Book Review: The Exiles Trilogy: Three Novels by Ben Bova

The Exiles Trilogy: Three Novels by Ben Bova
My rating: 2 stars  🌟🌟
Publisher:  Berkley

I picked this up because it was in a box of old books that we inherited and it featured scientists exiled on a space station because they're on the cusp of completing the human genome project and the World Government is worried that this knowledge will be too much for society to handle. It sounds silly of course because real life didn't proceed that way at all but it may have been more plausible when this was written in the 70s. Anyway, the blurb had me at "space station". This compendium has all three novels in the Exiles Trilogy and they were quick reads.

The only character I found interesting in the first story (Exiled from Earth) was the genetically engineered talking gorilla Big George. The main character, Lou was roundly irritating and I couldn't figure out why anyone listened to him nor did I care about his love life, such as it was. The plot was fairly thin and the space station portion was just a backdrop to what is mostly an angst tale. The second story (Flight of Exiles) is centered around the progeny of Lou and the other exiles from book one. The love story angst is even worse and the only one who is half-interesting is pretty much a raving lunatic. That this very much wants to be a murder mystery and still didn't captivate me was disappointing. The space station is now a generation ship and other than technical specs, repair, and the like, there's not much here to dazzle. There was a decent chase scene outside the ship but that didn't save the whole. The final book (End of Exile) is even further into the future and feels completely removed from the prior two. Here, the ship is in very poor shape and the awake colony is teens who've been forbidden to touch the machines. This presents a problem when they appear to be a bit off course and someone will need to fix things so they don't all die. The third may well be the best of the bunch.

Ultimately this was just not for me. It was written in the 70s and hasn't aged well. There are more books by Bova in that box and I can only hope they're better than this trio. Anyway, I'll always fondly recall Big George.

Summary: Computer engineer Lou Christopher's life falls apart when the World Government decrees that the project he is working on is too dangerous to continue. Thus, he and thousands of other scientists and their families are sentenced to permanent exile from Earth on a space station. But Lou and several others decide to escape--by converting the space station into a starship.

No comments