Mars (Grand Tour Series #1)

Mars (Grand Tour Series #1)

4.3 22
by Ben Bova

View All Available Formats & Editions

Twenty-five astronauts of the international Mars mission set down on the harsh and unforgiving planet and soon face deadly meteor showers, subzero temperatures, and a mysterious virus.


Twenty-five astronauts of the international Mars mission set down on the harsh and unforgiving planet and soon face deadly meteor showers, subzero temperatures, and a mysterious virus.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Deadly challenges await the first astronauts of the International Mars Mission in Ben Bova’s space opera adventure. Bova’s realistic account of space exploration details the mission’s inception, political hurdles, and eventual launch. On the red planet, the politics continues and threatens to overtake the mission after geologist Jamie Waterman forgets the first public message back to Earth and utters a Navaho expression instead. As this near-future adventure unfolds, environmental challenges and disease are as devastating to the crew as the discoveries they make.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal
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

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Grand Tour Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

What People are saying about this

Orson Scott Card
"Mars is a book that puts Bova at the forefront not only of hard SF writers but also establishes him as one who can write a novel of character with the best of them."
Terry Brooks
"Mars is a gripping, realistic tale of man's first expedition to the red planet. Don't miss it."
Ray Bradbury
"There's a lot of fine territory, and Bova covers it in grand style."

Meet the Author

Ben Bova has been a presence in science fiction for more than four decades. He is past president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and a recipient of the Hugo and other awards. His novels include Brothers, Moonrise, Mars, and Return to Mars, all available from Brilliance Audio. He lives in Naples, Florida with his wife and literary agent, Barbara.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Mars 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
ryanseanoreilly More than 1 year ago
Realistic portrayal of foray to Mars. A very REALISTIC story about man's first trek to mars. The story is dutifully speculative fiction. Painstakingly thoughtful on all the circumstances that would surround such a voyage, from earth-bound politics to interpersonal relationships of the travelers themselves. Lets also not forget the science which Bova provides in generous amounts. If you love mars and you love scientific fiction about space exploration then you will love this book. I feel the author made a hard choice in keeping away from fantasy and he sticks to it through and through. Its hard to explain without giving away spoilers. Overall, I felt somewhat unsatisfied with the result. While the work is done masterfully for what it is I felt a tad bit cheated in the end. That said, I will state unequivocally that I was glued to this book throughout my reading. I found myself compelled to keep picking it up and the writing is done well so I was able to plow through it quite swiftly despite its length. So kudos to the author for keeping me quite interested from start to finish. I did not like the politics of the book or the interpersonal relationships. Which I suppose you were not supposed to like as they serve as potential sources of conflict for the main character. They were done fine. However, I feel like the author kept threatening to derail the mission because of various political problems on the ground or petty jealousies among the chief characters. All of this would be quite good, and it served a purpose of putting this space exploration in a realistic world - yet I felt that the author shied away from really raising the stakes with these things. And because the politics and interpersonal relationships only seemed to threaten thing in a weak way I felt that the peaks and valleys of the story were less dramatic. I guess it felt a bit like the story was sacrificed for the mission. So I wonder if the book could have been shortened if we took out some of the these elements. I would say this story is really a 3.5 star rating. And yet, I feel duty bound to leave you with the notion that I could truly not put down the book. So if you are at all interested in Mars missions and realistic science fiction, I would definitely check it out.
lindamb296 More than 1 year ago
this was the slowest book, the characters were overstated. too much character development and not enough sci-fi. haven't even finished the book, but am on last two chapters and still no major story surprise or excitement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SaMant1s More than 1 year ago
This book was what got me into sci-fi in the 6th grade many years ago. I bought the eBook this Christmas ('13) when I received some B&N gift cards. It's still a great book but this eBook version has a lot of spelling and punctuation errors which can detract from your experience. I gave it four stars instead of five because of these errors, which could've easily been spotted by an editor before releasing the eBook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to rip into it now that it's NOOK'D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReubenUT More than 1 year ago
Ben Bova has created a realistic rendition of the first exploratory expedition to Mars. His attention to detail and reality makes the story feel real. He describes the trip to Mars, the landing on and the surface of Mars, and traveling on the planet's surface so realistically that the reader is pulled into believing that he/she is participating in the trip and the events Mr. Bova recounts. The first plot revolves around academic/political in-fighting which sounds like Mr. Bova may have participated or been the victim of something similar. The second plot surrounds the discovery of something in the wall of the great canyon and provides the hero with the compulsion to return (as he does in the next book: Return to Mars). Ben Bova's style is reminiscent of the sci-fi writers of the fifties and sixties and is so smooth as to permit a complete read through in one day. Recommended to all hard-science sci-fi fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Bova book I read, and he didn't disappoint at all. In a word, it was awesome. It encompasses the wonder of an alien vista mixed with suspense, drama, a bit of romance and plenty of danger. Bova's work is believable and so vivid that you find yourself there on the red planet along with the characters. I also appreciated the multi-cultural team of scientists. The discoveries they make affect the whole world, not just a single country. If you've ever wanted to go to Mars, this is the way to do it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't think that I have ever read better! Bova packs Mars with excitement and thrill! A roller-coaster ride of action! There is a political touch, but not so much as to lead off the storyline. Definetly read Return to Mars, too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ben Bova's Mars is an excellent read for anyone who likes Sci-Fi, or is simply intrested in the Red Planet. It is about an Native American geologist, Jamie Waterman, who is chosen last minute on a mission to Mars. When they arrive on Mars, the group of astronauts face many dangers such as meteor showers, and a virus that almost kills them all. But Jamie discovers what he thinks is the ruins of an ancient civilization in the Valles Marineris, which would prove that intellegent life once existed. You MUST read this book!