it comes to science fiction, I tend to reverse my usual preferences. The unlikely hero in this book is granted with a sort of late bloomer-coming-of-age story, but many of the other characters never really become more than vaguely enigmatic. The plot however, doesn't really stop moving as the characters are catapaulted into one danger after another. Van Humphries must risk his life to embark on a recovery mission to Venus in order to finally sever ties with his controlling and cruel father, and make a fresh start. Problem is, Venus happens to be just about the most hostile planet out there, Van is inexperienced and sickly, and his chief competitor for the ten billion dollar reward is ruthless and has all the advantages he doesn't. Realistic detail about the dangers of Venus, and the technology involved to get everyone there is useful and unfolds naturally, unlike many novels where it feels awkwardly plugged in, and it never bogs down the pace. Story comes first here, and all in all, it's not a bad one to while an afternoon away.
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