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review 2018-09-10 04:12
Before Mars by Emma Newman
Before Mars - Emma Newman

Series: Planetfall #3


This is the third book in the loosely connected series that started off with Planetfall. Here Anna Kubrin, an artist and geologist sent to Mars, discovers a series of unsettling incongruities that makes her think that either there's some sort of conspiracy going on or she's losing her mind. Things like a foot print found where supposedly no one's ever been, things packed strangely, and a fake wedding ring. It also starts to seem like the base AI is doctoring data.


This book was pretty intense, and I quite enjoyed it, although I guess I'm a little disappointed that all the clues were so well laid out that I could more or less guess what had happened (my original theory was mostly right).


I'm definitely looking forward to the fourth book, which looks to ratchet things up yet another notch. Oh, and another cool aspect of the book is how Newman explored post partum depression and a non-stereotypical mother who struggles with motherhood.


I'm counting this for the "New Release" square for Halloween Bingo because it was release in April 2018.



Previous updates:

53 %

6 %

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text 2018-09-05 14:07
Reading progress update: I've read 53%.
Before Mars - Emma Newman

"What else has Travis been doing behind his husband's back? I dread to think."

Ha. If only she knew.


Ok, having read After Atlas, there are some known details that help build anticipation in this novel, but I honestly think they could be read in any order.


I have a suspicion about what is going on, but I'm not sure it's right. Or how, exactly.


To sum up our mysterious clues: we have a written warning, an impossible footprint, a fake wedding ring, and doctored visual survey data.

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text 2018-09-02 15:33
Reading progress update: I've read 6%.
Before Mars - Emma Newman

The first Halloween Bingo call wasn't on my card, so at first I wasn't sure what to start with. And then I remembered this book, and I was like "Of course!"


This will count for the new release square, but it's basically a science fiction mystery set on Mars, and it's the third book in this series/not series* by Emma Newman. I'm so excited!


*It's a series where the books take place in the same universe, but that so far you could read in any order.


Also, I could have sworn that I added all of the editions of this book that I could find when it came out in April, but I couldn't find my ebook edition on BL. It better not have been overwritten by the mislabelled Kindle book I found (someone put down an ASIN but called it an ebook...and it was first in the editions list too).

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review 2018-06-18 03:31
Review: Before Mars
Before Mars - Emma Newman

Third book in the series, and each is great in a totally different way. This one takes place concurrent to After Atlas, but instead of detective story, this is a psychological thriller where a protagonist fears her paranoia, but keeps finding reasons to mistrust the world around her. 


Once again, having not read the previous books wouldn't be an issue. There's some stuff at the end that would be quite obvious if you've read After Atlas, but the tension works either way. 


This is just such a great series. 

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review 2018-05-27 18:28
Not what I expected from the second book and totally delighted
After Atlas (Planetfall Novel, A) - Emma Newman

If Planetfall was sci-fi that read as lit-fic, After Atlas was sci-fi that read as a straight up murder mystery. I really didn’t expect that kind of a shift, but if anything, I think I liked this book even more because I’m a sucker for a good mystery.


At the beginning, it seems like After Atlas is only tangentally connected to the first book. Forty years ago the main character’s mother left him and his father to go into space with the resulting tale of book 1. And while the effects on those left behind come into play, this book could be read on its own and still enjoyed.


Newman continues her exploration of the themes of loss and grief in this book. While Carlos doesn’t believe he was shaped by his mother’s departure, having only been a baby with no memory of her, the deeper he goes into this journey, the more he is forced to confront the choices and mindset that have led him to this point.


I couldn’t put the book down. There was a lyrical beauty to the writing that reminded me of one of my favourite mystery authors, Tana French. Both are so specific and evocative with the minutae of environment and both force their MCs up against painful revelations they’ve tried hard to deny.


Even if sci-fi isn’t your thing, pick up After Atlas if you enjoy a riveting mystery.

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