Pros: interesting characters, fast paced, tense
Cons: a little obvious
In an attempt to save money, XO recruits convicts to man its mission to Mars and build its NASA contracted habitat. But Mars is a dangerous place and ‘accidents’ happen.
I really enjoyed this book. Frank’s an interesting narrator who knows about as much as the reader with regards to what’s going on. A lot of the mystery and suspense surrounds the aspects of the mission that the ‘crew’ aren’t aware of as they’re rushed through training and shipped off to Mars.
I thought there was a good mix of characters in terms of personality and the reason they were behind bars. I did wonder why Brack was so obviously antagonistic towards the convicts, considering he needed the group to work together. Yes, they needed to stay in line, but he generally did more harm than good with his comments.
The depictions of life on Mars were great. A lot of care was obviously taken to point out the very real dangers of living and working there.
Due to a lack of attention, it took me a while to realize that the opening quotes weren’t in chronological order as I’d expected. Pay attention to the dates so you can piece together the history of XO’s planning for - and problems regarding - the Mars mission.
The story is fast paced. While I figured out one mystery quite early, the ending was still very tense and suspenseful.