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Saving Mars (Saving Mars Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Length: 388 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Age Level: 10 - 18 Grade Level: 6 - 12

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Editorial Reviews


"Swanson paces this story beautifully, weaving exposition tightly into the plot as disaster interrupts everyday routines."
Kirkus Reviews, starred
Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012
SCBWI Spark Award Honor Book 2014

SAVING MARS took me back to my own Golden Age of Science Fiction. A delightful coming-of-age story set in a richly developed future that tells a very human story in the midst of technical marvels, political intrigue, and a ticking clock. I can't recommend this story highly enough."
Nathan Lowell, creator of the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper

From the Back Cover

"What is it that makes you a good pilot, Jess?"

Jess closed her eyes. What made her a good pilot? How was she supposed to know that? "She flies from here," her father had said, pointing to his belly. It was true. She felt things with her gut that others didn't seem to notice. She acted with certainty when others doubted. It led her to take risks where others wouldn't.

"I fly with my gut," said Jess.

Harpreet nodded. "Yes, child. You fly using this intelligence." Harpreet tapped the space over her navel. "Can you learn to call upon your other intelligences?"

Product Details

  • File Size: 1037 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Williams Press (August 5, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 5, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008SULWZ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,789 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Hi there! My name is Cidney and I'm a full time writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy novels. I'm easily distracted by shiny things such as new book covers, macarons in glass jars, and Mars set against an inky night sky. My year so far has included learning to milk goats, baking thirteen pies for friends who wanted Wedding Pie instead of Cake, and finding myself speaking before a large group while wearing navy tights with a black dress. (My dress wasn't navy???) If you'd like to visit, I hang out at where I natter on about this and that, assuming I haven't been distracted by something shiny. I live in Oregon's Willamette Valley with my husband, three kids, a dog, and two cats and entirely too much rain.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(From Word Vagabond: Supporting Independent and Small Press Authors)

When the food supply of Mars' human settlement is decimated, seventeen-year-old Jessamyn Jaarda, the best pilot Mars Colonial has ever seen, flies to Earth to raid for food. Earth-Mars relations couldn't be worse, and her brother is captured during the raid. Breaking rules of secrecy and no contact, Jess finds an ally in Pavel, nephew to a government official, but their friendship only makes more agonizing the choice before her: Save her brother or save her planet?

Saving Mars is a book of rare quality in the young adult market, and one of the best sci-fi books I've read, period. It is tightly plotted, beautifully written, brave and heart-rending. The main characters will thoroughly win your heart and the world-building is masterfully done. It's well-written without being over-written, and complex without being inaccessible. I related to the main character, Jessamyn, from the very first line, and I was rooting for her all the way.

The pacing is never dull, but it doesn't rush through character development or plot, either. Each of the major characters has depth and personality, and the relationships between them are genuine and deeply touching. The most poignant connections are between Jess and her autistic-spectrum brother, Ethan. Ethan is also, incidentally, the most well-rounded of the characters, and it's easy to care about him just as much as Jess does.

I wish I could do the book justice in this review, but honestly I always find it harder to review books I love than ones I simply like. In the end all I can say is this: if you love indie, sci-fi, or young adult books at all, buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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Our heroine Jessamyn Jaarda wants to be a pilot more than anything, so she can fly the raiding missions to Terra and do important and adventurous things. At the start of the novel Jess is a rule-breaker, whose biggest concern is her alter-abled brother Ethan's mental comfort and getting a piece of ice for her Mom's second birthday gift (everyone has two birthdays a year due to Mars' different rotation cycle from Earth). But when she is suspended from the flight academy for disobeying a direct order and during a celebration the food supply is decimated, she fights to be allowed to go on the mission to get enough food to save the planet - especially when the government recruits her brother because of his technological genius. But when things go horribly wrong will Jess be able to find a way to rescue her brother and their other shipmates from a fate worse than death? And can she trust the help she receives from Pavel, the nephew of a corrupt Terran government official? Worst of all will Jess have to choose between saving Ethan or saving Mars and everyone they left behind?

Overall, this novel was a a very high action, suspense novel where eveything that could possibly go wrong does. The ending gave me serious chills and made me want to cry, yet cheer at the same time. I highly recommend it to fans of YA or of science-fiction in general. If you want a book that makes you laugh, grip your armrest, AND cry, this is the one for you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a nice old-fashioned SF coming-of-age story but a bit TOO YA for my adult taste, in the sense that it requires too complete a suspension of the critical faculties. It revolves around a Mars society that cannot raise any food on its own and is dependent for food on an Earth with which it cannot legally have any contact, and an Earth society that thinks everyone on Mars is dead. This Earth also has a practice where everyone is "re-bodied" into a different body (of different ages) 4 times before the end of a mandatory 72-year-old life span. Every 20 years a Mars ship makes a clandestine trip back to earth to exchange tellurium, which Earth needs, for food rations. If this set-up raises a lot of questions in your mind, I am not surprised, because it did in mine, and a lot of the details do not seem adequately explained or are just not credible. I could see a middle-schooler finding the ideas interesting to think about, but I would hope that they, too, might think of some critical questions.

That being said, the plucky young heroine is engaging and the story is enjoyable if predictable. I cared enoough about the characters that I find myself wanting to know what happens in book 2 but not enough to spend time reading it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I love a good story and Cidney Swanson always gives me one! I instantly cared about these characters and couldn't wait to learn more about life on Mars. I was very impressed by the depth in which we learn about Marsian culture, and equally horrified by the new Earth practice of body-swapping. This book has everything I love in a story - great characters, adventure, a loathsome antagonist, affection, affliction.....ahhhhh! It was great! I cannot wait for the next book, and I highly recommend this book for any young adult sci-fi fans. Oh and don't forget to check out the Rippler series if you aren't already familiar with Swanson's books.
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