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Mars: A Novel
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YA-- Jamie Waterman, a Native American geologist, is chosen at the last minute for the first manned exploration of the planet Mars. On touchdown, he is so overwhelmed with the emotion of the moment that he utters a Navajo phrase instead of the political statement he is supposed to read. This sets off a chain reaction among the leaders and politicians on Earth. Thus starts Bova's sprawling space opera. The expedition, seen from Jamie's point of view, is really the protagonist here. The story is filled with lots of characters of different nationalities and there's plenty of political intrigue. Of course, there are obstacles to overcome: a meteor almost destroys the lab, the doctor neglects his duty and nearly kills them all, crew members come down with mysterious ``Martian flu,'' and through it all is the never-ending search for evidence of life on this planet. Bova has done extensive research and his descriptions of Mars and the conditions under which the study is conducted are very plausible. All in all, a satisfying story.-- Susan McFaden, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

"A sweeping Michener-style saga of the first expedition to our neighboring planet . . . the ultimate summer escape."-People

"In Mars, Ben Bova re-creates for us much of that first excitement we felt in reading about the possibilities of space flight or, later, witnessing the earliest manned exploration."-Los Angeles Times Book Review

"The definitive novel about our fascinating neighbor."-Arthur C. Clarke

"An intelligent, entertaining story that may also serve as a rallying cry."-Omni

"
Mars
is an exemplary summer read . . . [with] adventurous, brilliant, over-the-edge characters [and] a convincing imaginative core in Bova's carefully imagined, striking, and spooky portrait of the planet."-Voice Literary Supplement

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