Book Review: Saturn by Ben Bova

Saturn, by Ben Bova, was my “B” book for our current book challenge. Courtney chose one that, frankly, I didn’t even bother with. She picked another LDS book, but she mentioned that it was so overtly over the top LDS that I was just turned off. I have discovered that while I like books to have LDS morals and so forth, I don’t necessarily care for the over the top stuff that these books portray. It’s just a little too much for me.

I didn’t even try that book.

But back to Saturn….

I picked a sci-fi to broaden my experience, and I’m glad I did. Saturn is the story of the first colony put in orbit around the planet Saturn. The book primarily deals with the societal structures and political intrigue of the journey out. Honestly, for a sci-fi, it’s much less sci-fi and much more political in theme, and solid. I liked it.

Bova is a smoother writer who uses the mundane and oddly placed short stories to create a fun and intertwining picture of the broader scene. Where many writers would tell the culture by having the main characters experience it, Bova tells this using throw away characters and a quarter-page story. It’s just fun, changing, and quick.

I won’t go beyond that (I admit to being a terrible reviewer generally…), but I will say that Bova is not my favorite author. He’s also not necessarily someone that I would look up in the future because the story wasn’t that unique, that uplifting, or that inspiring. It was good, but it was not great.

I’d pick up another book by Bova if I saw one for sure, but I’d be just as likely to put it down without reading. However, having read Saturn, I would feel confident that another would be solid.

2.5 to 3 out of 4 stars. Solid, good, not great and not really even memorable.

Hmmm… I don’t really make sense sometimes…. 🙂

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