Fred Hughes's Reviews > Power Play

Power Play by Ben Bova
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's review
Feb 16, 2012

it was amazing
Read from February 19 to 22, 2012

While Ben Bova is best known for his science fiction stories he brings the same expertise that he uses to forge those stories, to any story he writes.

This story fits in that category as the main science fiction aspect is something called magnetohydrodynamics or MHD for short, which is a higher efficiency method of generating electricity.

Jake Ross, or more accurately, Dr Jacob Ross’s life was plugging along very nicely thank you. He was teaching astronomy and on his way to tenure at the state university and although his wife had died a year earlier in a car accident he felt that he was dealing with that as well as could be expected.

When his mentor, Dr. Leverett Cardwell ,suggested he meet with Frank Tomlinson who he said may be running for Senator in the next election Jake is hesitant to get involved in politics. Cardwell had been invited to attend as a potential science advisor to Tomlinson but he felt that Jake would be a better candidate.

Jake meets with Tomlinson and agrees to be his science advisor and is tasked by Tomlinson to come up with a scientific improvement as part of his platform. Jake investigates at the university and comes up with MHD which will create electricity at a lower cost and safely use high sulphur content coal which is currently not being used within the state due to emission problems.

The encumbant senator, Senator Leeds soon brings dirty politics into the picture putting Jake and his friends in danger. Gambling and drug connections to Senator Leeds and 3 murders during the campaign seem to be helping the Tomlinson campaign, however danger creeps ever closer to Jake.

The machinations and political jockeying are interesting and Ben Bova always has a tight control over the story line which just flows seamlessly in this book.

Character development is at the highest standards, and the tension as Jake treads through the political mine field is palpable.

A great book from a great author. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Reading Progress

02/20/2012 page 48
02/21/2012 page 224
64.0% "A good old political thriller by a science fiction master"
02/21/2012 page 305
87.0% "Three murders so far
Organized Crime
Not much sci fi content.
Great story telling as always from Ben Bova"
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