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Summary

Dr. Jake Ross, a university astronomer, wants nothing more than to teach a few classes each semester and continue his research. Instead, he finds himself aggressively recruited to be the science advisor to Frank Tomlinson, an ambitious politician with his eye on the US Senate. Tomlinson is in need of an edge that will allow him to defeat his opponent at the polls, and Dr. Ross can contribute just that: MHD.

MHD, or magnetohydrodynamics, is a new innovation that will allow electricity to be generated efficiently and cheaply. The Senate seat is essentially guaranteed if Tomlinson can deliver unlimited energy to voters at less than half the price of nuclear power. But MHD is still in its infancy, and although the outlook is extremely promising there are great - and deadly - risks.

The incumbent senator will not give up his seat without a fight, and as Ross discovers, the world of politics carries its own dangers. Nothing has prepared him for the extreme tactics that desperate and powerful people are willing to use.

Power Play is a timely thrill ride by Ben Bova, one of science fiction’s most respected novelists.

Ben Bova, six-time winner of science fiction’s Hugo Award, is the author of over one hundred works of science fact and fiction. A former editor of Analog and former fiction editor of Omni, he is also a past president of the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America. He lives in Naples, Florida.

©2011 Ben Bova (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Luetra
  • 23-06-21

Anticlimactic

I kept waiting for the big reveal the twist I wasn't expecting. Instead it's a long set up for the other books. Hopefully they deliver.

5 people found this helpful

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  • R. Laplante
  • 21-06-12

Not bad

I love Ben Bova books. That being said, this one is just OK. It is a decent story and good science. I thoroughly enjoyed it but it is not one of his best. I would still recommend is as Ben Bova, at his worst, is still fanatastic.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-21

Political 'thriller' passing for science fiction

First, I have read and enjoyed many Ben Bova novels and his favorite narrator, Stefan Rudnicki, is always an attraction but not even he can save this one. The story has promise and the science is interesting but the story reads like the first novel of a high school student. Certainly, the main character displays all the political, emotional, and romantic sophistication of a 16 year old. An assistant professor of astronomy at an unnamed university he is drawn into politics as the science advisor of a first run senate candidate. There he encounters murder, corruption, and 'politics' while helping his candidate promote a new form of efficient, green energy using local coal. (No mention of how burning coal can be good for the environment.) The novel is populated by cardboard characters - heroes and villains - who are hard to care about or take seriously. Had it not been free I would have felt I had wasted my money.

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  • another know it all
  • 13-02-22

Good, but…

A solid story but the main character was hard to care about. Don’t know when this was written but the relationships between men and women are in the 60s and simple caricatures even for that time. Not much science fiction here either. A weak crime drama. I finished this book but won’t be going on. Too bad I was looking forward to a good Ben Bova series.

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  • Enoch Trey
  • 11-02-22

Not really SciFi

This is a great book and I enjoyed it - well, Ben Bova!
But I’d characterize it as a political thriller (and an excellent one) and not as science fiction.

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  • Amaze
  • 24-01-22

Characters F, plot B-

The characters feel like cardboard cut-outs that the author is moving around. In particular, the male-female relating feels like its entirely from the author's imagination, like he's never actually hung out with women. It's like reading a novel written by a bright adolescent virgin.

The central character, Jake Ross, is completely pathetic. He has an inferiority complex, fawns over women who treat him like dirt, and is completely unassertive. The only charming character in the book is a hoodlum named Monster. I'm hoping that Monster will wack Jake and put him out of his misery.

On the bright side, the author weaves a reasonably workman-like plot, with a decent degree of dramatic tension. Enough to keep me reading, despite my disgust with most of the characters.

My recommendation is to try this if you're looking for some literary junk-food. Keep your expectations low.

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  • Catherine Shea
  • 06-01-22

Thebook was too slow and lacked enough plot line.

Way to slow and not enough of a plot line . Should have been a short story

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  • Debra Lloyd
  • 23-08-21

A Good Setup?

I read all 3 of the other available reviews, after having listened to the book. I was curious what others had to say. I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it either. I found the story interesting but the characters were not riveting, and as one other reviewer said "cardboard". I'm hoping this is what someone else said "a good setup for the following books". I decided to give the next in the series a try as it seems Ben Bova has a loyal following, which is usually a good indicator of likely appeal.