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Marsbound

de Joe Haldeman

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Sèrie: Marsbound (1)

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5252234,148 (3.46)14
Young Carmen Dula and her family are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime--they're going to Mars. Once on the Red Planet, however, Carmen realizes things are not so different from Earth. There are chores to do, lessons to learn, and oppressive authority figures to rebel against. And when she ventures out into the bleak Mars landscape alone one night, a simple accident leads her to the edge of death until she is saved by an angel--an angel with too many arms and legs, a head that looks like a potato gone bad, and a message for the newly arrived human inhabitants of Mars: We were here first.--From publisher description.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perfmc712, Spiffyman, biblioteca privada, MaximumTodd, bstecher, dasinck, jestrohm, SirMacHinery, kaballerau
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Anglès (20)  Suec (1)  Italià (1)  Totes les llengües (22)
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Reviewing the full trilogy, (here be spoilers)...

#1 - Marsbound

Quite a good book and a very good opener to the trilogy. One of the more interesting aspects was the way Haldeman subtly managed to change the voice of the protagonist as she grew up from a teenage girl into a young woman. At the beginning of the story, Carmen Dula is leaving her Florida home to go live on Mars for a few years with her family. By the end of the book, she is a 'Martian', quarantined away from her home planet, and now facing a mission to another star system to try and deal with a vastly superior alien threat.

#2 - Starbound

A solid middle volume. The pace slackens a bit from the first novel but, considering it's mostly about a team of human emissaries traveling to another star system, it cruises along pretty well. There is some weird pseudo-science stuff that is essentially explained away using Clarke's Axiom; "Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic". Apart from that, the rest of the science in the book seems pretty solid while not getting in the way of keeping things moving forward, (note: I am not a rocket scientist so please don't lambaste me if the science is actually completely wonky).

Overall, this is a good book that carries the reader nicely from the end of Marsbound into the beginning of Earthbound.

#3 - Earthbound

The third book in the trilogy is a solid closing volume. The team has now returned from their trip to meet with The Others to find that the Earthly quarantine has been lifted. In this book therefore, most of the action takes place back on Terra. And there is a good amount of action. Haldeman paints a brutal and, to my mind, realistic picture of how things might progress should a scenario like this ever come to pass. Despite the grim narrative, the novel does end on a hopeful note.

The Trilogy (spoiler warning!)

A word about the entire trilogy: Haldeman takes the first-contact trope and stands it a bit on its' ear; Instead of humanity being initially out-classed by a vastly superior race and then somehow figuring a way to triumph through, y'know, "good old-fashioned human ingenuity & stuff", Haldeman imagines a scenario where humanity is not up to the task of overcoming the stacked odds. I've read many negative reviews of this series and, frankly, I don't get it. Does everyone want a happy ending all the time? The writing is smart, the characters are fairly well-developed - especially the protagonist, and the plot moves well throughout all three books. The situation is, quite honestly, about the most likely thing that we would face if another species happened to be keeping an eye on us. Think about it; A race of beings that have the ability to travel through interstellar space would realistically be so technologically advanced compared to us that, if they wanted to wipe us out, and we tried to fight back, it would be like a pack of squirrels trying to stop a bulldozer.

I give books #1 and #3 four solid stars each. Book #2 gets 3.25 stars and I average the trilogy at 3.75 overall. ( )
  ScoLgo | Jan 28, 2019 |
An old-fashioned science-fiction adventure, but no less enjoyable for its somewhat retro nature. For some reason I thought this was YA--I wouldn't call it that. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I was disappointed by Marsbound. It had a reasonably intriguing ending, but otherwise was pretty pedestrian. I found the science of the space elevator and the Mars journey and the Mars colony to be somewhat interesting, but both the protagonist, Carmen, and her adventures felt superficial and far from compelling. Perhaps I am not the intended audience for this book? It's not explicitly YA, and indeed the sex is more explicit than you would expect for YA, but the characterization and storytelling were definitely on the simple side. ( )
1 vota clong | May 12, 2018 |
An old-fashioned science-fiction adventure, but no less enjoyable for its somewhat retro nature. For some reason I thought this was YA--I wouldn't call it that. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
This is a story of the relatively near future, the first Mars colony, and some interesting aliens. In this respect, it’s quite good; the technology is realistic and well described, the plot makes sense, and the aliens are wonderfully alien.
A number of things did not suit my personal taste, though. The first is that the story is told in first person. This isn’t necessarily bad, but I find it works best for detective novels. It’s probably great for romance novels, too, but those have no appeal for me. Again, it’s a matter of personal taste. The first person narrative didn’t work for me especially in this book probably because I felt no affinity for the main character. More on that later.
The fist half of the book can be skimmed or simply skipped. It is mainly a description of a ride up the space elevator and an eight-month journey to Mars aboard a spaceship. The descriptions are good and describe believably what a space elevator ride and uneventful flight to Mars might be like, but a hundred-plus pages of this kind of thing is simply a bit much. The technology is interesting, but nothing happens. There are no amazing discoveries or mysteries and no real conflicts to be resolved.
Except for one of the aliens, who we really don’t meet until fairly late in the book, I didn’t much care for any of the characters. The main character, Carmen Dula, is eighteen years old when we fist meet her. I found nothing admirable or even especially likeable about her. She has the raging hormones of a woman a few years older and the emotional maturity of a girl a few years younger. She seemed to have no sense of perspective. She’s on her way to Mars, but her teenage angst about friends and school seem to prevent her from appreciating how unique this is. This may mark her as normal, but normal in a science fiction novel isn’t interesting. Her misplaced sense of priorities continues even after meeting the aliens because she seems to devote most of her thinking to her love affair with the captain of the ship that brought them to Mars. Don’t get me wrong. Love affairs are fine (between consenting adults and all that), but they’re normal. People do that all the time. It’s not interesting. (You can probably see why romance novels don’t do much for me.)
The second part of the book, however, does have a decent plot. As I said, the aliens are very alien. To say much more about them would be a plot spoiler though, and I don’t like to do that.
There are two sequels to Marsbound, and I’m willing to give them a shot. I can’t say this first book appealed much to me, though.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Joe Haldemanautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
DeFex, Annette FioreDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gambino, FredAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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The butterfly counts not months but moments,
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For Carmen and Catalin,
our alien invaders.
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It wasn't a lot of luggage for six years; for the longest journey anyone had ever taken.
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Young Carmen Dula and her family are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime--they're going to Mars. Once on the Red Planet, however, Carmen realizes things are not so different from Earth. There are chores to do, lessons to learn, and oppressive authority figures to rebel against. And when she ventures out into the bleak Mars landscape alone one night, a simple accident leads her to the edge of death until she is saved by an angel--an angel with too many arms and legs, a head that looks like a potato gone bad, and a message for the newly arrived human inhabitants of Mars: We were here first.--From publisher description.

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