Last Day on Mars

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
741   0
Write Review
Last Day on Mars
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
February 14, 2017
ISBN
978-0062306715
Buy This Book
      

It is Earth year 2213—but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova. The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while we have prepared for a second trip: a one-hundred-fifty-year journey to a distant star, our best guess at where we might find a new home. Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed. Or so he thinks. Because before this day is over, Liam and Phoebe will make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space and find out that the human race is just one of many in our universe locked in a dangerous struggle for survival.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

A Martian Experience

A smart, solidly written work of Middle Grade sci-fi.

The book is aptly named; the vast majority of it taking place on a future Mars colony during the last day of its existence--just before it is due to be abandoned by humanity. The bulk of the story is told through the eyes of Liam Saunders-Chang, the young son of a scientist couple who are frantically attempting to perfect the teraforming technology that humanity will need as they flee the premature death of their solar system. Liam comes across as an otherwise "normal" kid for his time period--fond of sports, generally rule-following, confused over subtle shifts in his relationship with his best female friend, and fielding a love/annoyance dynamic with his angsty older sister.

Liam's viewpoint presents a convincing generational divide. Born on Mars, he is having trouble mentally letting go of the only home he's ever known. At the same time, he has difficulty understanding the sad nostalgia his parent's generation has for the recently sun-seared cradle of humanity. Earth, to him, is just a series of videos, images, and ideas far removed from his everyday life. He is well aware the predictability of said life is about to be irreparably altered--but there is no way anyone could foresee how much his life will become directly intertwined with humanity's struggle for survival.

The Last Day On Mars is refreshing--consistently inclusive of viable science-based details--without traipsing into tedium. The prose takes itself seriously, while still laced with a pleasant, airy sort of efficiency. Emerson offers an interesting prelude to set the tone of his work; this portion written in a past-tense, limited omniscient point-of-view that caters well to his audience without patronizing.

Example:
"The light was located on a map, or something like a map. Picture a regular map spread out on a table, only now picture it bleeding up and down through the air, and also forward and backward in time. Like a map of your neighborhood, but also of Tuesday. And next week, and a hundred years ago...
Let's just call it a map.
This map was in an office, (not exactly an office either, but close enough,) and its blinking caught the attention of a nearby being. She was known as a chronologist, and she was as similar to a human being as her map was to a human map, and her office to a human office. If you picture her having dark blue, somewhat translucent skin, and wearing black robes, that will be fine for the moment."

Readers may need to be patient with the setup as Liam's big last day on Mars begins, but once the action eventually kicks in, the pacing is brisk. The characterization is sometimes a bit sparse, especially in terms of Liam's parents, who readers may have difficulty obtaining a realistic feel for. And for those who like a bit of stand-alone resolution in their reading... I'm sorry to report you won't find that here. The book ends with more questions than answers--essentially securing it as the start of a compelling series.

A wide range of sci-fi fans should be able to appreciate this story, which doesn't underestimate the younger tier of its target audience. This reader is certainly looking forward to the next installment.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Sword and Scion 01: Into the Dark Mountains
How lost one feels when his own character remains a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Pirates of Brisa (Wyrms of Pasandir #2)
When young Eskandar leaves his ship with the tough broomrider...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Building a Trade Empire (Wyrms of Pasandir #4)
Trade had been Shaw’s life, her dream, her future –...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journeys: Young Readers’ Letters to Authors Who Changed Their Lives
Books can change lives — and here are more than...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Moonlight Meeting: The Nocturnals
In The Moonlight Meeting, Tobin, a sweet pangolin, Bismark, a...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hidden Kingdom: The Nocturnals Book 4
A group of veiled creatures--a chameleon, stick bugs and assorted...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Sight of Stars
Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Bokkaners of the North (Wyrms of Pasandir #3)
Against all odds, Eskandar and his bunch of ragtag youngsters...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Road to Kalbakar (Wyrms of Pasandir #1)
Seventeen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Air and Ash (TIDES Book 1)
Master and Commander meets Sarah J Maas in a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Wolf Hour
Welcome, my little lambs, to the Puszcza. It's an...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Dragon Orb
The fate of a kingdom rests on the shoulders...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fragile Chaos
A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION. AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nice Try, Jane Sinner
The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Love You Like a Pig
From the acclaimed bestselling author of Extra Yarn and Sam...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
5.0
"I loved how different this book was to most that I have read. The plot and the story line are..."
Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1)
 
5.0
"I read a TON of fae fiction and A WICKED TRILOGY by Jennifer L. Armentrout is so hilarious and refershing...."
Moonburner
 
4.7
" "The moon cannot enslave the sun, nor make the day its mistress." I absolutely loved this dark yet..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
 
4.7
" This is one of the most beautifully written books I've read in a long, long while. I found myself..."
In Sight of Stars
 
5.0
"IN SIGHT OF STARS is Gae Polisner’s latest young adult novel. It’s a contemporary story that tackles mental health in..."
First Year (The Black Mage Book 1)
 
4.0
"This is a very good series introduction. From the critical side, my first impression was that Rachel Carter broke..."
Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
 
4.0
"I am in love! The DC Icon series is turning me into a fan of superheroes, and Marie Lu's take..."
The Foragers
 
5.0
"An intricate narrative bringing out a picturesque imagination of the author, reverberating unknown Ainu culture and the footprints of experiences,..."
The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline
 
5.0
"Zoe, the daughter of the three, isn’t just another descendant–she’s the key to humanity’s salvation. In this first installment of..."
Nice Try, Jane Sinner
 
5.0
"HILARIOUS. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is hands down one of the funniest YA books I've ever read. Just imagine a..."
The Edge of Forever
 
5.0
"THE EDGE OF FOREVER by Melissa E. Hurst is the first book of a duology set in 2146. It’s a..."
The Gatekeepers
 
4.3
"North Shore seems like the most sophisticated and put-together town there is, but it hides a deadly secret from those..."
Starswept (Starswept #1)
 
5.0
"Starswept was a really fascinating novel filled with adventure, music and romance. I loved the plot of the novel..."
The Wolf Hour
 
3.0
"THE WOLF HOUR by Sara Lewis Holmes is both a fairytale retelling and something new entirely. The book focuses on..."
A Love for the Pages
 
4.0
"A Love for the Pages was a nice and sweet contemporary novel. It's about June Eyermann, a nineteen-year-old whom loves..."
The Foragers
 
5.0
"I love how each chapter is written from a different character's perspective, it's like mini stories within a bigger one...."
The Rules of Magic
 
4.0
"Franny and Bridget (Jet) along with their brother Vincent are part of the legendary Owen family of witches. Settling in..."
Right Where You Left Me
 
4.3
"Calla Devlin’s sophomore novel offers a look into what happens to those left behind after disaster. The story..."
Divergent (Divergent #1)
 
5.0
"Divergent is one of my favourite books of all time. The story is about a girl named Tris who must..."
An Ember in the Ashes
 
4.7
" A remarkable work of dark YA fantasy—beautifully crafted, and laden with Arabian mythology. Told in alternating dual POV..."