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Mars Station Alpha [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Penner
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $9.00 (75%)
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Book Description

A LOCKED ROOM MYSTERY IN SPACE. The colonists of the first space station on Mars have vanished. Captain John Stanton leads a second team to the Red Planet, unsure what he'll find. Originally assigned merely to relieve the first group, Stanton must now figure out what happened to them, and keep the same fate from befalling his own crew. As he investigates, the mystery deepens and the dangers multiply: remorseless sandstorms, virulent bacteria... perhaps even ancient Martian ghosts. Stanton's mission changes from relief, to rescue, to simple escape.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Penner is an author and artist living in the Seattle area. He writes a broad variety of fiction, including thrillers, science fiction, and children's books. In addition, he enjoys drawing and painting. For information on his latest books, visit his website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 517 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Ring of Fire Publishing (December 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006GX97JK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,716 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A simple story February 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The premise held promise, but in the end didn't live up to it. I was irritated throughout the story by the continued references to ghosts. And what kind of crew did the rescue team have? One that bickered and ignored or insulted the captain at every turn. I also thought the ending was contrived and still haven't a clue as to why it went the way it did. Overall, a simple scifi story to while away a couple of hours and nothing more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Book December 19, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mars Station Alpha is a terrific read. The plot is interesting and intriguing, the characters are well developed, and the dialogue is both crisp and believeable. Like the author's Professor Barrister mystery series, Mars Station Alpha is based on sound science. It's a pleasure to read a novel that is both intelligent and well-written.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penner the Next Asimov? December 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Real detective stories are hard to write, but it's almost impossible for most writers of mystery or science fiction to combine the two genres. Asimov was a notable exception. Penner may be the next Asimov! The book is a great read, real mystery in a realistic future world with very human characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hoped it would be better December 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Notice that there are two kinds of reviews on this work: 5 star or 2 star. I was intrigued by the combination of science fiction and mystery. This crew of astronauts are the second team to visit mars. Earth has lost contact with the first team. What happened to them? Was there an accident? Did they go crazy? Did something else interfere? So that was all interesting to me. I had read the 2 star reviews and one of the biggest complaints is that the dynamics between the team members is not realistic nor what you would expect from trained astronauts who are a select few chosen not only for their talents but for their mental stability and resiliency. Those reviews tended to put me off as its a pet peeve of mine to read an 'adventure' only to find that the only reason the characters are in the situation they are in is because of stupid choices repeated over and over. For example, ever read a chase scene where the chased couple stops to argue about their relationship even while the assassins are closing in?

BUT...I read the free sample and was hooked when the team finds a mysterious word carved into a wall or something. I don't want to spoil, but that word is famously associated with another mystery and so I was hooked and paid the $2.99 for this book. Let me say that it was a page turner for me. And I do forgive some of the crazy behavior of the crew because they were faced with something unexpected, something that I assumed NASA would not train them to face. Further, I wondered if maybe this crew was chosen for some of their flaws for a reason that would come out in the end. I also speculated that some of the crew were 'faking' their behavior for some reason that would also come out in the end.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Great Read!!! December 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm surprised! I really loved this book. I'm surprised because I don't usually read this genre.

The author took me on a ride and delivered all the required bumps, twists and turns, and then served up a raw dish of unexpected fare at the end, turning this tale into a well-rounded Mars trip, Sci-Fi read. What a really cool concept and a great delivery.

I don't usually read this genre, but if this author dares another exploration, I will have to join him on the journey, as he has won me over.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be entertained and who would enjoy reading an accomplished author as he weaves you through the scarier side of exploring what Mars has to offer.

Great Job!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Characters June 23, 2012
By CLox
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was confusing right from the start. Stephen Penner introduces all the characters at the very beginning. It took me a while before I could remember who was who. On top of that, the 'point of view' constantly changes, sometimes between paragraphs, sometimes in the middle of the paragraph. The characters were also very shallow, unrealistic, one-dimensional.

