Thursday, November 7, 2019

One Way by S.J. Morden

Xenosystems needs workers to help them build Mars Base One on time and under budget. They need men and women who won't ask too many questions, who will follow orders, who have the necessary skills, and who no one will miss. Most importantly, they need people who are expendable. Who do they find? Frank, Zeus, Marcy, Declan, Abigail, Zero and Dee--seven felons serving life sentences in a Panopticon prison.
"We've been bought and sold. Xenosystems owns Panopticon. Panopticon owns us. But we all said yes when they asked us to go to Mars. It's going to be as good as we want to make it. It's going to be our home from now on ... We do our jobs, we take care of ourselves, respect each other as human beings. You wanted more out of life than that? Maybe we should have all thought just a little bit harder about our life choices."

Of course, things never go as smoothly as one hopes. Frank quickly learns that as he and the others are put through a rigorous training somewhere in the Nevadan desert. They hope things will be better once they get to Mars...but they know they'll never really be free.
"XO are getting edgy over whether you can keep it together up there... Once you're on Mars, there's no Hole. No discipline. No one to keep you in line. You'll fall apart, and with it, the project. You know how much Uncle Sam is ponying up for this? ... Trillions. And you, and your fine fellows, are now the only people standing between Mars Base One and an expensive failure. Which is why I'm going with you."
I've always been drawn to books about exploring and colonizing Mars, and One Way by S.J. Morden does not disappoint. From the first page to the last, I could not put this one down. I immediately liked Frank, just an ordinary guy in prison for murder, who's also good at getting things done. Now he's on Mars trying to get the base built on time even though they don't have all the necessary equipment, all while keeping himself and his fellow prisoners alive despite their overseer's cold indifference. All he really wants to do is make it back home to see his son. But that's looking more and more iffy as everything on Mars starts to go wrong. There's science and mystery in this one, and adventure, too. The suspense really builds as XO's ultimate plan for the seven convicts is revealed. Talk about a compelling read!
"Mars was a thing. A living, breathing thing. ...Tomorrow, they'd all build, and by night fall they might have done enough to mean they'd actually made an impact on Mars. A Mars that had already taken two of them."
I'm glad this book has a sequel!
Happy Reading!


   

24 comments:

  1. Colonizing Mars, expendable convicts, and an "ultimate plan" for the expendables who are building the base? I'm in.

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    1. Right? I loved the premise, and the book did not disappoint.

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  2. This sounds interesting...I need to further investigate!

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  3. I love space books so much. I'll have to check this one out!

    Ash @ JennReneeRead

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    1. I liked the whole being on Mars thing. :) Thanks for commenting!

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  4. This one reminds me of why I used to enjoy science fiction so much when I was younger. I drifted away from the genre a few years ago, but I think I need to revisit the genre to see what I've been missing.

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    1. There's a lot of science fiction I don't read, but every once in awhile I find a good one like this one. :)

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  5. Glad you enjoyed this one! I haven't read a scifi novel in soooo long.

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    1. I've been reading more scifi this year than I have in long time, and it's been kind of fun. :)

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  6. I need to read more scifi. This one sounds so good! :)

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    1. I thought it was a good combination of memorable characters, science/technology and adventure. :)

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  7. I rarely read sci-fi but this one sounds like a good one! :)

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    1. I don't read a lot of sci-fi either, although I have read more of it this year than I have in years. But it's been a lot of fun. :)

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  8. I don't read science fiction often, but I usually enjoy it when I do. I hope there's a happy ending for Frank, but it sounds like it's more of a to be continued situation if you're happy for a book two. I'll check this out. :)

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    1. It wasn't smooth sailing for Frank in this one and I think he's going to have a real struggle just to survive in the sequel, but if anyone can do it, he can. :)

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  9. I love books like this especially when they're suspenseful. This sounds like one I'd love to read!

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    1. It's a great mix of science fiction and mystery.

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  10. This cover always catches my eye! It sounds really good. I think you have convinced me with the suspense.

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    1. It has good pacing and really held my interest all the way through.

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  11. Thanks for putting this on my radar! SF, mystery, and adventure all in one is always appealing, and the premise and plot sound intriguing. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  12. A book would be maybe a tad boring when things go as smoothly as one hopes, right? :D This sounds like a ripping story and better than The Martian which I know everyone loved but me! Boo hoo. .

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    1. I can't way this one was better than The Martian (because I'm one of those who loved that book), but this one is a good one. And yes, plenty of things go wrong to keep up the suspense. :)

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