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Death Wave (Star Quest #2)

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  367 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Six-time Hugo Award winner Ben Bova chronicles the saga of humankind’s expansion beyond the solar system

In Ben Bova’s previous novel New Earth, Jordan Kell led the first human mission beyond the solar system. They discovered the ruins of an ancient alien civilization. But one alien AI survived, and it revealed to Jordan Kell that an explosion in the black hole at the heart
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 17th 2015 by Tor Books
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Norton Stone
Apr 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Imagine taking a Dan Dare comic adventure and writing it up into a full length novel for adults. That is the best way I can describe this. I can only presume the obvious message to contemporary earthlings 'take gobal warming seriously' is seen as so profound it elevates naive simplistic allegory to writing of more fundamental ideological importance. The plot is thin, the writing often unintentionally comedic, the starman in Jordan Kell, stiff, his partner Adriti one-dimensional and the list of o ...more
John (JP)
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Death Wave is a continuation of the story started in Bova's New Earth. It is set in i Bova's Grand Tour series of novels. Unlike those books which are clearly rooted in hard science or the speculation of where technology will be, this book is rooted in political intrigue. I think the story suffers because of it. The characters have no depth, They are either villains, turncoats, or heroes without any deep explanation of their motives. There is only one grand idea in this novel that mankind's futu ...more
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good straight forward story that spans both light years and centuries but in the end it is more a treatise on the human condition as all good sci-fi is want to be - Ben Bova is a master and his experience shines through here.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Dreadful. I can only assume the audience for this book are lovers of mindless light space opera; it certainly falls well outside the purview of serious, complex speculative fiction. Frankly I kept wondering if I had picked up a YA book.
The future in which this was set was within the realms of realism but Bova declined to flesh out any details whatsoever, preferring to relentlessly repeat the same few sketchy facts. Yes, we got it...the coastlines are drowned, millions died and displaced. Want t
D.L. Morrese
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Death Wave is a sequel to New Earth and is another light, enjoyable bit of positive science fiction, reminiscent of classic sci-fi stories like those of Asimov, Clarke, or Heinlein. The prose is not flowery and the characters are not overly complex, both of which I tend to like in stories like this. This one may have overdone the simple characters thing a bit too much, though. The good guys are 100% good. The bad guys are 100% bad...and at least 75% nuts. (This works mathematically because the p ...more
Wes Metz
Mar 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
If you like villains who are easy to hate, heroes who are hard to love (or even like), and prefer your characters made of cardboard, this is the book for you. I found it difficult to believe that Jordan Kell, the protagonist, whose diplomatic skills have ended wars, was so naive that it took forever for him to realize what Halleck (World Council president and villain extraordinaire) was up to. Apparently this novel is the middle book in a trilogy, so perhaps it suffers from being the transitiona ...more
Fredrick Danysh
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Jordan Kell and his alien wife return to Earth from New Earth with a warning. A deadly radiation wave will reach Earth in two thousand years but numerous civilizations will be destroyed much sooner. Kell's job is to convince the Earth's government to build ships and mount rescue operations. But Earth's leaders are more interested in gaining alien technology to control the rest of the solar system. Bova presents another intesting science fiction read.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-sf-fantasy
It's not as deep as the previous novel, "New Earth", but it takes a tried and tested sequel route: following up something remarkable and profound with something that is exciting, tension-filled, and packed with adventure...while still having something to say about the nature of humanity. A very easy, very engrossing read.
William Middleton
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
in chapter 1: Explorers from Earth find a planet in another star system, that is a near duplicate of earth with duplicate humans, all created by aliens. They return to Earth with alien technologies. well worth reading, unique plot elements, but 3 stars for lacking the complexity and personality of my favorite authors.
Karl Geiger
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Follows up New Earth; read it before engaging this book.

Note: spoilers ahead.

Our Hero, Jordon Kell, returns to Earth to enlist humanity's aid in rescuing nascent intelligent life forms from an approaching gamma-radiation Death Wave the galactic core has emitted. Kell learned of Death Wave from the humans of New Earth, whom the Predecessors had placed there in order to teach mankind about the Death Wave.

Objectively, the Predecessors' plan is pretty sketchy -- if humans hadn't bothered to schlep
Michael Edelson
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my least favorite book in the series. So why four stars? Because I enjoyed it a lot. I like the characters and I like the story. The only thing I didn't like is a)lack of space travel!! and b)the politics were too simple. The leader of the world council can't manage to have someone put in protective custody? An aging scientist beats up two security agents and escapes from a hotel crawling with them? It's not impossible, but it's not exactly probable and stretches the suspension of disbel ...more
Craig Wakefield
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ben Bova has written over 50 books. Most from what I can see are science fiction. How could it be that I have not read any Ben Bova science fiction? I decided to read this one because I thought it was the start of a trilogy. Once I began reading it I realized that this is the second in a series of what will be four books.