The book's premise has been done before, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have been done again with a slightly different twist. Almost everything has been done before. Unfortunately, there was no unique twist. I could guess the ending before I was halfway through the book.

Additionally, the crew was unbelievable--and I mean unbelievable. They were constantly bickering and at each other's throat. There's no way a crew like that could ever be put together, let alone sent on a space mission.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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I am sort of torn with this book. On one hand it was a real page turner and held my interest. On the other hand, there were a lot of parts in the book I found not really believable. For example in the space program they really do look into things like personality profiles and such insuring that the most stable folks possible will be selected, and that astronauts will work well in a group together. This didn't seem to happen and to be blunt I find it hard to believe in the future that it would not still be the case, even more so for an extended mission to Mars. Also, the story had a lot of other less believable events that kind of stretched my suspension of disbelief. As I said, I am torn. For light reading, I found it enjoyable up until the end. The mystery kept me reading, but the resolution of the mystery left me just not totally buying the resolution. I want to go on and point out a lot of what I am talking about piece by piece, but I also don't want to spoil the book for anyone that might want to pick it up. I must say, I don't regret purchasing it. I was a bit disappointed in it, it just seemed to hold a lot more promise.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars So So Bad
This was a hard one for me to finish because it was so bad. I thought the storyline held promise at the beginning but quickly deteriorated into nonsense. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Timothy R. Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love ALL Mars stories
Published 3 months ago by Robert H. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick and simple read
This could have been condensed to a short novella, The spacing and sentence structure seemed to be meant to fill up as much paper as possible. Read more
Published 4 months ago by David J. Brickner
4.0 out of 5 stars life is too short to read dull books
Having some difficulty rating this sci fi mystery thriller. A number of reviewers called the characters unbelievable, because through the book's second half the characters don't... Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. Gunnar Grey
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept
I thought the story was very original. I was a little afraid it was going to turn out to be some 'Ghost of Mars' rip off, sorry to say, but it wasn't and I was delightfully... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Anthony Trout
5.0 out of 5 stars suspenseful
really liked reading this book. it was very well written, as all Stephen penner books are, and hard to put down.
Published 16 months ago by lana smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story
I like stories about mars, ( loved the Martian by andy Weir). This could have been a lot better. Flesh out the characters more and make them more likeable. Read more
Published 19 months ago by MC
1.0 out of 5 stars If handed this, SyFy Channel would say no thanks.
Badly written, poorly plotted, and I suspect the author did not even bother to do any research on Mars or NASA. Read more
Published 22 months ago by todd v ehrenfels
5.0 out of 5 stars Mars Station Alpha
This was a very simple story with a twist at the end. Simple and enjoyable story I should say. I did not expect the outcome, but I was entertained throughout the read. Try it.
Published on May 11, 2013 by Bob Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars breathless, but boring. Flat, stupid characters
The captain and crew do one stupid thing after another and never manage to get control of their situation. Read more
Published on April 26, 2013 by Daniel Chavitage
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More About the Author

Stephen Penner is an author, attorney, and adjunct law professor from Seattle, Washington.

Stephen began his legal career as a criminal defense attorney, appearing in federal, state, and municipal courts throughout the State of Washington. After several years of defense work, Stephen 'switched sides' and became a prosecutor. He has been prosecuting cases for over 16 years, working his way up from misdemeanor offenses, to felonies, and finally to homicides. He has tried nearly 100 cases and now supervises other prosecutors. In addition, he uses his extensive experience to teach trial advocacy to Seattle law students.

As an author, Stephen pens the David Brunelle legal thriller series, featuring Assistant D.A. David Brunelle and a recurring cast of cops, defense attorneys, and forensic experts. He also writes the Maggie Devereaux paranormal mysteries, recounting the exploits of an American graduate student in the magical Highlands of Scotland.

In his spare time, Stephen enjoys painting, drawing, and spending time with his family. For more information, visit his website

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