Last Day on Mars

FeaturedHot
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
3482 0
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

A Martian Experience
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

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

Bernard Makes a Splash
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming story from textile designer and illustrator Lisa Stickley...
Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Calling wild girls everywhere! Helen Skelton – adventurer, world-record breaker...
Stanley's Paint Box
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s another busy day with Stanley and friends! ...
The Unleashed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the terrifying sequel to The Haunted, Hendricks discovers that...
Paint by Sticker Kids: Dinosaurs: Create 10 Pictures One Sticker at a Time!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Create pictures of 10 awesome dinosaurs... with stickers! ...
Tad
Tad
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
From Benji Davies, the award-winning creator of The Storm Whale...
Go Get 'Em, Tiger! (A Hello!Lucky Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect picture book to celebrate every milestone from the...
A World of Opposites
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From ALONE and TOGETHER to ABOVE and BELOW, Gray Malin’s...
The Voting Booth
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Stonewall Award-winning author Brandy Colbert comes an all-in-one-day love...
Now & When
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Jenny Han and Christine Riccio comes a...
Dating Makes Perfect
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because...
Now That I've Found You
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Now That I've Found You is a YA novel about...
Entwined
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sometimes love gets a bit twisted. ...
A Girl in Three Parts
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
I can split myself in two . . . something...
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of...
Scarlet Odyssey
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in...

Latest Member Reviews

Sick Kids in Love
 
4.7
"This book is definitely not like The Fault in Our Stars nor Six Feet Apart, or any other book about..."
A Girl in Three Parts
 
4.0
"A GIRL IN THREE PARTS by Suzanne Daniel is a novel set in Sydney, Australia during the 1970’s. It follows..."
Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
 
5.0
"Andra went into cryonic sleep for a hundred years for a trip across the universe to wake up as a..."
Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)
 
3.3
"HONORS LOST continues the Honors series as Zara, crew, and friends head out on a mission to stop the horrors..."
10 Things I Hate About Pinky
 
4.3
"10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY is a cute YA romance that features a fake-turned-real relationship and opposites-attract couple. Pinky..."
Not Another Love Song
 
5.0
"Different than I was expecting - and that’s a good thing! The story: All..."
Jo & Laurie
 
3.3
"Jo March is surprised at how well her novel LITTLE WOMEN has done. Now her publisher and readers want a..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
 
2.3
"I'm not very into reading fantasy (so I might not be the best person to review this). But I was..."
Cracked Up To Be
 
3.7
"Cracked up to be is an unsettling tale of a girl on the cusp of a mental breakdown for over..."
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
"THE MORNING FLOWER continues the OMTE ORIGINS story as Ulla continues to search for her heritage and for the missing..."
None of the Above
 
4.3
"This is one of those books that a reader can learn from. This is the first YA book that I..."
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
"THE LOST CITY is a highly engaging YA fantasy read about Ulla, a troll. Trolls are secretive creatures who live..."
Layoverland
 
5.0
"'Layoverland' by Gabby Noone, despite being about a teenager who has died, ironically creates a very inviting atmosphere for readers..."
Summer and July
 
5.0
"'Summer and July' by Paul Mosier is a beautifully written story perfect for summer reading. Readers will find themselves immersed..."
A Wicked Magic
 
4.0
"Friends Dan and Liss find a Black book of magic and try a spell. Only the spell goes terribly..."
Scarlet Odyssey
 
3.3
"SCARLET ODYSSEY is a high fantasy that takes place in a world at war. Men are often raised to be..."
Tigers, Not Daughters
 
5.0
"TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a lyrical book of sisterhood and grief. The Torres sisters had tried to escape their father..."
Tyler Johnson Was Here
 
4.0
"The fallout and protests following police choking George Floyd to death in Minnesota has consumed social media for the last..."
when you were everything
 
4.3
"WHEN YOU WERE EVERYTHING by Ashley Woodfolk is a YA Contemporary novel told in two timelines, “then” and “now.” The..."
Path of Night (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, #3)
 
5.0
"PATH OF NIGHT is another great installment of the books based on the Netflix show, CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA. This..."