Maberry, Jonathan. Mars One. Simon & Schuster, 2017. ISBN 978-4814-6161-0. $17.99. 448 pages. Ages 12 and up. Q9P8
A not-so-very futuristic novel where a group of candidates are chosen to colonize Mars. When you pick up the book you think the novel is going to be about colonizing Mars, but it’s about the pressures faced by the people who have been chosen to go. The training they endure and how much training they have to go through, from psychological to physical. The book story highlights the “reality” the characters portray to their doting fans, and the moral question of whether we should colonize a planet when we cannot take care of the one we have. The book also explores the psychological duress created by leaving loved ones behind and the pressure to be the first human to take a step on Mars. What I like most about this book is also what I liked least: I picked up the book thinking the story would take place on Mars, when we only get to take the first step.
Google Mars One and there seems to be an actual project, or a very believable mock-up of this very idea. I’m not sure which came first, the actual project, or the book.
Verdict: Loved the detail behind the training, and what life would be like while traveling to another planet, that combined with the complexity of the social media world we live in and how it literally finances projects like this, makes this an eye-opening story.
October 2017 review by Terri Lippert.