Mars Life : Grand Tour (Bova)

  • by Ben Bova
  • Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
  • Series: Grand Tour (Bova)
  • 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jamie Waterman has made an important discovery on Mars. A cliff dwelling reveals the fact that an intelligent race lived on the red planet 65 million years ago, only to be driven into extinction by the crash of a giant meteor. But now the exploration of Mars is itself under threat of extinction, as the ultraconservative New Morality movement gains control of the U.S. government and cuts off all funding for the Mars program. Meanwhile, Carter Carleton, an anthropologist who was driven from his university post by unproven rape charges, has started to dig up the remains of a Martian village. Science and politics clash on two worlds as Jamie desperately tries to save the Mars program and uncover who the vanished Martians were.


What the Critics Say

"[A] gripping and convincing conclusion....Bova deftly captures the excitement of scientific discovery and planetary exploration. This compelling story, balancing action and plausible political intrigue, will easily be enjoyed by both fans and newcomers." ( Publishers Weekly)"Another attention-grabbing entry in a series that continues to grow in stature, scope, and complexity. Once again, Bova in top form." ( Kirkus Reviews)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Loved the continuing story line from Ben, read brilliantly by Stefan Rudnicki. I just so enjoy the the premises of there being life still on Mars just waiting for us to discover
Read full review

- Stephen

Good Read

Having read the previous two Mars based stories in Bova's Grand Tour series
as well as a few others and deciding that the Mars books were overall the
best of the series I'd read so far, I decided to read the final book, Mars
Life. Mars Life picks up some 23 years after the events in "Return To Mars"
and features Jamie Waterman, his now wife, VJ and Dex Trumble that we last
met in the previous Mars installment.

Mars has now over 200 scientists working there in a large dome now sited in
the bottom of the canyon adjacent to the structures found in the cliff face
by Waterman in the first book. However, severe funding cuts and attempts by
the New Morality to shut down the mars programme are threatening the future
of Mars exploration and Jamie Waterman has to find a solution.

One of the things I liked in this story was how quickly the reader "got" to
Mars. The reader was back on the surface of the red planet right from the
off and although there was some minor mention of the New Morality this
aspect of the politics that can bloat some stories was minimal and thus

Bova didn't fall into the trap of describing technologies that dated the
story as he had done in his first Mars book although his sense of what's
fashionable does hark back to the 70's where I think Bova is still stuck in
to some extent. Negative racial attitudes show its face in a few minor
instances which I always found rather odd amongst supposedly the highest
calibre scientists. Thankfully, apart from one character there wasn't the
usual wanting to get this or that person into bed narrative that peppers
Bova's books and which I find just an annoying and rather silly inclusion.
The odd reference to "slacks" are mentioned which as other readers of my
Bova reviews will know is something I find terribly dated and yet Bova still
clings to this term for some reason.

The key characters are well defined and fit well into the story and the
narrative was well paced I thought. I liked the story overall and I felt it
did place the reader on the surface of this distant world and certainly made
me want a manned mission to the mysterious red world to happen sooner as I
feel sure that mars has a lot of secrets to reveal. I liked Bova's theory of
life and how it might have become extinct and think that it's even plausible

Mars Life left me wanting more and I hope that Bova revisits the red world
sometime soon as this story leaves us in no doubt that there are many more
stories from Mars that are possible.

I would recommend this book and although it read as a stand alone story, I
do suggest that the other books Mars and Return to Mars be read first to get
the most out of this novel.

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- S. Morris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 22-09-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.