Wednesday, January 11, 2017

#Wednesday Review - Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn #Science Fiction @torbooks

Series: Standalone?
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Science Fiction

A great new stand-alone science fiction novel from the author of the Kitty Norville series.
Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly's plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.
Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there's more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

Carrie Vaughn, best selling author of the Kitty Norville series, returns with Martian's Abroad, a so-called space opera that is more or less keyed towards the Young Adult genre. Meet Polly Newton, narrator, and her brother Charles who are twins. They were born on Mars. Yes, that's right. They are Martian's. Even though they are thought of as colonists, they are still human in every way. They call Colony One home, and it is the only thing they've known.

As the story unfolds, Polly is looking forward to her apprenticeship with the Astrodome, while George is following in his mother's footsteps by studying colony administration. Polly wants to be a pilot and is eager to learn, and a daredevil as well. She is often found racing around Mars on a scooter. 
Charles is another case of twin wanting a whole new avenue of challenges and discoveries outside of his sister's. One could say that he is the calmness, while she is the storm. 

Polly's dream of being a pilot is temporarily put on hold after their mother, Supervisor Martha Newton, enrolls them at Galileo Academy. What's so bad with Galileo you ask? 1. It's on Earth, a place Polly has no desire to travel to. After all, her Grandparents left Earth for a reason. 2. It is filled with children of the rich and powerful who are cutting and bitchy. Something Mars doesn't have to deal with. 3. It is for 3 long years. 4. There are, as always, those who are hostile and belligerent towards anyone not born on Earth. 5. Polly & George are at a distinct disadvantage at not being born on Earth, and it's heavy oxygen content. 

Polly is a character who loves challenges, but is easily frustrated by silly things. Whereas Charles is the voice of calm, and reason, and the one who has to save Polly from her self at times. He is also terrifying at times. I am OK with Polly and here's why. Galileo encourages games between the students. The more you play the game, the more points you collect. The game pits those from Earth and those from outer belt colonies against each other all the marbles, and powerful connections that can last a life time. 

But, there is something even more frightening going on under the surface. Thanks to Colonists like Tenzig, and Earthlings like George, Polly's time at Galileo is not exactly something she would write a favorable opinion about. Thanks to their instructor who is diabolical in every way imaginable, things go from boring, to get me out of here, to OH HELL NO!

Polly isn't a Mary Sue. She is a character who knows that her only avenue of becoming a pilot, is to not only play the game, but to be better than anyone else in her own way. I loved her eagerness at wanting to sit in with the pilots as they approached earth & Manhattan. I loved the fact that she is clearly really good at understanding how spaceships operate, and can talk the talk, as it were. While George is winning people over with his intelligence, Polly slowly wins them over with her heroism, and her ability to get through the various challenges that are put forward to them. 

I settled on this rating for the story because of the ending. Polly's adventure's can't just end this way. There has to be more, even it it were a short novella that picks up 3 years after she arrived at Galileo. However, at every avenue I've researched, every single one of them claim that this is a standalone. I can clearly see a sequel, especially the way things play out, and who is responsible for the things that happen on Earth. I can even see a book from Charles POV since he is still a mystery to me at how he is able to do certain things. But, alas dear reader, it is not up to me, or you. Sad.

1 comment:

  1. OOh interesting! I had just seen this the other day I feel like! I love Carrie's Kitty series...still need to read those last, so behind! And I was actually wondering what she might write next. I felt a little hesitant with this one because once again space is involved. Though from the sounds of it, we're not in space all that much! Might put this on the maybe list for now. Nice review!