There's a lengthy time devoted to two of the main characters talking with dolphins, trying to prove that they are smarter than they appear, and it all falls flat. One of the main characters, D, is a girl. Now, there are some small hints at how she needs to take care of herself and watch out, but those don't go anywhere. I know it's odd to wish a book to take a turn to the dark side, but seeing as Station Gold is a closed system with a finite amount of men and women, the possibility of sexual assault and the like is surely there, yet never dealt with.
Everyone finds D attractive, yet only two people flirt with her, and one of those people does it more as a joke than anything else. Some of the characters, just in general, seem stupid in regards to what they say and do. This isn't the kind of realistic stupidity, but more the kind that is needed to advance the plot.
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There are also brief mentions of religion, but the author doesn't do anything with them. Unlike C.
Grand Tour (Bova) Series Audiobooks | prevrebasherd.tk
Lewis who based his entire science fiction stories around religious themes, those in this novel appear and disappear at random, almost acting as subliminal messages than actual motifs or themes. It's both annoying and disappointing. There are good ideas here, but it takes too long to get to them. Some aren't even contemplated. I will say, it's narrated really well which can make or break an audiobook. One of the better stories, original and interesting. What other book might you compare Leviathans of Jupiter to and why? Reminds me a little of "Stranger in a Strange Land".
How did the narrator detract from the book? Three or four voices reading, handing off in strange places. The trouble is their accents or reading of the characters are all different.
It would throw me off every time. One reader would give a character a strong Australian accent, another one wouldn't. It took me out of the story trying to figure out who the character was. It really hurt the flow of the story. Really a good example of never to do it again in the same way.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be? Second contact, on Jupiter. Any additional comments? I also had technical issues with the file, the first time in years. It seemed to jump around backwards. Sometimes a few chapters, sometimes more. It was a little disconcerting, but also surprising how I could listen to the same thing over again and hear more of the story the second time.
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So, I didn't hate it. The question this book asks is "If we met an alien life form, how would me determine if it was intelligent? Also, how would the alien life form determine if we were intelligent? Westfall's inclusion as antagonist is unnecessary, made even worse in that her character is idiotic, her motives are stupid, as are her actions.
I would have liked to see more politics by the Leviathan elders as it would have been the aliens discovering about us and about paradigm changes. Ben Bova knows how to tell a good story and I want to see if the heroine returns. Don't waste your money and buy this book. I have tried to read Ben Bova years ago and forgot why I stoped at only the one book. His writing is awful. How many times do we have to hear a conversation "He said Come on, when writing conversations between two people, we, the readers, can follow without labeling every line.
He also wrote obvious lines like when two characters were talking, then the female character had to explain the motive of the male's portion of the conversation Like we couldn't figure that out ourselves. I will not listen to another Ben Bova book again and I will remember why.. It offers an even greater insight into the giant intelligent mega-whales living in Jupiter's ocean of pure hydrogen and has some great returning characters from the first book, and from other parts of the World Tour series from what I can tell.
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Over all I greatly enjoyed the book. But I do have a couple rather pointed criticisms that made it almost unbearable to get through. Cathrine Westfall is introduced fairly early on as your typical big bad corporate type that quickly takes a detour to over the top crazy town, and I do mean crazy as in mentally ill. She comes across not as a devious and cunning buisness woman but someone who is so over the top evil, and so moronic, that you have to wonder how she even got to her powerful position without either having been arrested or making everyone hate her right out the bat.
She felt like a Saturday morning cartoon villian, but without the fun self awareness while keeping the terrible plans. Which bring us to point 2: Her plans, or rather how people react to them. Now I won't be spoiling this for you, but suffice to say that if while reading you ask yourself "Wait why doesn't the main character tell anyone about this right away, and when she does tell someone about this why isn't Westfall locked up in her room under guard?
No one in this book reacts like any sane normal human being would when dealing with Westfall's crap, because if they did she would be declawed so quickly she would not be a factor a fourth the way through. Instead we get a very egregious example of writer fiat because Bova couldn't figure out actually intelligent plots for his main bad guy.
And last, but honesty least as this is a more minor thing compared to everything else: The last fourth of the book. The climax of the story is simultaneously engaging and frustrating, where we are finally in Jupiter's ocean with the humans interacting with the leviathans, in some very well thought out interactions that made me grin listening to them; and the we keep cutting back to the station to Westfall's ongoing shenanigans that you have most likely stopped caring about.
But again, see above for all the reasons that is annoying. The arguably more annoying part with section is the writing.
Grand tour of the solar system
It feels like Bova was running out of steam and his editor was asleep on the job; as characters repeat lines every other chapter about events going on in a way that makes you wonder if they remembered saying them before, and not just the humans our resident whale POV does it too. It just feels sloppy and slightly tarnished what could have been a stellar final act.
All in all, still a good read with some problems that may make getting through it kind of difficult. I recommend reading Jupiter first as it will enhance the experience. Enjoy some fun hard scifi and xenofiction my friends, as what is there is good. Oh and what was with the Dolphins? We never got a resolution to that. I had no idea what I was really going to be listening to it was just the title that interested me but it was a really terrific book and I can't wait to read some more my wish list is just loaded with Ben bova's books.
I wanted to continue listening to find out how the contact between races would go. However, I was really bothered by the motivation of the bad guy in the story.
Book Review: Leviathans of Jupiter
It really asks a lot from your willing suspension of disbelief. All in all a good read with some top notch performances.
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I wish they would go back to either a single narrator or give each character a consistent voice actor! It's a hard sci-fi story that goes out of its way to emphasize the purpose of science and exploration. The characters are stereotypes, but the plot is solid. Most of the narrators are pretty good. I will work my way through Bova's solar system and enjoy every minute of it.
Having read and enjoyed the forerunner to this story I selected "leviathans of Jupiter" as my next read so that I could find out more about the mysterious creatures we encountered in that first story, "Jupiter". I was also wanting to see how the main character in the prequel, Grant Archer had got on and so I looked forward to this book despite the generally unfavourable reviews I had read. In summary, I found the novel not quite as good as the first story and I put this down largely to some of the characters. As I have said in my previous reviews, Bova has a somewhat hit and miss record when it comes to getting his characters right and he has got some misses here.
However, what I think was the worst aspect of the book and one I've seen repeated on several other Bova stories is the multi-narrator format. In my view this type of format doesn't work or perhaps I should say that it might work better if the choice of narrators was better.
Stefan Rudnicki did his usual competent job of narration but alas his contributions were minimal. The first English accented female narrator we hear in the story that describes Jupiter to the listener tends to have a tone in her voice as if she's relating the narrative to a group of 10 year olds sat in class which was slightly irritating. There is another English accented female that does the majority of the Catherine Westfall character and she does the Australian accent perfectly.
However, she does a an almost pantomime rendition of all male characters in an over attempt to compensate for a deeper male voice. The narrator that performs the "D" character was OK but when she spoke the lines of the Corvis or Yeager characters she tended to sort of do it as if they were almost shouting or were exclaiming everything. The fewest contributions were by another American accented female who largely spoke the Linda character and her voice was awful.