The Extradimensional Reappearance of Mars Patel (Mars Patel 3)

The Extradimensional Reappearance of Mars Patel (Mars Patel 3)
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Release Date
October 25, 2022
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After Mars Patel fled the Martian colony and its erupting volcano, he headed for Earth with JP, Toothpick, Aurora, Cupcake (everyone’s favorite two-hundred-pound tardigrade), and genius billionaire Oliver Pruitt. But when they finally arrive, Mars is shocked to find that all the adults on Earth have mysteriously vanished. Aurora, the popular new principal of Pruitt Prep, thinks Earth is better off without the adults, while Mars, who’s now a celebrity, is desperate to find his mom. As tensions rise and new mysteries are revealed—including a secret lab, an impending election, and a wild new discovery on Mars—will Mars and his friends manage to unravel the truth? Or is Oliver Pruitt outplaying them all? A vibrant cast brings to life this tech-rich page-turner, based on the award-winning podcast.

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What worked:
The most unique aspect of the book is that all of the characters are kids, except for the rogue Oliver Pruitt. Although there are too many characters to develop fully, their personalities are quite entertaining. Mars is the main character even though it’s unclear to him why he’s so popular among the kids on Earth. His life is complicated by the knowledge that Pruitt, the most hated man in the solar system, is his father. Caddie has telepathic abilities and is able to sense things others cannot. Toothpick is the brains of Mars’s group and he’s reprogrammed a drone they call Droney. Droney is an intelligent, talking drone programmed to interact socially, act as a scout and source of information, and a moving light. A tardegarde from Mars acts as a loyal, protective pet for Mars the character and Cupcake often behaves as though she can read his mind.
The story is told from various points of view that reflect events from a wide range of settings. Mars is reunited with his two friends back on Earth but all of the adults have disappeared. Aurora is now principal of the Pruitt Prep but she has bigger aspirations and is willing to use shady tactics to achieve her goals. A major conflict on the planet surrounds the question of whether the kids should make any attempt to locate the missing adults. As the story moves along, it becomes apparent that something above Oliver Pruitt is happening. Caddie and Julia have managed to survive on Mars by organizing the young colonists to develop a sustainable colony. However, strange clouds are spotted in the North and there’s an unexplainable surprise waiting for the characters.
The overall story reads like a mystery as readers will try to figure out how all of the events fit together. Most novels settle into a predictable format but this book keeps readers off balance the whole way through. The absence of any adults takes some getting used to as the possibility of their return is always on the edge of readers’ minds. A quick jump to another dimension early in the book makes a future connection always possible. The Mars colony seems to be doing well until their tardegardes abandon the settlement and issues with the power supply is upset. The kids left on Earth are also having problems even though they’ve reversed some of the effects of global warming. Again, readers will wonder how Mars, Earth, Pruitt, and the other dimension are connected, if at all, and the answers won’t be revealed until the book nears its extraordinary climax.
What didn’t work as well:
The early pages of the book are confusing so you’ll want to read the previous book before this one. Readers are dropped right into the middle of the action as the characters mention names of friends abandoned on another planet after Mars, his father, and others flee the destruction of an erupting volcano on the planet Mars. Mars is sucked into a wormhole that presents an alternate reality but those moments seem to be forgotten in the story almost as soon as they happen.
The Final Verdict:
The plot will challenge readers’ minds but it’s worth the effort. The author creatively crafts an imaginative world with children leading their peers on Earth and on Mars. It shares an underlying message of conservation and cooperation that can be applied to life in our real world. It feels like this book ends the series but who knows besides the author and the publisher? I recommend you give this book a shot.
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