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Mars Evacuees

(Mars Evacuees #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  639 ratings  ·  159 reviews
The fact that someone had decided I would be safer on Mars, where you could still only SORT OF breathe the air and SORT OF not get sunburned to death, was a sign that the war with the aliens was not going fantastically well.

I’d been worried I was about to be told that my mother’s spacefighter had been shot down, so when I found out that I was being evacuated to Mars, I was
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 27th 2014 by Egmont
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I’ve a nasty habit of finishing every children’s book I start, no matter how dull or dire it might be. I am sort of alone in this habit, which you could rightly call unhealthy. After all, most librarians understand that their time on this globe is limited and that if they want to read the greatest number of excellent books in a given year, they need to hold off on spending too much time devouring schlock and just skip to the good stuff. So it is that with my weird predilection for completion I a ...more

Opens: When the polar ice advanced as far as Nottingham, my school was closed and I was evacuated to Mars

Earth has been invaded by invisible aliens called Morror. They like things cold so settle in the polar icecaps – trouble is they are extending the ice caps and the liveable area for humans is getting less, so now war has broken out between the two groups. Scientists are in the process of terraforming Mars but it is not quite ready for permanent human habitation. Still it is decided that 300 c
This is such a great read! Quite fun but also at times quite scary!!

When Earth is invaded by Aliens and the war between humans and Morrows has been going on for a long time, it is decided that it may be safer to send some kids to Mars. It has been terraformed and is habitable by humans. AliceDare is one such "lucky" child. Her mother is a fighter pilot and Alice has been sent to live away from the danger. Unbeknownst to anyone, Earth isn't the only planet in danger and when all the grownups dis
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was recommended to me by lightreads, who compared it to The True Meaning of Smekday. And while this doesn't quite reach the heights of perfection that Smekday did, it's still really, really, really fun.

Basic plot is, you know, the earth has been invaded by aliens, Alice gets sent off to Mars, adventures ensue. And once those adventures start, they don't stop -- the last three-fourths of the book is pretty much a read-at-a-gallop-in-one-sitting action festival with brief fixing stuff interl
"What about our human rights,' demanded Carl, who'd gathered a small deputation of kids within minutes. 'There is a WAR ON,' said Crewman Devlin, shortly. I wondered if this meant grown-ups actually listen to you when there wasn't a war on, because somehow I was sceptical."
Teccc - my reading partner - is unquestionably right: The book loses some of its naughty snappiness and sarcasm as it proceeds and it gets more and more predictable after the small, nerdy gang of kids and their maniacally chee
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Sci-Fi & Scary
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Mars Evacuees features a great crew of boys and girls working together to save themselves and eventually the planet. There are all sorts of personalities types, very believable bickering, and some rather colorful aliens. It’s got a nice pace, solid dialogue, and a few unexpected twists in it. So, I don’t know why I didn’t particularly care for it, but I didn’t. It took me a few weeks to finish this book, where normally it’s the sort of read I would plow through in a few hours. Actually, I think ...more
Shanshad Whelan
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
First posted on Views from the Tesseract:

Alice Dare is going to Mars. She’s not entirely sure she wants to go (even if she does want to escape the Muckling Abbot School for Girls). Mars isn’t exactly human friendly just yet. It’s only partially safe for humans. Only some of the air is breathable. But the Emergency Earth Coalition has declared that Alice, along with a group of other kids, will be evacuated to Mars where they will live and be schooled by ro
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc
Originally posted at:

