The Rock Rats : The Asteroid Wars

  • by Ben Bova
  • Narrated by Ira Claffey, Amanda Karr, cast
  • Series: The Asteroid Wars
  • 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Visionary space industrialist Dan Randolph is dead, but his protege, pilot Pancho Barnes, now sits on the board of his conglomerate. She has her work cut out for her, for Randolph's rival, Martin Humphries, still wants to control Astro and still wants to drive independent asteroid miners like Lars Fuchs out of business. Humphries wants revenge against Pancho, and, most of all, he wants his old flame, Amanda, who has become Lars Fuchs's wife. Before it ends, many will die, and many will achieve more than they ever dreamed was possible.


What the Critics Say

"Bova in top form." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Compelling." (Booklist)
"Hard-charging....Ambitiously juggling elements of space opera, western, and Sophoclean drama, Bova keeps the pages turning." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A little disappointing

Where book one of this series (The Precipice)is a fairly entertaining space opera, The Rock Rats get uncomfortably close to soap opera. I generally prefer hard science fiction where the technology is a logical or at least a plausible extrapolation of current knowledge. On this, Ben Bova generally succeeds, but instead of allowing the science to create most of the dramatic tension, the author relies on the hormonal response of the supposedly hard-headed businessman Humphries to fuel the conflict. Pretty silly really.

There are lots of interesting and unique problems that would be faced by anyone attempting to open up a new frontier such as the asteroid belt. A great example is the rudimentary beginnings of space battle techniques and tactics briefly touched on by the author. Instead, too much of the book is "powerful man wants beautiful woman and is willing to do anything to get her". You don't need science fiction for that theme.

Even so, the book isn't terrible - merely average and a disappointment compared to the first book in the series. Still worth reading though just to see how things turn out. I do hope there is more about Pancho Barnes in the third book. She was a far more interesting character.

One additional note: the voice talent is a bit disappointing as well. At least part of the appeal of book one was the fact that 80-90% of the book was read by Scott Brick and Amanda Karr - both absolutely superb. But even the first book had some short segments with different readers so noticeably inferior that is was disconcerting.

Here the female reader(s)is again outstanding. I can't even tell if there is more than one reader or if Amanda Karr is just so good that she can sound like several different people. Unfortunately, the men (except for Stefan Rudnicki) suffer by comparison. Barely average. I could get used to them, but every time the narration switches back to a female, you get reminded of the mediocrity of most of the male readers.
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- Steve Cross

Great Listen

I enjoyed this latest audiobook in my collection. I have enjoyed all of Bova's creations. He takes you on a grand tour of the solar system with his books. Go ahead and take the tour, you will be gald you did!!
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- Jack

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-01-2005
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio