About the book, Mars Adrift (The Halo Trilogy: Book 3)
- Categories: Science Fiction / Detective (Hard-Boiled) / Mystery
- Publisher: Pumpjack Press
- Date of Publication: February 14, 2022
- Number of Pages: 300 pages
- Scroll down for Giveaway!
An interplanetary mystery and a searing critique of the contemporary billionaire quest for Mars. The year is (still) 2188 and Crucial Larsen is officially done with Mars. But just as he’s set to head back to his beloved Earth, meteors crash into the orbital platforms, ravage the luxury domes and knock Halo—the powerful AI running Mars and Earth—offline. And this is no random cosmic event. An invading force has the technology to redirect space rocks at will and intends to level the Five Families.
Their first act? Put a bounty on missing Staff Scientist Melinda Hopwire, Crucial’s ex-lover—the only person left alive who can find the back-up servers to introduce the AI empathy hack, the endgame of the beleaguered Resistance. Crucial has to claw his way across the deadly Choke armed with nothing more than a glue gun, expired maple rum and Sanders, a malfunctioning cybanism, to find Mel and her synthetic perma-kitten Wisp. If he fails, it’s the end for both planets.
Praise for this book:
“A compelling saga, edgy and different…the personal, political, and social issues create a Mars story that is thoroughly absorbing. Other books have attempted to blend the genres of an investigative detective piece with sci-fi, but few achieve such a seamless integration.” – Midwest Book Review
Buy, read, and discuss this book:
About the authors, Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays
Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Mars Adrift is their tenth co-authored book.
Connect with McFall and Hays:
Connect with Kathleen
Connect with Clark
The last time I reviewed a McFall & Hays novel it was Gates of Mars, the first book of this trilogy. (I somehow missed book two, but doing so didn’t seem to adversely effect my understanding or enjoyment of book three.) Back then (July, 2020) I wrote, “It takes a lot of talent to combine a detective plot with a sci-fi setting, and make us care about the characters even when their flaws are all too visible, but McFall and Hays have that talent. They also infuse their work with just enough wry humor to keep things from being overwhelming.”
It was true then, and it’s even more so with this novel, Mars Adrift, the third book in the Halo Trilogy.
I found that I was just as invested in Crucial Larsen’s story as I was a year and a half ago, but I noticed different things in this duo’s writing this time around. Specifically, I love the way the character has grown over the course of these novels. He’s still cantankerous and prone to making poor choices, but he’s also become less self-serving – not entirely, just less. Saving his own family is now slightly more than mere enlightened self-interest.
I was also really struck by the language in Mars Adrift. Ever snappy, the dialogue in this novel really sings. It’s science fiction with a neo-noir flare, and it’s just a pleasure to read.
McFall & Clark have always used their futuristic fiction to shine a light on contemporary issues – climate change key among them, and this story certainly does that. In a community living under domes to keep atmosphere in, what’s the scariest thing that could happen? Meteors, of course! That technology (construction, alien ships) based on fungi are part of this book is forward-thinking as well, but I hope the authors aren’t offended if I prefer my mushrooms on pizza, at least for now.
Overall, Mars Adrift is a satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that has never lost its freshness. It would be best enjoyed by those who have read books one and two, but I had no trouble following the plot after skipping the middle book, and I feel that if you encountered it first, it wouldn’t be too hard to figure things out from context.
Goes well with: Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza with mushrooms and onions, and a glass of cold iced tea (sweet or unsweet as you prefer.)
One winner gets autographed copies of all three books in The Halo Trilogy.
(US only. Ends 2/21/22).
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