Science fiction can cover a plethora of topics but most seem to focus on either fantasy or the wide scope vision of worlds or people at war throughout the galaxies. Some authors
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The story includes a woman who is from another star system and is human created by a race of machines from genetic material from Earth. Within her brain is the ability to communicate at faster than light speed. I found this aspect of the story intriguing along with communication in general in this future setting of our solar system. I did not find the writing very good. The author is a big name in Sci Fi and has written a lot, so I was let down that the writing quality seemed to be that of a rat ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
This is the second book in Ben Bova's Star Quest trilogy. It wasn't nearly as enjoyable as New Earth. The entire book is essentially about the politics of sending a fleet of starships to worlds in distant star systems. Based on the ending of the first book in the trilogy, I expected that this second installment would start off this way. The problem was that it never progressed past that. Despite taking place in the future, it didn't really feel like a science fiction novel. The things you expect ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this one. As the conclusion of the New Earth trio, I expected there to be more of what Bova does best, but this conclusion had no space exploration and relatively none of his usual science fact - it was just filled with politics and intrigue. I still enjoyed it, but would've loved it if we got a little more from it.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
book two in a three part series.... Ben Bova is a great sci-fi writer....
Justin Crotty
Jul 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Wow that was weak. Ben mailed it in on this one.
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quick and enjoyable read
A little formulaic for Bova.

Ok read, but not much happening. It appears to be setting up for the third book in the series. I'm looking forward to the next book.
Jake Cohen
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
A bit of a let down. The characters are predictable and one dimensional, and nothing too unexpected happens in the plot. Even the sci-fi was light in this one. And Aditi's only purpose seemed to be as a comms link to the people back on New Earth who could produce a magic fix to any plot problem that the author couldn't figure out how to solve.

I really liked the earlier novels in the Grand Tour series because they explored how various aspects of space and interplanetary travel would pan out. But
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Amoxy Mox
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A little to righteous for my tastes. People were either really good or really bad, not much in-between
Rob Roy
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The squeal to "New Earth", this book is about the maturing of human kind, and whether they will take their place among the stars. It is about politicians whose main goal is their own power, and those who will stop at nothing to please those in power. In short, it is about humanity. Ben Bova weaves the various well defined characters through the events, slowly tying them all together. Yes it is science fiction, but that is the excuse, rather than the genre. An excellent read.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-to-myself
Oh boy. Let's start with the good. The chapters were short and it was a fairly breezy book to blow through. Great to read in small chunks, if that's your thing. It was also a good lesson in the "Sunk Cost Fallacy." At 300 pages in I realized I didn't care much about what happened to these flat characters but I figured "Well, I already read this far, might as well finish it." WRONG! Here's some advice: Just because you start something, especially something that's supposed to be for 'fun,' it does ...more
Alex Telander
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
In Ben Bova’s previous standalone novel, New Earth, Jordan Kell traveled to a distant planet and found life that had been created by an advanced form of being akin to that of humans. They learned a lot from these “aliens” with their advanced technologies and way of life. Now Kell has traveled back to Earth with one of the aliens who is his new wife to show her off to the world and let them know of this new Earth.

But there is also something far more important to bring to the attention of the peop
Ron Arden
May 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a sequel to New Earth, where Jordan Kell and his crew ventured forth from Earth and found a new Earth with human descendants. Now Jordan and some of the crew return to Earth and try to warn them of the upcoming radiation wave that is coming to wipe out intelligent species across the galaxy. Of course since it won't hit Earth for awhile, the politicians drag their feet and don't do anything. Sound familiar?

Since Kell left Earth, climate change devastated parts of the planet and the globa
W.T. Fallon
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Connolly
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
No one reads a Ben Bova novel for deep, thoughtful characters; we read him for the science and a grand sense of wonder. This is old school science fiction where men with "strong cheeckbones, thick silver hair carefully groomed, ... equally silver mustache trim and graceful" and women "slim and youthful, with pert nose(s), short-clipped hair as red as autumn leaves, and alert, intelligent brown eyes" take care of the business at hand.

A very straight forward tale of interstellar intrigue that is a
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Death Wave by Ben Bova
Reviewed by Flor Constantino
As a fan of Bova I am disappointed in this book. Have I missed something? When did he start writing as if for a tv series? There are short snippet chapters, lots of characters that come and go, then the plot moves painstakingly slow.
However, it is contemporary with our times and the Paris Carbon Reduction Agreement reached this week. This is what would happen if we continued to ignore listening to our planet in the future; millions have died, sh
Lucy Takeda
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure I will ever accept the basic premise of this novel: humans travel across the galaxy, to locate a planet very much like ours, with people like us, that were created by intelligent machines centuries ago so they could study us. Hmmm. The rest of the plot, involving political ambitions, folks trying to control others, the perils of giving advance technology to pre-tech races ( Star Trek!), was quite compelling. The interactions between the assorted power or wealth addicted characters w ...more
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Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University, he married Rosa Cucinotta, they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.

Bova is an avid fencer and organized Avco Everett's fencing club. He is an environmentalist, but rejects Luddism.

Bova was a technical writer fo
More about Ben Bova

Other books in the series

Star Quest (4 books)
  • New Earth (The Grand Tour, #21)
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