The first half of the book covers these last few hours, and it is basically my own personal travel anxiety dream taken to a whole new level of anxious, because the clock is ticking...and if the kids and their parents don't make it onto the colony ship, they die.
And like I said, things are going wrong.
It's not just your basic level of last minute panic wrong, but a much larger, more threatening wrongness. We learn right at the beginning of the book that the supernova is not a random happenstance, but deliberate sabotage not just of our sun but of other stars. An alien scientist had come to Mars before humanity left earth, and was killed there, leaving behind a strange device that allows its user to see future possibilities. Liam and Phoebe find it, and Liam sees disasters ahead.
Can he and Phoebe save their parents (the terraforming project headquarters is sabotaged), and get off Mars safely? And in future books, will humanity be able to foil the evil star destroying masterminds?
So tense. Very, very tense. I must confess I enjoyed the first half of the book, with just the generic tenseness of escaping a doomed planet, more than the second, in which enemies (the star destroyers aren't the only ones) start playing a more active role. Liam and Phoebe are sad to be leaving Mars, their home, and the poignancy of their situation is made vividly real, along with the physical details of the Mars colony itself. I liked Liam and Phoebe lots; they are not so plucky and lucky as to be unbelievable, but simply ordinary kids doing the best they can.
Sabotage, robots, space travel and time-slippiness combine for a nail-biting adventure, that will leave readers anxious for the next book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Emerson is the author of The Fellowship for Alien Detection as well as the Exile series, the Atlanteans series, the Oliver Nocturne series, and Carlos is Gonna Get It. He is also an acclaimed musician who has recorded songs for both children and adults. A former K-8 science teacher, Kevin lives with his family in Seattle. Visit him online at www.kevinemerson.net
Disclaimer: review copy received from the publishers, as part of the blog tour for the book. The other stops are:
Other Blog Tour Participants:
Jan. 27th Unleashing Readers
Jan. 30th SciFi Chick
Feb. 1st This Kid Reviews Books
Feb. 3rd Walden Media Tumblr
Feb. 6th Word Spelunking
Feb. 7th Novel Novice
Feb. 9th Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Feb. 10th Librarian's Quest
There's a fascinating educator's guide, which you can find at the publisher's website (under "learn.")