I first read this series when it came out in the late 1980's. They are highly entertaining and among my favorite books, it is high time they got a second printing. This third installment which takes us to Mars is as enjoyable as the rest, though my favorite is the second installment, "Maelstrom".
Over the years I've had a lot of fun with Sparta and "The Free Spirit". I just wish I knew how to get my hands on one of those "Snark" attack helicopters. Ellen Troy and Blake Redfield are captivating heros, who like the rest of us, have their flaws. Any Clarke faithful who doesn't enjoy this series might want to think about going one size larger the next time they buy new skivvies.
Anyone who enjoys this and other "Venus Prime" novels should look for "Core", another enjoyable work by Preuss. (For anyone who's curious, the origional names for the Venus Prime books are "The Breaking Strain", "Maelstrom", "Hide and Seek", "The Medusa Encounter", "The Diamond Moon", and "The Shining Ones" respectively.)