Thursday, 9 April 2015

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Paul Magrs - Lost on Mars - Book Review


Book Synopsis: With the scale and scope of the great science fiction epics, Lost on Mars tells the story of Lora and her family, third generation human settlers on the red planet who are struggling to survive in incredible circumstances. The family clings to life on a smallholding in the desert landscape, surviving storms and sinister rumours of un-explained disappearances until one night Lora sees the Dancers. When her father and grandmother disappear themselves, Lora's family is driven out to seek a new life across the plains. But none of them are ready for what they find the beautiful, dangerous City Inside.

Book Review: I was so excited to get my hands on an early copy of this book. In fact, I gave a little dance when it landed in my letter box. It never even made my 'To Be Read' pile as I devoured it straight away. Paul Magrs has quickly become one of my favourite authors, so I was eagerly hoping that this book would live up to my expectations. 

The synopsis gives very little away, as you can see above, so my imagination was on overload from the very start. Paul has a very expressive way of telling a story; simply told with a fantastical and futuristic vision that packs a mighty punch to the senses. Inspired from the books that he read as a child, this has helped him deliver another science fiction epic of his own. 

It's FANTASTIC, it's BRILLIANT, it's certainly strange and the plot will hit you in both the gut and the heart at the same time. It's thought provoking and very surreal following the characters into the realms of the unknown. I was never quite sure what would happen in this book as it's a magical ride of two halves with a big dollop of craziness, of course. Although, the story does have an underlying dark and sinister edge; disappearing people, unexplained sightings and possibly a cannibalistic race of aliens that will have you running for another planet. However, the more that I read, the more that I fell in love with this book. 

The final part of the story is a fantasy marvel. It hits you out of nowhere and changes the whole direction of the story. This certainly shows Paul's pedigree of writing through his epic involvement in writing twenty five or so Dr Who novels.

One of my favourite aspects of the story included another one of Paul's trademark 'servo furnishings'. This time it was a sunbed, if I recall correctly. I'd love more books to feature one as it makes the book sparkle with amusement and wonder.  

This is easily my favourite read of the year. It is a cracking space odyssey for the Young Adult audience and beyond. A unique outlook all wrapped in a disturbing fight for survival against a bleak and desolate landscape. Although, the end does pose the question as to whether there will be a sequel or not.

I hope that you will grab a copy of this delight of a book and enjoy it as much as I did. Many thanks to Firefly Press for publishing this book and Megan Farr for sending a copy in my direction.

Paperback: 352 pages - Publisher: Firefly Press Ltd (14 May 2015) ISBN-13: 978-1910080221
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