Green Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
This is the middle book of Robinson's epic trilogy about the colonization and terraforming of Mars, and I found it just as challenging and interesting as the first. There is a LOT of science in this book, though a bit less than the first, as it focuses more on the growing pains of Martian civilization. I once again found Robinson's insight to be impressive, as he deals with politics on both a very small and very large scale. Partway through, it occurred to me that this is more than just a story about Mars and colonization; it's also a frank evaluation of the dangers of corporatism. Robinson's Earth has become consumed in constant crisis due to the overwhelming financial power of its companies, called transnationals or metanationals. These companies have essentially taken over entire countries, thereby rendering world governance ineffectual and subject to the whim of capitalism. I appreciate Robinson's efforts to broaden the scope of an already detailed story, and though it was a challenge to work though, I look forward to concluding the trilogy.