Book Reviews – “Before Mars” eBook was published in 2018 and wad written by Emma Newman (http://www.enewman.co.uk). Ms. Newman has published 10 novels or novellas. This is the third novel in her “Planetfall” universe.
I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains Mature Language. The story is set in the near future on a human base on Mars. The primary character is geologist and artist Anna Kubrin.
Kubrin is surprised when she is offered the opportunity to fill the open fifth slot of the current Mars team. For her, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. That is until she arrives. Once she is on Mars she encounters animosity from some team members. She also begins to find evidence that something is very wrong.
Living on Mars with just four other humans on a base owned and operated by one of the wealthiest men on Earth leaves Kubrin with few options. She begins to quietly investigate, but she is sure her efforts will soon be discovered.
I thought that this was an interesting 8.4 hour read of this 352 page science fiction mystery. To me, the Kubrin character was not psychologically stable enough to have been cleared for this Mars mission. I thought that the character spent too much time dealing with her psychological issues. Aside from that, the story was interesting, though a little slow. While part of a series, this novel reads well on its own. The cover art is OK, but I think it could have been better. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.
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