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Red Hope is an interesting story and like others before in the genre,
tantalizes the reader with the evidence of intelligent life having existed
on Mars at some distant past time. Ben Bova's series of Mars stories deals
with the same issues as for those interested in Mars related fiction that
haven't read his books they are a worthy read. Red Hope has that bang up to
date contemporary feel of a recently written book and so paints a picture
of everyday life that people will feel familiar with.
The narrator is a new one to me and is competent and fluid in his rendering
of the story. In the early stages of the book though, I did think his
reading of narrative sections was a little too fast. He is able to portray a
range of accents but when not having to differentiate characters in that way
and dealing with those of the same sex, I did find that, for example, the
male Americans pretty much sounded the same as did the female Americans.
Only those with a Russian or Texas twang had more distinct voices. I also
felt that the narrator, though very good on the whole, didn't have the
gravitas in his voice to convey the danger, mystery and wonder of some of the
book that I felt was needed. I smiled to myself thinking at one point how
his youthful and enthusiastic voice would lend itself to a character in a Scooby Do cartoon
or something similarly lightweight. That's not to say that the narrator was
in any way a poor one, just perhaps not the best for this type of material.
Still, he gave the prose a flowing and natural reading without any pauses or
other unneeded breaks in the rhythm.
The author did manage to give the reader a series of unpredictable
occurrences and I was surprised at how things turned out so full marks for
that. I did, however, feel that not enough time was spent painting a picture
of life on Mars so that the reader was immersed in the inherent dangers of
the alien environment. This is where I think Bova did a better job in
bringing Mars to the reader. This Mars novel seems more to be a story
platform rather than the setting.
Red Hope is the first of a two part series and so we are left with a cliff
hanger of sorts that will make anyone who liked this story want to get the
concluding part. I am also left wondering just how much the red planet will
figure in the follow up to this story given the circumstances leading to the
end of this book..
Red Hope shows its more contemporary feel in the way it places its key characters in more dire situations than perhaps those in Ben Bova's Mars books but I'd have to say that I prefer Bova's series because it places the reader onto that alien planet in a more immersive way and spends more of his books in that environment than this one does which gets the reader there in perhaps the final third.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The subject material for this book suggests many great story scenarios, but on this occasion, the author has written it in an immature, childish style, forgetting that even science fiction has to be vaguely plausible. It is an entertaining yarn, as long as the listener doesn't think too much about the details.
I understand that this book, (Red Hope) is book 1 of a series; the only way I shall try any subsequent efforts, will be by accident.
What did you love best about Red Hope?
I'm a sucker for novels about Mars. I thought John did a great job at writing a story that was fast paced, descriptive, and captivated my love of adventure and exploration. It wasn't filled with huge scientific ideas, or techno-babble. Don't get me wrong, I love hard sci-fi, but sometimes the super heavy science jargon gets in the way of the plot, and the character development. That certainly wasn't the case here. I enjoyed all the characters, and felt their motivations and actions were believable in their situations.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Hope?
I don't want to give out any spoilers, but there was a point where you find out some more information after someone's death that really made an impact on me.
Which scene was your favorite?
Without giving any spoilers away, there was a scene that involved an argument between two people that ended badly. Trying to put myself in that situation was hard.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
There are a couple of twists in this book that really had me going "oh shit, that's crazy".There are some death scenes which are hard to think about after getting all the information later on in the novel.
Any additional comments?
I bought this on impulse just by searching for novels on Mars. I thought the summary sounded really awesome, and just went for it. I'm so glad I did. This is definitely one of the best novels on Mars that I've come across. I've been recommending it to all my friends. You really need to check this one out.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Story line had a good start, then it just got got silly. I'm hoping the next part gets better
1 of 1 people found this review helpful