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Marsbound by Joe Haldeman
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Marsbound

by Joe Haldeman

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Series: Marsbound (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I was disappointed by Marsbound. It had a reasonably intriguing ending, but otherwise was pretty pedestrian. I found the science of the space elevator and mars journey and mars colony to be reasonably interesting, but both the protagonist, Carmen, and her adventures felt superficial and far from compelling. Perhaps I am not the intended audience for this book? It's not explicitly YA, and indeed the sex is more explicit than you would expect for YA, but the characterization and storytelling were somewhat simple. ( )
1 vote clong | May 12, 2018 |
An old-fashioned science-fiction adventure, but no less enjoyable for its somewhat retro nature. For some reason I thought this was YA--I wouldn't call it that. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
This is a story of the relatively near future, the first Mars colony, and some interesting aliens. In this respect, it’s quite good; the technology is realistic and well described, the plot makes sense, and the aliens are wonderfully alien.
A number of things did not suit my personal taste, though. The first is that the story is told in first person. This isn’t necessarily bad, but I find it works best for detective novels. It’s probably great for romance novels, too, but those have no appeal for me. Again, it’s a matter of personal taste. The first person narrative didn’t work for me especially in this book probably because I felt no affinity for the main character. More on that later.
The fist half of the book can be skimmed or simply skipped. It is mainly a description of a ride up the space elevator and an eight-month journey to Mars aboard a spaceship. The descriptions are good and describe believably what a space elevator ride and uneventful flight to Mars might be like, but a hundred-plus pages of this kind of thing is simply a bit much. The technology is interesting, but nothing happens. There are no amazing discoveries or mysteries and no real conflicts to be resolved.
Except for one of the aliens, who we really don’t meet until fairly late in the book, I didn’t much care for any of the characters. The main character, Carmen Dula, is eighteen years old when we fist meet her. I found nothing admirable or even especially likeable about her. She has the raging hormones of a woman a few years older and the emotional maturity of a girl a few years younger. She seemed to have no sense of perspective. She’s on her way to Mars, but her teenage angst about friends and school seem to prevent her from appreciating how unique this is. This may mark her as normal, but normal in a science fiction novel isn’t interesting. Her misplaced sense of priorities continues even after meeting the aliens because she seems to devote most of her thinking to her love affair with the captain of the ship that brought them to Mars. Don’t get me wrong. Love affairs are fine (between consenting adults and all that), but they’re normal. People do that all the time. It’s not interesting. (You can probably see why romance novels don’t do much for me.)
The second part of the book, however, does have a decent plot. As I said, the aliens are very alien. To say much more about them would be a plot spoiler though, and I don’t like to do that.
There are two sequels to Marsbound, and I’m willing to give them a shot. I can’t say this first book appealed much to me, though.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
I really liked this book! A great first-contact SF story, with a good female narrator.

18-year-old Carmen and her family have been selected to participate in the Mars Project - living on the planet's outpost for 5 years. When they arrive, Carmen attracts the ire of one of the post's administrators and spends a lot of time doing menial work. One day she rebels and takes an unauthorized walk on the planet's surface, alone. She is nearly mortally injured but saved by...an angel with a potato head and 4 limbs? Actually an alien. And that's where the fun begins! ( )
  chessakat | Feb 5, 2016 |
Get this book from your library. I would warn parents with a conservative mindset to read the book before letting your pre-teen to read it. In some families the the choices the main character makes would make for a lively discussion. beyond that reservation the story was an OK read. Haldeman

attempts to a SciFi story for a teen mainly female audience. Book has fairly explicit sexual content that would be not be apporiate for pre teens. There is a reasonable attempt at character development. The "villain" of the work reads like bad mom from a sitcom.
  Cataloger623 | Nov 8, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Haldemanprimary authorall editionscalculated
DeFex, Annette FioreCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.
--- Rabindranath Tagore
Dedication
For Carmen and Catalin,
our alien invaders.
First words
It wasn't a lot of luggage for six years; for the longest journey anyone had ever taken.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441015956, Hardcover)

A novel of the red planet from the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of The Accidental Time Machine and Old Twentieth.

Young Carmen Dula and her family are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime—they’re going to Mars.

Once on the Red Planet, however, Carmen realizes things are not so different from Earth. There are chores to do, lessons to learn, and oppressive authority figures to rebel against. And when she ventures out into the bleak Mars landscape alone one night, a simple accident leads her to the edge of death until she is saved by an angel—an angel with too many arms and legs, a head that looks like a potato gone bad, and a message for the newly arrived human inhabitants of Mars:

We were here first.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:01 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Young Carmen Dula and her family are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime--they're going to Mars. Once on the Red Planet, however, Carmen realizes things are not so different from Earth. There are chores to do, lessons to learn, and oppressive authority figures to rebel against. And when she ventures out into the bleak Mars landscape alone one night, a simple accident leads her to the edge of death until she is saved by an angel--an angel with too many arms and legs, a head that looks like a potato gone bad, and a message for the newly arrived human inhabitants of Mars: We were here first.--From publisher description.… (more)

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