Took me a couple of days to get through this one and I have to be honest I started somewhat slowly as I was not expecting too much after my previous less than excellent reading experience with the Escape to Earth series. You can read my full review of that series via the link, but suffice it to say that while the concept and story is one that I find interesting, the execution left quite a bit to be desired.
This one however surprised me … it was actually in my opinion quite well written. The characters were engaging and while the underlying story was somewhat weird, it started to make sense about half way through the book and helped to draw me in.
A brief synopsis is that a ragtag group of castaway’s are thrown together through a bizarre set of circumstances on a strangely changed Mars. Here Mars is a big game preserve and a farming planet where the monsters from other planets and dinosaurs from Earth’s past are left to roam free … prey only to a few solitary hunters that track and kill them for Earth’s teeming masses. By itself that would be quite interesting, but Mars is just the start of the story as these castaways need to determine not only why they were marooned on Mars in the first place, but also why all communications with all other humans in all the populated planets seems to have ended so abruptly. Are they the only surviving humans left?
I’ll try go give you some insight into what I liked and didn’t like in this book without I hope spoiling anything so if any paragraphs seem needlessly vague – please accept my apologies in advance!
The villains of the piece are yet to really be discovered, but even their henchmen are quite interesting and I have to admit I didn’t see it coming which is really nice! I was wondering how they were going to explain their technological sophistication given what had already been said about them in the book and I quite liked the way in which they were portrayed as stronger and faster than humans with better natural weapons too!
While I can understand and even somewhat accept that their device allowed them to overwhelm the military ships when they ran across them, I do have a problem with the fact that they were able to get everyone … this doesn’t seem feasible as surely some ships must have been in transit or even on a patrol and wouldn’t have been accessible? Not only that, while I can understand the standardization of weapons to a degree, would there not be some holdouts or rebels who simply preferred a different style of weapon – one that wouldn’t have been affected?
However with my small gripes aside, I’d actually definitely recommend this one. Its written well, you can empathize with the characters and there is something almost charming in the underlying story. I look forward to seeing where this will go.