Review of 'Saturn'

Saturn by Ben Bova
A 'Grand Tour' book

saturn.jpg A giant man-made cylinder is on it's way to Saturn populated by 10,000 men and woman. Little known by most, a portion of the population have been hand-picked to further the interests of a group of religious extremists the “Holy Disciples” who want to establish a religious society at the Saturn outpost. “Malcolm Eberly”, a dangerous socio-path, has been placed on the ship to take over control of any government and further the goals of the order. Unknown to the order Eberly schemes to thwart their plans and avoid their minders as he climbs up the chain of command. The chief scientist, “Edouard Urbain” is largely blind to the political machinations of Eberly as he plans the exploration of the giant planet's moon Titan. However, Urbain himself is bothered by “Manuel Gaeta”, a stunt man from Earth who is determined to be the first man to land on Titan despite the contamination worries of the scientists.

We largely see the story through the eyes of “Holly Lane” who has been brought back from death by her sister who is largely ignorant of the activities around her on the ship. With an “anything goes” policy of those who crave power her life could be in danger if she learns the truth…

I found this chapter of Bova's “Grand Tour of the Solar System” much more political in nature than others. The science and technology very much takes a back seat here, unfortunately. I found this shift in focus led to quite a tedious story of back-biting and political positioning which is not really my cup of tea. The end is a bit of excitement but not quite enough to make up the boring bits that preceded it.

Sure, a few neat ideas here but largely disappointing.

Rating: “Not great, but not the worse”

Review Date: 2015-07-13

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: New English Library

Publication Date: 2003

ISBN: 9780340767672

Other reviewed books in the 'Grand Tour' series:

Other reviewed books by Ben Bova: