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Saving Mars (Saving Mars #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  335 ratings  ·  68 reviews
When the food supply of Mars’ human settlement is decimated, seventeen-year-old Jessamyn Jaarda, the best pilot Mars Colonial has ever seen, flies to Earth to raid for food. Earth-Mars relations couldn’t be worse, and her brother is captured during the raid. Breaking rules of secrecy and no contact, Jess finds an ally in Pavel, nephew to a government official, but their fr ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published August 3rd 2012 by Williams Press (first published July 26th 2012)
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This is a nice old-fashioned SF coming-of-age story but a bit TOO YA for my adult taste, in the sense that it requires me to be too uncritical. It revolves around a Mars society that cannot raise any food on its own and is dependent for food on an Earth with which it cannot legally have any contact, and an Earth society that thinks everyone on Mars is dead. This Earth also has a practice where everyone is "re-bodied" into a different body (of different ages) 4 times before the end of a mandatory ...more
I enjoyed this story, and I sort of want to know what happens next, but for some reason I feel really critical of some of the plot points.

Things I did like: I liked the idea of the Mars colonies. I liked how they were surviving, but not very well. I liked the images of what was needed to survive daily life on Mars: the walk-out suits, the ration bars, the bi-annum visits with the planetary dog. These were fun and interesting details that helped make the Marsian world realistic to me.

I also lov
This book was incredible!!! And nothing at all what I expected. It was beautifully written sci-fi with excellent characters. They snuck in my heart and made themselves comfy there! I didn't even knew I cared about them so much.

Jess is not a typical MC. For one she grew up on Mars, for second she had no teen angst and "I shall doom my planet to save a boy" attitude. In those situation, I often wonder what would I do? Would I risk everyone else's safety for selfish reasons? And often I find myself
Jessica (Goldenfurpro)
Actual rating: 3.5
It took me awhile to get into this book. In the beginning this book was kind of slow and confusing, but the book really picked up after that! Closer to the end, I really enjoyed this book, and if it wasn't for how long it took for me to get into this book., it would have 4 stars!

But I will most definitely be reading the next book!
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to the lovely Cidney Swanson.)
17-year-old Jessamyn Jaarda lives on Mars with her parents and older brother Ethan. It has been nearly 2 centuries since the initiative to populate Mars began, and a lot has changed in that time. The Earth has cut Mars off, and there is a treaty in place that means that Mars is to have zero contact with Earth.
The Marsians have been unable to produce an edible food source on Ma

(From Word Vagabond: Supporting Independent and Small Press Authors)

When the food supply of Mars’ human settlement is decimated, seventeen-year-old Jessamyn Jaarda, the best pilot Mars Colonial has ever seen, flies to Earth to raid for food. Earth-Mars relations couldn’t be worse, and her brother is captured during the raid. Breaking rules of secrecy and no contact, Jess finds an ally in Pavel, nephew to a government official, but their friendship only makes more agonizing the choice before her:
Rivie Bleu
Originally posted on Bookshelf (full review)

It was very entertaining and I was interested from the beginning. This is a new take on dystopian novels. We get to see a new world with new characters in a place filled with love, understanding and belief that kindness saves us from destroying each other.

As always I look for the moral of the story and I found great things here. We saw characters facing their worse fears and standing up for themselves. The main character felt like she had a high respon
Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Another highly enjoyable YA science fiction read. This adventure splits its page count between Mars, outer space, and a dystopian Earth. The world-building is detailed and sound, the flying action sequences are edge-of-your-seat breathtaking, and the dystopian concept is uniquely creepy. I had trouble putting it down to go to bed.

My one real quibble is that the character of Ethan, who seems to be on the autism spectrum, sometimes seems more like Commander Data from Star Trek than a human person.
J.L. Dobias
Jan 23, 2014 J.L. Dobias rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: SFF YA and Adult Fans
Shelves: book-shelf-10
Saving Mars (The Saving Mars Series 1) by Cidney Swanson

I loved this this book. So much that even though I had purchased it as an individual before the triple pack came out, I went ahead and purchased the tri-pack. It's quite worth it.

I've already read and enjoyed the Ripple trilogy by Cidney and having loved that so much I purchased the saving Mars book 1 to get me started into that group of stories. I had let it set for a while I was doing other things and reading other things, but once I star
I really liked the first 1/3 of this book. The protagonist was a strong young woman who did things her own way, and damn the system. Then there was a really really long chapter where she met the love interest, which, while well-written, was the turning point of the book, for several reasons. It takes a lot of plot contortions which don't make sense to get the protagonist into a situation to meet the love interest. I mean back-breaking plot contortions. After this point, the protagonist stopped b ...more
The book is plot driven and some of the situations that Jess finds herself in seem forced. I thought the genius brother was a bit of a cliché. Why can’t a genius be well adjusted for a change and smart enough to sell his inventions. Overall, it isn’t a bad read, but I would like to see more character development and less plot.
I totally fell in love with this book. It was delightful. The first half was a little slow maybe, setting up the story, but I don't see how it could have been different. Once Jessamyn got to Earth, I couldn't put the book down. And then I went on the prowl for the rest of Swanson's books.
Sue Moro
I just finished reading this fantastic YA scifi/dystopian novel by Cidney Swanson, and I immediately had to pick up book two! I highly recommend this book!

My full review can be found here:
Ocassionally Amazon offers a few Kindle books for free (I receive a daily list from BookBub [that's my unofficial plug for a free service]), and as I recall this was one of those freebies. I was impressed with the star rating on Amazon and, as I enjoy sci-fi and YA, this seemed like the right choice for me.

Being a YA novel, we know that we will see a teen with abilities better than most, and someone daring, and perhaps reckless, and we are not disappointed here. Author Cidney Swanson does a nice
I enjoyed this book a lot. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. A great YA space adventure.
Dani (Pen to Paper)
Full review coming soon.
This is a very intriguing book and yet a downer for me.
The characters were two dimensional and while I tried to connect with the characters, it wasn't possible. The world building was good and yet I wished there were more descriptions of the people, landscape and the surroundings. The writing flowed off the pages. I wished there was more action and suspense in this book because the pacing was quite slow.
Jessamyn is a very strong, independent heroine, her brother Ethan is a technical genius, Ki
I picked this up after Nathan Lowell recommended the sequel. I take Nathan's recommendations seriously, since I discovered Debora Geary, one of my favourite authors, through him, so I started out predisposed to like this a lot.

I did enjoy it, too, despite massive setting issues. More on that in a moment.

The writing is smooth and competent, with only occasional errors: capitol instead of capital, physician's when it should be physicians', discretely instead of discreetly, enormity used to mean l
Victoria Pinder
Jessamyn Jaarda biggest concern in Chapter one is her brother, Ethan, and getting a piece of ice. She disobeys orders and is disciplined when the food supply is destroyed. Honestly it’s good if you ignore the fact the military would never take a rule breaker into their system as rule breakers get people killed. This isn’t in most novels or movies that rogues are bad officers, so I’ll leave that alone. She gets to go on the mission to save Mars, and her brother, Ethan, is recruited too. Jess is s ...more
Emily Rachelle
When an accidental fire destroys ninety percent of their food supply, Marsians trust aspiring pilot Jessamyn, her genius brother Ethan, and a select few others to fly to Earth and smuggle out precious ration bars. However, TerraMarsian relations have been either hostile or nonexistent for over a century. When the raid goes south, Jess finds herself facing some hard choices: go with her gut or her heart with the Terran boy? Focus on saving her brother or her planet? Can she even manage to do eith ...more
Oh my! I finished this book two days ago. Why haven't I written a review yet? Because it was so good I couldn't wait to read the next book. Oops! I have no self-control when it comes to good books!

If you love science fiction with a spot of fantasy thrown in this is the book for you.

It fit all my criteria for my recent reading goals. This had a strong main character, who happened to be female. This character was flawed as were the other folks that people this novel and its planets. This story is
Jess and her family live in Mars Colonial, a small human settlement on Mars that started as an initiative on the planet Terra. The Terrans believe that Mars Colonial failed years ago, and the Marsians ("Martians" being an offensive, Terran term) intend to keep it that way despite being under constant Terran surveillance. Jess can pilot any craft with wings, and she dreams of becoming a raider like her late grandfather, flying missions to Terra to bring back the ration bars that keep the Marsians ...more
Brian W.
In Saving Mars, Cidney Swanson tells the story of Jess, a Marsian who has a superior talent for flying and a genius for a brother. Those two elements combine to put her in the middle of her planet’s fight for survival against aggression from Earth.

Why to Buy This Book: If you’ve seen many of my reviews, you’ll know I’m quite persnickety when it comes to writing technique. The writing in the book was, overall, extraordinarily clean and tight. Very little drew me out of the solid story. It was a q
I bought this book a couple months ago and it sat on my kindle for a loooonnnng time. Then, the second book in the series was free, and I bought that too. I remembered that I actually hadn't read this yet after that, so I stopped all other books I was reading and began with this one. I am so glad I did!

Cidney Swanson is a wonderful author. I haven't read any of her books before, but I am definitely going to start now. Her writing style is so awesome! When Jessamyn was taking in the wonder of Ear
Dan Thompson
Saving Mars is the first book in a trilogy (or series) of books about a teenage pilot from Mars and her brother. I was mostly checking this out for my daughter, because she is nuts about Mars, and the brother in question is a reasonably high-functioning autistic. Likewise, my daughter’s brothers are autistic. On that point, I will probably recommend it to her around age thirteen or fourteen. (She’s nine now.)

However, it didn’t work that well for me as an adult. I have certainly enjoyed some YA f
Athena Grayson
I really enjoyed this book. It's an action-adventure that brings to mind the same old feeling I got as a teen reading classic Anne McCaffrey and CJ Cherryh science fiction, but with just enough space-opera to keep me turning pages.

I like that the author was unafraid to go over-the-top with Earth society, and although I felt the shadow of Hunger Games with some of the Earth scenes, it didn't detract from the story. If I were a teenager, the scenes would have made perfect sense from an adventure p
Whiney Space Cadet Needs Growth Opportunity

Saving Mars: Book One in the Saving Mars Series
by Cidney Swanson

Jessamyn is a young Marsian woman who has been studying to be the best pilot she can be in preparation to be selected as one of the few to raid Earth for rations. The raid occurs once every twenty annums, Martian years, or roughly forty Earth years since relations between the two planets ceased. The term Marsian has been adopted as a form of solidarity among the abandoned to starve colonist
Sandra the Nook Worm
Normally I give free/indie books a little extra leeway when writing a review, knowing that the author was nice enough to let me read their work for free and the person probably didn't have an editor, but this book is good enough to be judged against all the mainstream books that cost $9.99! I loved it. Definitely worth the 5 stars and I'm going to read the next one too. I love the dystopian feel while it was more sci-fi, the darker themes still bled through and made it more my favorite kind of b ...more
Kirsten Lenius
There are so many books targeted at young adults now, since the success of Harry Potter and the Twilight series, it seems like there is an explosion of them. I'm happy to say that this one is a stand-out among them.

The colonists of Mars have lost their supply of rations in a disaster and have been cut off by Earth from getting more. They can not yet grow their own food, though they are working on it, so their only choice is to violate the non-contact agreement and sneak a flight back to Earth to
I loved Cidney Swanson's Rippler series so when I was given the chance to read this book for review I took it. Now, I'm not a big Sci-Fi reader. I don't mind Sci-fi in movie/television form, but its not normally what I gravitate to for reading material. However, I am so glad I read this book!

This book caught me from the first page and I couldn't stop reading it whenever I had the chance to read. I enjoyed the concept, the writing and pace of the book, the characters, the story and futuristic des
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Other Books in the Series

Saving Mars (6 books)
  • Defying Mars (Saving Mars, #2)
  • Losing Mars (Saving Mars, #3)
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  • Striking Mars (Saving Mars #5)
  • Mars Rising (Saving Mars Series 6)
Rippler (Ripple, #1) Chameleon (Ripple, #2) Unfurl (Ripple, #3) The Ripple Trilogy Books 1-3 Defying Mars (Saving Mars, #2)

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