source for free and affordable eBooks


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of THE SILENT WAR by Ben Bova (see his website)


    TOR, May 2004

    The conflict between Pancho Lane and her Astro Corporation and Martin Humphries of Humphries Space Systems has always been ruthless, but now the two find themselves pushed beyond competion into outright war. As corporations, both Astron and Humphries depend on profit and loss--but the old antagonism between the two leaders, and the secret manipulations of the Japanese consortium, Yamagata Corporation. Corporate warfare means mercenaries, armed spaceships, blockades, and convoys, as well as innovative use of weapons as modern as nanotechnology and as ancient as assassination. With neither Pancho nor Humphries prepared to back down, and neither willing to listen to reason, the war threatens to spill out of control.

    Author Ben Bova (see more reviews of novels by Bova) is at his strongest when he deals with the near-future universe in which THE ASTEROID WARS is set. Earth, beset by global warming and the floods caused by melting icecaps, is in desperate need of the metals, energy, and complex manufacturing that can only take place in space. Humphries and Astro were the early developers of commercial space technologies. For decades, the two companies have been butting heads, yet the two occasionally cooperate as well. Yet Earth is hardly grateful for their efforts and much of what modern science offers is outlawed on the planet itself. Bova's descriptions of space travel, nanotechnology, and the economics of solar system exploration and exploitation all ring true.

    Bova is weaker when it comes to characters. Humphries is almost completely one-dimensional. He is interested in himself, period. Even his wife, purchased at great sacrifice, ultimately means nothing to him. Pancho is little better--and in THE SILENT WAR, she has become almost Humphries' mirror rather than a real alternative. The Yamagata family shows promise, but quickly descends into evil, plotting the destruction of both Astro and Humphries without a good explanation on why this is the most efficient way to expand Yamagata influence.

    Although I wish that Bova would give his characters more life and a fundamental story question to help them through the novel, the modern world-building and the old-fashioned space opera action keeps me coming back to this series and to Bova.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 6/15/04

    Ready to buy it? Click the button:

    Want to learn more?
    Click this link and see more reviews, similar books, and other Amazon information on THE SILENT WAR from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for THE SILENT WAR from Barnes and

    Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name.

    Have a web site? Want a free web site? Check out these free services.