Jess's Reviews > Red Mars

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
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's review
Jun 25, 2012

it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

** spoiler alert ** The journey to Mars has been a large part of my life for many years. I've dreamed of it, learned about it, thought about it, and I honestly believe I will see humans (maybe even myself) on another planet inside of my life.

Yet somehow, I waited until now to complete this trilogy. In a way, I'm glad I did. I'm at a point in my life where I'm thinking a lot about space and exploration (new job building rockets), but the time after an imagined Mars landing is...blank. Hazy, at most. What happens to the planet, to Earth, to us...I honestly don't know.

Enter the Mars Trilogy. The universe created is breathtakingly, heartbreakingly believable -- every event, every downturn, lacks the overly personal drama of most stories, and feels all the more real for it. There are no special characters, exempt from death or horror. This is not a story of utopia, or distopia, or fantasy -- it's humanity, and Mars, and what happens as we grow.

This is the first book of the trilogy, and in some ways the darkest. The purely scientific and adventurous first hundred become a destructive force, many dead, tearing apart red Mars and remaking it in another image. I don't know where I'd fall on this spectrum. I understand Ann Clayborne. I understand why she might love Mars for what it is. It's clean. It's what I've loved about the stars -- totally untouchable, incorruptable, unaffected by humanity and all its thrashings. The destruction of red Mars and the subsequent near destruction of Ann Clayborne were heartrending. That's how the book ended -- with the tragedy of destroying an old world, and the hope of creating a new one. Bittersweet to the last.

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