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Review: Glory on Mars – Kate Rauner

Glory on Mars - Kate Rauner

Genre: Sci-Fi, Colonization

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About The Book

A fragile foothold on a vast frozen plain. A crashed spaceship’s pilot may have been murdered. Will the first settlers on Mars be the last?

Determined to explore with her robots, Emma Winters leaves Earth forever and makes the one-way journey. She trained with her friends for the planet’s deadly challenges, but living on Mars drives them apart. The corporation that sent them has no answers as conflicts escalate toward catastrophe.

Her allies falter and clues to survival remain beyond Emma’s grasp. Can she discover the truth before the Red Planet kills them all?

Discover what life on the planet Mars will demand from humanity’s first bold colonists. Read Kate Rauner’s tale of realistic science fiction.

The Review

OMG. I love a good Mars book, and this one is much better than just “good.”

Glory on Mars is a third-person single point of view story, told from the POV of Emma Winters, a robotics specialist and soon-to-be Martian settler. She’s on the third human mission to Mars, but her four-person crew is shocked when one of the eight humans in the nedzeretting (Dutch – a settlement, camp, or colony, especially in a distant or unpopulated area) opens the airlock and walks outside without a suit, just days before Emma’s mission is scheduled to depart.

The mission goes ahead, and we follow Emma and the three other new settlers as they swing around the sun to meet their new home. There’s a cat too, added for a little comedic effect and companionship for the lonely settlers.

When Emma arrives on Mars, a freak accident throws everything into chaos, and she’s certain the original settlers hate her. Still, they forge on together through a series of challenges, and slowly become closer as it sinks in that there’s no going home. Mars is their home now, and when they have children, their kids will truly be Martians.

Any book that deals with colonizing and exploring a dead planet like Mars is going to be, by its very nature, about all the things that can go wrong when you are on a hostile world with only what you brought with you and what you were able to make on-site. And Glory on Mars is no exception. There are a number of quiet periods throughout the book that allow the reader to catch their breath and enjoy the Martian scenery. But there are also holy shit, how are they going to get out of this one? moments.

It’s especially clear in these action-packed scenes how much research Rauner did and how much thought she gave to what conditions would be like on the red planet. The solutions made sense, too. There’s also a nice mystery embedded in the story that I didn’t figure out until just before Emma and her fellow colonists did.

If you’re looking for a good hard sci-fi colony tale that will make you feel like you really are on Mars, and then yank you out of your seat and drag you through the red dust to the top of an extinct volcano and back, then Glory on Mars is just the ticket. If I gave stars, this one would get five of them.

Diving into book two now, Born on Mars. Will pop back in for a report when I finish it!

The Reviewer

Scott is the founder of Queer Sci Fi, and a fantasy and sci fi writer in his own right, with more than 30 published short stories, novellas and novels to his credit, including two trilogies.

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