We are back on Mars ready to explore new regions and to go back to a tantalizing feature that was only glimpsed on the last mission.
I felt that Bova did a much better job at characterization than in his previous effort. Some of the emotional sides of the story were still a bit clunky but much less so than before.
This time, instead of being threatened by some disease the treat comes from within the program. There will come a time when decisions will have to be made on how much of Mars will need to be preserved and how much will be exploited.
The needs of science versus the need to make money (to fund missions for science) come to a head and I was quite pleased with the twist from one of the antagonists.
The ultimate resolution to the conflict was, once again, solved in an interesting and surprising way.
I liked this one even better than the last.
Ben Bova's website - http://benbova.com/