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From Enid Blyton to the Good Book,
This review is from: Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) (Paperback)
This is the first volume of a trilogy which is most definitely not for the faint hearted. I read the three books while recovering from surgery, and would recommend them only to SF fans in a similarly compromised situation.
This first volume might alternatively be called 'False Start on Mars'. It follows the first Martian colonists from their selection back on Earth to the point where all the work they, and subsequent Martian settlers, have done is smashed up in a revolution. Thus the story changes tone dramatically in its course: from something reminiscent of an Enid Blyton school story to something resembling the Book of Revelations.
Running through this big story is a smaller one of the rivalry between two men with a similar vision for Mars but very different styles, and the woman who must choose between them. One interesting quirk of the narrative is that each chapter has a different central character, so the reader gets to see the situation from a multiplicity of different perspectives. The characters themselves feel more like representations of ideas rather than representations of real complex human beings, but this weakness is amply compensated for by the surprises contained in the plot, and is indeed in the tradition of mythology.