Review of 'The Aftermath'

The Aftermath by Ben Bova
4th book in the 'The Asteroid Wars' series

the_aftermath.jpg This book follows on immediately from the climax The Silent War with the focus shifting to a family dramatically effected by the war. Victor Zacharias and his family live aboard their mining ship the Syracuse who are attacked by Dork Harbin shortly after he destroys the asteroid belt space station Chrysalis. The family are separated in the battle with his wife, son and daughter sent off into deep space without communications and low on fuel aboard the ship while Victor goes the opposite direction in an escape pod. Over the years Victor struggles to scrape together enough money to go searching for his family while they simply struggle to stay alive in their disabled ship. Dork Harbin, now calling himself Dorn, is seeking redemption for his past sins including the destruction of the Chrysalis as he travels to the various sites of his attacks as a mercenary finding the bodies of his victims and giving them the last rites they deserve. Meanwhile, Martin Humphries, head of Humphries Space Systems (HSS), having shown weakness after his encounter with the alien artefact is now determined to kill Dorn who witnessed this event. Elsewhere a group of scavengers attack ships in the belt killing their occupants before claiming the ship as “salvage”. Will Victor be able to find his family before they die or are discovered by the scavengers?

Previous books have focused a great deal on the politics of the Asteroid war so it is good to see Bova here returning to the more personal aspects focusing instead on the human victims of the events. This is a book of horrific events but it is also one of the triumph of human determination and, of course, love. The action-packed finale pulls all of the strands together with the book ending (?) the series in a satisfactory manner. The characters that we have followed throughout the series come to a personal conclusion as well. Their personal motivations are explored a great deal here and it is all the better for it, particularly Dorn who seeks absolution for his horrific crimes.

Yes, you do have to have read the previous novels but this is a suitable finale to the Asteroid War series.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2017-07-15

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: TOR

Publication Date: 2007

ISBN: 9780765384430

Other reviewed books in the 'The Asteroid Wars' series:

Other reviewed books by Ben Bova: