Review of 'Death Wave'

Death Wave by Ben Bova
A 'Star Quest Trilogy' book

In this sequel to his novel “New Earth”, Jordan Kell returns to Earth having led the first human mission beyond the solar system with his wife New Earth-born Aditi. It is hundreds of years after their departure and Earth is recovering from the disasters caused by greenhouse warming. Caught up in this turmoil the World Council expresses apathy to the coming “Death Wave” which Jordan has learned of that will take thousands of years to arrive on earth but threatens countless alien inhabited worlds before then. The ambitious head of the council Anita Halleck separates Aditi from her husband in the name of “personal security” and has her experts extract from Aditi the secret of the faster than light communication system that she uses to regularly communicate with New Earth. It is up to Jordan and his fellow mission members to convince the stubborn World Council to send rescue expeditions to their alien neighbours before it is too late but Jordan first needs to free his wife from her forced incarceration…

Though I have never read the preceding “New Earth” novel it was not difficult to get up to speed with this second part. The ideas are fairly cliched: An apathetic, politically ambitious and short-sighted human race little interested in their place in the universe confronted by an enlightened space traveller who is frustrated at every turn in his desire to see an incredible disaster averted. It is a story of the “coming of age” of the human race in their galactic community. As with many Bova stories the characters are quite one-dimensional but serve their purpose in the plot and core conceit, expressing only the most extremes of emotion including, here, mostly frustration. There is a fair amount going on here but much of the book is focused on political manoeuvring as Jordan reluctantly realizes he has to play the game in order to have his message heard.

“Death Wave” contains a number of interesting ideas and a slow moving, though interesting plot.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-05-23

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: TOR

Publication Date: 2015

ISBN: 9780765379504

Other reviewed books by Ben Bova: