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Marsbound (Marsbound #1)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  1,910 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Young Carmen Dula and her family are embarking on the adventure of a lifetime-they're going to Mars. But Carmen's rebellious streak leads her to venture out into the bleak Mars landscape alone, where 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 humans on Mars: We were here first...
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Ace (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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A.R. Norris
Just finished this book last night and couldn't wait to write a review.

Not normally a fan of first person -- you lose the connection to the story -- I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Within the first couple of pages I fell into the "I'm reading a journal of a girl" mode and submerged into the story of a young woman heading off to Mars with her family.

I liked Carmen as a MC. She was just imperfect enough to be realistic and impulsive enough to lead the reader into an adventure. Her relationship wit
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Bondama
These three books, "Marsbound, (I can't find the second installment - and "Earthbound" are really, honest, truly terrific science fiction (the hard type of sci fi - concerning "logical" means that might eventually, during the future, develop such technological breakthroughs which might actually come into being.

No fantasy here, just a really, really good book that carries its' readers into space, descriptions of crowded quarters for a reasonably long time -- Haldeman excels at that, and at charac
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Sarah
I saw another review that pretty much sums up my feelings. Haldeman's recent books have been breezy and interesting, but ultimately light. This reminded me a lot of Heinlein's teen books, except for the addition of some unnecessarily graphic sex. I don't have any problem with sex in fiction but this didn't seem to serve any purpose. I liked that the narrator was a teenage girl, and that she was an intelligent teenage girl without major hangups. That said, some of her actions -particularly when i ...more
Seán Gardner
I probably would have rated this a 3/5 if it had been written by almost any other author, but this is a Joe Haldeman book and I have come to expect far more from him than a story like Marsbound. The main character is likable and believable. The dialogue is realistic and typically Haldemanesque. The story just didn't engage me, though, and it isn't helped by a group of aliens that I just wasn't buying into. Haldeman knows to how create cool and weird aliens (see Camouflage, a really underrrated b ...more
D.L. Morrese
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
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Angela
Joe Haldeman has done it again. His brilliant Forever War seemed a counterpoint to Heinlein's Starship Troopers, a sort of pointed "here, this is what war is really like" riposte (although I have heard he says that is not true at all; that in fact he's a big Heinlein fan). Be that as it may, it is hard to read those books without thinking one is an answer to the other one.

Haldeman must be a Heinlein fan however, because this time he has written his version of Podkayne of Mars. Marsbound has the
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Chris Aylott
Haldeman proves the old Heinlein juvenile is alive and well, though I'm not sure his take on it will hold up as well as Heinlein's did. Carmen Dula's family is on its way to the first human Mars colony, where they will spend the next five years and possibly settle for life. On the way, she sort of falls in love with the ship's pilot -- he's in his thirties and she's nineteen, which makes their relationship just a bit creepy. Once on Mars, of course, she makes a Discovery that Changes Everything. ...more
Jack Burnett
Carmen Dula is a likable, relatable, realistic main character, and a sometimes dispassionately honest narrator. At some point, particularly since she starts the book 18 years old on the uncertain, anxious, stressed-out side of a pretty big family relocation and ends it with a graduate degree and unlikely place of prominence in human history, you would like to see her grow and change, leave the smartassery behind in favor of introspection and insight. She doesn't, and that's to the book's detrime ...more
Chessa
I really liked this book! A great first-contact SF story, with a good female narrator.

18-year-old Carmen and her family have been selected to participate in the Mars Project - living on the planet's outpost for 5 years. When they arrive, Carmen attracts the ire of one of the post's administrators and spends a lot of time doing menial work. One day she rebels and takes an unauthorized walk on the planet's surface, alone. She is nearly mortally injured but saved by...an angel with a potato head a
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Dan
This book really didn't pick up until about 100 pages into it, but I found the trip to Mars, as well as life on Mars fairly well-thought out. One thing I like about Haldeman is he's able to tell a convincing story without getting into the minutiae of everyday life. He does throw science at you regularly, but I find it easily digestible and fun. Once the story started to pick up about 100 pages in, it was a hard one to put down. I will be looking forward to reading the second book in the series, ...more
Richard M.
[CAUTION: Some spoilers below].

Overall, a good book. Haldeman touches on the science in sci-fi, but doesn’t dwell on it, almost like you would do if you were really in that future environment. He works in first-person via the main character, a girl named Carmen Dula. I was surprised, but the first-person narrative worked alright.

Haldeman takes a day-to-day approach of his character’s adventure to the Red Planet after winning a lottery for her family of gifted scientists, from leaving their Flori
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Doug
Yada yada yada 3.5 Stars. I originally had this at 4, then 3, so I will settle for the in between. The funny thing about ratings is your reaction right after is very different from after when you had time to think about it.

At first, I loved this book. I loved the idea, the space elevator ride was great, the story, the aliens were fun, I liked the main character, the science was easy but thoughtful, supporting cast was fine. I had few gripes with the first person point of view, though I don't kno
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Chani
Mar 04, 2014 Chani rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Marsbound follows Carmen Dula and her family to Mars where she falls in love and discovers an alien civilization already existing on Mars.

It reminded me a lot of Robert Heinlein's juveniles in that it had a young protagonist (although Haldeman's character's age felt really inconsistent - a 16 year old voice then a 20-something voice with out time passing). It's an adventure story in a larger universe and the concerns of the world are about the voyage their on - it's very focused on the experienc
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Robert Laird
This was a simply written story from the perspective of a young woman in her late teens, in the mid 21st century, about her family's journey to Mars. Even before it took an odd turn, I really enjoyed the perspective. The writing throughout was very clear, and Haldeman did a good job fleshing her out, and making her not just believable, but someone you'd want to know. Overall, a short read but an interesting story, and I look forward to reading the next novel in the series.
Andreas
Carmen Dula is nineteen years old when she moves to the Mars base with her family on a five-year assignment. She is an intelligent, level-headed (remote) college student who falls in love with the pilot. The journey and stay present challenges large and small, both regarding survival itself and getting along with the other residents. Then one day she wants to spend some time alone and unwisely takes a walk outside without a buddy. She falls into a hole and is rescued by a Martian.

Wait, what? I d
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Kemper
Haldeman delivers another great sci-fi story. He handles the nuts and bolts of a trip to Mars and what life there would be like with his usual readable style that gives you some real science without a lot of technobabble. Best part of this story is the main character, Carmen. Telling a sci fi story from a slightly angry and rebellious teen-age character is a nice change of pace from the type of astronaut heroes we usually get in these stories.
Fred Hughes
Joe Haldeman books are what I call easy reads. The storys track fairly fast and there is minimal character development, but enough. Haldeman has a potty mouth sometimes which I don't find offensive but younger readers may not appreciate his vivid language.

All his books are entertaining and easily read. There is not too much complicated plot lines so again easy to read.

Recommended
Michael
Two of the most classic themes of science fiction--colonization and first contact-- put into a charming package. Told from the perspective of a teenage girl, so we get a coming of age story *too. Satisfying read, but it missed the mark a bit in conveying a sense of wonder about her experiences, and the characters could have been more compelling.
John M Dockerty
I enjoyed this book. I believe it would be a great intro book, to science fiction, for a person of middle-school age, except for a little too much sex, and gratuitous bad language. I have probably become over conservative in my old age.

