A couple of years ago I decided to read all the decent-looking books about the exploration of Mars I could get my hands on. In the past, this has included:
Benford doesn't really milk the tension of this race, which is probably a good thing. Instead he mixes that drama with character development, the story of exploring Mars, and trying to survive on Mars. All in all, it's a fairly well-paced book. It never really elevates itself to a gripping, "just one more chapter before I go to bed" level. But it never really drags either, so I never really found myself bored and wanting to put it down. At times, the flashbacks can get a little confusing/annoying, but they go away as the novel moves towards its interesting, if not exciting, conclusion.
3.5 stars Back to Jon's weblog.