Author: Peter Cawdron
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre/Themes: Science Fiction
Release Date: September 12th, 2017
Mankind has long dreamed of reaching out to live on other planets, and with the establishment of the Mars Endeavour colony, that dream has become reality. The fledgling colony consists of 120 scientists, astronauts, medical staff, and engineers. Buried deep underground, they’re protected from the harsh radiation that sterilizes the surface of the planet. The colony is prepared for every eventuality except one—what happens when disaster strikes Earth?
After reading Andy Weir’s The Martian, I’ve found myself really interested in science fiction novels that take place on other planets. When I heard there was another book about colonizers on Mars, I was intrigued and eager to read this book. While this book is nothing like The Martian, it does have similar themes since both books are about survival. The most interesting aspect about this novel is that there are are different groups of colonizers on Mars, all from different regions around the world. I felt like it would be really interesting to read about how different cultures would react to working together and colonizing Mars.
I went into this book expecting to read about the conflict between different groups of people. The first half of the book was such an exciting mystery because nobody knew exactly what was going on back on Earth or what would happen to them on Mars, and the narrator, Liz, was attempting to put the pieces into place while dealing with the hostilities of the other countries. Even though every person in the colony was supposed to be furthering the advances of science and space travel, the conflict between different countries was playing a huge part in the book’s events. However, there was a twist that occurred halfway through the novel that completely changed the story and I didn’t like it very much. The problem was that it seemed like a cop out. The story stopped being about the characters and their disputes and became about something else. Just because I didn’t like this turn doesn’t mean that others won’t or that it was a bad development. It just wasn’t what I was expecting to read.
The characterization was well-done, and I understood the personalities and the motivations of all the different characters. I also appreciated how diverse the crew were. I didn’t always think that Liz’s was the strongest point of view and I would have loved it if the book were longer and switched between the perspectives of different characters. It would have been a bonus to understand the others a little more, as well as how they were reacting to the situation both on Mars and on Earth.
This book is extremely well-researched and really fast-paced. While the narration is hit or miss, and it’s shorter than I would have liked, it’s a thrilling read, and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in science fiction or Mars.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has affected my review in no way.