The Precipice by Ben Bova (The Asteroid Wars)
Short Review: Well-woven story set in a not-too-distant-future full of corporate intrigue and environmental chaos, both on earth and in colonized outer space. The amazing readers bring our cast of characters to life – I highly recommend it and am scheming for when I can start the next book in the sequence.
Long Review: The story is set in a not so far off future in which earth has hit what they call a “Greenhouse Cliff”. After decades of ignoring global warming, the balance of earth’s environment has gone over the edge leaving behind rapidly melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, flooding and violent weather of all types. The moon has been colonized, science and technology have made dramatic breakthroughs, governments are still generating more red tape and tycoons still want to make more money. Different countries are tackling the increasing number of disasters in their own ways, but you get a strong sense that all this is too little too late. Some folks seem to have found this book a bit too preachy on the woes of global warming and imminent worldwide natural disasters, but for me it worked well as the backdrop to the story being told. Ultimately, a lot of our story takes place up on the moon or on space ships.
What I love most about this story are the people. I especially appreciate that it was not immediately obvious to me who was meant to be the “good guys” or the “bad guys”. The story isn’t that simple. People aren’t that simple. Bova has done a fine job with giving us individuals with strengths and weaknesses. Some of them you would love to get to know over dinner, some you likely would give a lot to avoid – but the way their stories intertwine (plus the suspense and intrigue about how it all will turn out) should keep your attention.
Each shift in point of view is accompanied with a change in reader. I am not sure I always understood the logic behind the selection of which narrator used for each section or why music was included sometimes and not others – but overall it worked. After a while of listening to audio books, a familiar voice is like an old friend. Seeing Scott Brick‘s name listed on this book immediately boosted my confidence that it was likely going to be a good listen – and I was obviously not disappointed.
This is just the first volume in the Asteroid Wars series and I am excited to move on to the next book and find out what Bova has in store for us. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.