I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.
Pamela
Excellent, solid science fiction that can be enjoyed by young readers and older ones. My longer review of this book can be found here.
Jamie
2.5 stars. Haldeman's books are always readable, and I liked the narrator and the setting. But the book felt way too short, had too much exposition, and I found the ending abrupt and unsatisfying.
Pancha
This book has great world building, and spends a lot of time making the setting feel real. But much less attention is spent on the relationships between characters. We get hints, such being told that Carmen has a new closeness with her mom, but we don't really spend any time really seeing the details of the relationships play out. I think Carmen's friendship with Red is probably the most fleshed out and therefor the feels the most real, but it doesn't even start until halfway through the book. T ...more
Jennie
I can't tell you what was wrong with this book, exactly. The protagonist was ok, there were no major flaws with her. The story was ok, nothing too off about it. The writing was fine. But nothing moved me. I read it, I can't find anything to object to, but I can't say there is anything that actually recommends it, either. I kept waiting for something to make me feel, and I found nothing. I wasn't invested in the characters or the story line and I certainly didn't like it enough to read the sequel ...more
Paul
This is my first Joe Haldeman novel since loving The Forever War, which is a classic of the genre and could be the best military science fiction novel of all time (with apologies to Heinlein and others). So... A tough act to follow.

Marsbound is a story about a eighteen-year-old woman moving to Mars with her family. The prose is a cut above most sci fi and the pov character, Carmen, is funny. The narrative is in first person which helped me stay engaged with the science in a way I haven't been ab
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Gendou
Good hard science fiction.
Good hard sex in space.
The main character has an interesting tone.
The plot was interesting.
I liked it.
Richard
This was a light book, and it didn't really take too much to read it. Overall I found it pretty bland in storytelling, and not enough really happened in it to seriously grab my attention.

A few things did stick out as interesting however. The relationship between Paul and Carmen was well written and realistic. The alien culture was pretty good and not just tweaked humanity.

Things that I really couldn't stand though we're the character of Dargon because I didn't understand her motivations. She d
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Pustulio
Jesús el Cristo que manera tan horrible de terminar un libro y de narrar un libro.

La idea no es mala pero la manera de ejecutarla es pésima, creo que sí leen mis reseñas saben que no me gustan mucho los clifhangers pero con esta novela descubrí algo peor que eso, no se cómo llamarlos pero los llamare spoilerhangers o algo.

Lo que hace el autor es por ejemplo decir: entonces a Chuchita la bolsearon. PERO EN REALIDAD NO LA BOLSEARON. *fin del capitulo*

QUE VERGAS ya pa que quiero seguir leyendo si
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Tomislav
Teenager Carmen Dula and her family are among the few selected to be among the first human colonists to Mars. Once there, she makes first contact with alien species, but no one believes her. This is pure formula science fiction, but the logistics of Mars colonization are state-of-knowledge. At first I thought this must be YA, but the forthright sex scenes make me think that it is more a sort of retreaded young adult novel for readers who are now actually older. This is not typical of Haldeman's ...more
Abner Rosenweig
Journeying to Mars through the eyes of a horny 19-year-old virgin girl may do it for some readers but not for me. The majority of the book has little conflict, tension, or suspense. Unless you are titillated by the prospects of sex with an older male spaceship captain, there is very little to entice the reader to continue. The book becomes interesting in its last 80 pages when there is finally a hint of intelligence in the writing, but it is ultimately too little and too late. This was regrettab ...more
Sueij
This was a fine book, but in the pantheon of all SF out there, I just didn't feel like it added anything that new.

It's told first-person by an 18 year old (unfortunately for my perspective, since I just recently read Scalzi's Zoe's Tale) who often seems much more juvenile than her age and situation suggest to me. It's filled with little science-y facts that sometimes felt like the real way a teen would tell someone about space, and sometimes felt like "See! I, the author, really did my research
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Brother of Jack C. Haldeman II

Haldeman is the author of 20 novels and five collections. The Forever War won the Nebula, Hugo and Ditmar Awards for best science fiction novel in 1975. Other notable titles include Camouflage, The Accidental Time Machine and Marsbound as well as the short works "Graves," "Tricentennial" and "The Hemingway Hoax." Starbound is scheduled for a January release. SFWA pres
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More about Joe Haldeman...

Other Books in the Series

Marsbound (3 books)
  • Starbound
  • Earthbound
The Forever War (The Forever War, #1) Forever Peace (The Forever War, #2) The Accidental Time Machine Camouflage Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)

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