- File Size: 998 KB
- Print Length: 405 pages
- Publication Date: December 5, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004FV4YUM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,563 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
In the Shadow of Ares (Amber's Mars Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
After her family's homestead is destroyed by an accident, her mother finds a job at the independent settlement near Noctis Labyrinthus. Anxious to show her worth, Amber tries to be of use, but most of the colonists see her as a distraction, even a burden. As a way to prove her use to the colony (and Mars) she vows to find out what happened to the Ares III mission.
There's a lot of politics here, as the colonists are continually at odds with the Mars Development Authority (MDA) (the book is written with a heavy dose of free market economics) and Amber's investigations give the MDA a reason to try and take over the colony.
There's a mystery, with hints of some sort of conspiracy, and danger to Amber (in an almost "Nancy Drew" sort of way) which I found reasonably enjoyable. I did feel that some of the villains weren't well drawn (that is, their motives seem to come out of left field) and the MDA is almost a strawman opponent for the authors economic arguments (and that with me agreeing with the core of their libertarianism). The science is pretty good overall, and they've given some thought to how the settlements would be set up.
Overall, a retty good read, though I did have some problems with the formatting on my Kindle.
The characters were drawn quite well and while the main character, Amber, is a 14 year-old girl, I found it easy to sympathize with her frustration as the only kid on Mars trying to prove her worth to adults who dismiss her as a child. The Mars Development Authority (MDA) was written so well that you can't help but hate the useless, arrogant bureaucrats as they meddle in the lives of the producing colonists who are trying to make Mars a self-sustainable planet. (It was a nice touch that one of head bureaucrats had a hand in buggering up the EU back on Earth before being shipped to Mars.) And speaking of the MDA, I also found the contrast between the references of the earlier free market lunar colonization and the current attempts at centrally planning colonization on Mars to be entertaining.
While the ending wrapped up the main mystery of the story, there were some loose ends just teasing of a sequel. I'd like to see the authors continue the story in a second book, so we can watch Amber continue to grow up and to see how the colonies overcome some of the challenges of creating a self-sufficient Mars despite the overreaching MDA bureaucracy.
I recommend this for teens and precocious preteens. I'm very picky concerning language and content and I have no qualms in recommending this. Some young readers might find it slow moving at first, but the excitement does grow exponentially and smarty kids would love the martian knowledge shared as the story builds and that knowledge does become important. Eventually, the excitement will make it hard for kids to put it down. The protagonist is a good model but (like all teens) makes mistakes.
I also recommend this for adults. Some of us have gotten caught up in work, maybe a focus on the bottom line, and have forgotten other things that we enjoy, such as a sunrise or just noticing an interesting stone. That sense of wonder is regained for some characters and, perhaps, for the reader.
The novel has a liberty theme, and it even was nominated for the 2012 Prometheus award for best novel. The preaching is short and is there as part of the plot, quite consistent with the characters and important to the story. Some notions explored in the novel are "state is as state does" and "my ideas". A freedom thinker will find food for thought. The bad guys are the usual controlling stereotypes, and it adds to the humor of the novel. (Perhaps this is a gentle introduction to freedom oriented SF.)
The science looks good to me; I learned a lot, too. And the future technology is believable and quite accessible. Both are important to the tale. This is excellent SF.
The look at a Mars culture in the transition period of early colonization is excellent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good story about settling Mars, surviving the hostile environment, and resisting the unnecessary/in-the-way authorities.Published 2 months ago by David P Dannemiller
I read this immediately after reading "The Martian", and it was a perfect adjunct. I've been reading science/speculative fiction for over half a century, and this is one... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rixt
In the Shadow of Ares gives the readers a little of taste of what it may be like settling the frontier of Mars. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Nick Larcombe
It is a diamond out in the rough. This great story and a book that is very hard to put down.Published 12 months ago by Brian Cannell
Enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The combination of hard science fiction and a mystery was well-done. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was a very enjoyable (dare I say educational?) read about a young woman named Amber who is the first child to be raised on the planet Mars. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jeffrey
This book is great for anyone that likes to read Sci Fi based in science. Yes the main character is a 14 year old girl but don't let that put you off from enjoying an amazing story... Read morePublished on June 13, 2014 by Tad Smith
Considering that this book is aimed at a younger audience than myself (Late teens/early twenties) I was very impressed with the writing style as not once did I feel I was being... Read morePublished on March 10, 2014 by Mr. A. D. MacArthur
“In the Shadow of Ares” is excellent book with an intriguing, complex plot. There were great “robots”, talking “computers”, jetpacks, and other tech items to make the book... Read morePublished on August 16, 2013 by Kailei Higginson
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