This book was a real delight. Why? Chiefly it had great pace and the story naturally unfolded with the ease of Mars' red sand through your fingertips. The writer peppered the book with science (which I can only assume is real or so cleverly made up) but not once does it slow down its break-neck speed. The writer has a really good vision of life on mars as well as all his characters. Zeke is likable, curious enough to get into trouble, but not a "bad boy". At one stage, it did feel like it slipped into Harry Potter territory while the school and teachers were being introduced, but luckily (for me anyway) it stopped short using the familiar territory to help set the scene, but then went off in its own direction. While aimed at children and YA, the mystery is very engaging and the twists and turns work well to throw you off the scent. The story is self-contained, but there's enough hints and loose ends ready to drag you into the next book.
Bought this for my 11 year old daughter. She cannot put it down. Anything that catches a child's imagination is a good thing in my view! The characters are brilliant, the plot is well structured, the setting believable. Ian Douglas writes from the heart and captures the angst and uncertainty of a teen caught up in a situation too big for them. My daughter loved the book, I adored it, even my 14 year old son has prised himself away from the games console to read a few chapters. It's fair to say we're hooked!
Zeke Hailey is an engaging protagonist, unsure enough of himself to identify with yet definitely a young man with a mission and the determination to succeed at any cost. This first book in a series is a rip-roaring adventure in itself and it sets the scene for more to come. Many questions are raised and mysteries uncovered and I can't wait for the next installment.
An intriguing fast-paced adventure with humour and suspense. You're sure to be surprised by twists in the plot in this inventive Mars-based creation by Ian C Douglas. Zeke is a failure and a fraud or so we think. Suitable for reading in bed with a handy light source.
Great read for kids and adults alike. Life on Mars a few centuries down the line is believably described. Zeke is a true hero, not worried about getting himself repeatedly in trouble for what he believes to be the right thing. Ian C. Douglas shows great imagination as well as understanding of the teenage mindset of his characters.