Publishing Date: August 2014
Publisher Description: In the year 2137 the world stands on the brink of ruin. Pollution, war and overpopulation have darkened the skies, photosynthesis has begun to fail and most of the Earth’s twenty billion souls face starvation and death. The only hope for survival lays with the fertile fields of Mars, where a thirty year terraforming effort is turning vast swaths of the red planet to green.
Review: I like a good SciFi novel. To me, going to Mars in the near future, although believable, is not really SciFi. Dystopian maybe, but not SciFi. Why dystopian? Earth is on its last legs, humanity is reduced to a feral state and hope lies in the arms of Mars with a few good people to battle the “Cartel”.
I thought, initially, that this work was going down the old hero road. James Collins the president’s son is described as joining the army under a different name at age 17, is a platoon leader at 20 and the only reason he is still a Major is because he has turned down every promotion. Yawn. Well as life progresses, we find that the president is no longer in power and the “Cartel” has attempted to assassinate James “Ares” Collins. Only they are unsuccessful and he ends up a slave on Mars. There are moments of James playing Costner as the reluctant hero but thankfully they are few.
This novel surprised me. All the things I like in a good read: Fast pace, movement coupled to character development, a little bit of hinted at boinking but no over the top wuv twiangles, good scene development in the form of descriptive and emotional elements and a plot you can hang your hat on. The surface of Mars is rendered wonderfully as is the plight of the slaves sent to Mars to build its environs under the “Cartel’s” thumb. This novel will make for a good series. We have yet to experience the ire of Lucien at full strength. The war for Mars should continue in good form.