Much to everyone’s surprise, humans save the day in this one

I’ve returned to the beginning. After mistakenly starting with book two, I’ve now finished books 3 and 4 and have returned to where it all started – New Earth.

In this book, we learn about how Jordan Kel met his alien wife Aditi and how his team received information about the death wave, the gamma-ray burst speeding towards earth from the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

New Earth

By Ben Bova

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Humanity is just beginning to branch out to the stars. It is on their maiden voyage to a star eight light years away that they discover an Earth-like planet. Not only is it Earth-like, but it is also a near duplicate.

Once in orbit around this “New Earth,” they detect a signal, which encourages a team of brave scientists to descend to the surface for a closer look.

What they discover is the strangest thing – something they could never have predicted: humans.

The humans of New Earth undertake the task of educating the travelers, and in so doing, they bring a warning: death is coming.

Many thousands of years earlier, the center of our galaxy emitted a deadly gamma-ray burst. This so-called Death Wave is now expanding out into the Milky Way and will destroy all organic life in its path. That is, unless our intrepid, human star travelers decide to return to Earth with a warning and a plea to humanity to build starships and travel to every corner of the galaxy to warn and protect other intelligent alien species from the coming Death Wave.

My Thoughts

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Are you serious? Another post about this ‘Death Wave’ thing?”

It’s the last one, I promise.

I discovered Ben Bova’s book titled Death Wave right around Christmas of 2022. Thinking that it was the first book in the Star Quest series, I jumped right in. As I began to listen, I kept thinking to myself, “I feel like I’m missing something. There must be more to this story. They keep mentioning this ‘New Earth,’ but I don’t know anything about it.”

Well, that’s because New Earth is book one.

“You said that already.”

I know. I’m sorry. I tend to repeat myself when I get excited.

“You didn’t rate the books in this series very high.”

You’re right. I didn’t. Perhaps that was unfair. I did my best to rate each one based on how much I enjoyed it. If I look back at the series as a whole (Star Quest: four books) and average my ratings, I would give the series 3.75 stars. If you want to know more about my star ratings, I describe them on the Book Ratings page of this site.

I found it interesting how Bova brings his story full circle in this series. In the first book, our human star travelers meet a benevolent A.I. that is seeking the help of humans to save organic life in the galaxy from the Death Wave. In book four, our human star travelers meet a morally indifferent A.I. that does not see the logic in preserving organic life because, “eventually all organic life ends.”

The more I think about it, the more I realize I enjoy Bova’s work. They are imaginative, yet it’s easy for me to see how these possible futures could become a reality. He tackles common themes like climate change and Earth’s increasing population. He also poses creative questions, like “How would a group of 12 people respond if they traveled through space for eighty years to discover that humans already inhabited their destination?”

Click the button below to head over to Goodreads to view all the different series he has written. Have you read any of his books? Which ones? Let me know in the comments below.

Adult fans of Ben Bova, hard science fiction, and/or space opera are likely to enjoy this series.

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It’s March, and Spring is just around the corner.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to get the garden started, and the bicycle tires aired up. The gloom of winter will soon pass, and the sun will be our companion. What is one thing you will do this year to make this your best summer yet? Share your ideas in the comments.

The Nutcracker Trilogy

I will continue to shamelessly promote these books because I’m so excited about being a small part of Drosselmeyer’s journey. If you’re new here, let me encourage you to check out The Nutcracker Trilogy by Paul Thompson. All three books are available in print and as e-books. Books one and two are available as audiobooks, narrated by yours truly. Click the links below to explore.

Oh, and it doesn’t have to be Christmas for you to enjoy these stories (just like it doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy Harry Potter).

Apple Books / Apple Audiobooks / Amazon / Audible

Author’s Website

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