This post-apocalyptic dystopia is set in 2137, when the leaders of Earth determine that the planet is about six months away from being totally uninhabitable. President Jackson Collins, with the cooperation of a politically powerful business cartel led by Lucien Rex, has been investing massive resources into terra-forming Mars with the goal of helping to feed the people of Earth, who will soon have to move underground in order to survive.
As the story begins, Lucien presents the Cartel with a plan to depose Collins and take over Mars. Lucien does not want to use the resources of Mars to help all the people on earth. Rather, he proposes to abandon the masses, for whom he only has contempt. His plan entails moving the elite and their families to Mars and using the planet for themselves.
Lucien needs to eliminate not only President Collins but also his only surviving child, Major James Collins, 37, a military “lifer.” But the plot to kill James fails, and James is taken to Mars along with many “untouchables” to serve as slaves to get the planet ready for the elite.
On Mars, a couple of thugs working for Lucien but claiming to be acting for President Collins have taken over the planet and enacted harsh measures to get the population under control. But Doctor Hannah Ankaris, 31, is still loyal to President Collins, and moreover, used to be in a relationship with James. When she discovers James has been brought to the colony, she knows what she has to do.
Evaluation: I enjoyed this book for the most part, except for the Prologue, which was awkwardly info-dump-ish. Once the actual story started, however, the book had a good storyline and a satisfying build-up of tension and suspense. As I find with much fiction, the “good” characters were better developed and had more nuance than the evil characters, who verged on cartoonish. Still, the “good guys” were sufficiently appealing to compensate.
While the book doesn’t end with it cliffhanger, it is clearly meant to continue, and I am interested in following up with the story.
Published by Stealth Books, 2014