I received Mars Evacuees around a year ago, but since I’d never really heard of it, I put off reading it–until now. This book was so much fun! Although it’s aimed at a younger audience, I ended up loving this space adventure. It was really easy to get onboard with the setting, the characters, and the conflict at hand. The concept was so original as well. I don’t read much science-fiction, which is unfortunate, but this one seemed to s
Ms. Yingling
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Alice Dare is doing her best to get by at Muckling Abbot boarding school while her mother is fighting the aliens and her father is working as an engineer to help combat the effects of global cooling that the aliens have set in place, but she is evacuated... to Mars! She and a number of other young people are sent to train to fight the Morror alien horde and colonize Mars, which has been improved so that it is barely habitable. On the trip there, she befriends Josephine Jerome, who is more intere
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was just enormously fun - a bit like if Dodie Smith (of I CAPTURE THE CASTLE) had decided to write a rollicking science fiction adventure set on Mars. There are definite resonances with WWII child evacuees, but in this case, the war is against invading aliens, and the kids are being evacuated all the way off-planet to Mars (which is in the process of being terraformed). The voice of the heroine, Alice, is just absolutely fabulous, all the characters are wonderful (and ethnically divers ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book was a fun rollicking science fiction adventure set on Mars. There are resonances with WWII child evacuees, and Lord of the Flies before the book turns into a first contact Sci-Fi story for middle graders. There is a great cast of main characters that is also ethnically diverse and with kick ass heroines, which is always good. My only caveat was with the beginning of the book which was rather slow for my taste. And although I did enjoy the book, it is a quintessential children's book wh ...more
Jane Eckstrom
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book a lot. At first I thought it was a stupid book, but that changed quick. Over all this book was amazing.
Barb Middleton
Alice Dare takes life in strides. Aliens taking over the planet. Whatever. Parents fighting in the war. Check. She has never known life to be any different. The war has been going on for fifteen years. She rarely sees her parents and has to live at a boarding school. When she finds out she's being evacuated to Mars to be trained as a fighter she thinks, "...I'd gotten a general idea of my future a long time ago, and whether I liked it or not, it was always going to involve shooting things." Her ...more
Pop Bop
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A Seriously Kick-Butt Heroine; An Immersive Setting; A Rollicking Adventure

You know, there are lots of strong female characters out there for middle grade fiction readers, but there's always room for one more. And the star of this book is a particularly appealing heroine.

AliceDare, (even the name is great), isn't funny, exactly. She isn't snarky, exactly. She's courageous, but not in a Sheena the Barbarian sort of way. For a middle grade heroine she is grown up, world weary, and ruefully attuned
Hélène Louise
It's always a great pleasure, especially nowadays, to read a book meant for children.
And a good one, without any excessive simplifications ('oh, never mind, they are young, they won't notice anyway'), with characters behaving in a credible manner.
And don't forget the humour! The book is really funny, not because of big jokes, but because of the lovely and clever writing.
These kind of books are rather rare nowadays; like the first Harry Potter's books for instance, or the last Jonathan Stroud's s
Sep 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Earth has been invaded by an alien race called the Morrors. They've settled in the polar icecaps - and are slowly but surely freezing the entire planet to better suit their liking for cold environment. Humanity is fighting back, but the war's been going on for over a decade and there's no end in sight, with more and more parts of Earth becoming uninhabitable. Now, a government programme has come up with a new scheme: Several hundred children, chosen by various means, are to be evacuated to Mars, ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-ya
With the world under attack by invisible aliens and being turned into a deep freeze by their massive geo-engineering project, Earth is on a war footing as the ice slowly but steadily slides down from the Poles. Alice Dare, daughter of a heroic spacefighter pilot is evacuated with three hundred other children to a half-terraformed Mars where they are to be trained as cadets to fight the alien menace. It's daunting and lonely, but an amazing experience with new friends on a planet where you can ju ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun and wild adventure with humans on Mars, extra-terrestrials trying to take over earth, robots as classroom teachers, spaceships and space battles.
Whispering Stories
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
‘Mars Evacuees’ opens up on Earth, an Earth in which an invisible, alien race called the Morrors has settled on.

They have settled on the Poles which are more suitable to their needs. Everything is fine to begin with but after a while, the Morrors want more than the Polar ice-caps and begin to reverse engineer global warming, potentially leading to a new Ice Age.

We are introduced to Alice Dare, our narrator, and daughter of all awesome Stephanie Dare, an all action super-hero pilot, scourge of th
Science fiction is a genre that isn't as common for middle graders as it is for adults, so I'm always interested when I see one for this age group. And Mars Evacuees is a great example of science fiction. The story focuses on a group of children that are sent to Mars to get away from the aliens that are trying to turn earth into an ice cube. The children are to be trained as warriors to help fight for Earth's survival. But things change abruptly when all the adults disappear and the station desc ...more
Probably not a book I'll be spending forever thinking about now that I've read it, but I enjoyed this - a fun, well-paced kids' science fiction adventure, with both fairly serviceable characters (often an issue in middle-grade books) and a decent plot.

Even if elements of Mars Evacuees have been done before - "let us all live together and fight for a common cause instead of fighting each other", learning to share your home with refugees/immigrants from a very different culture is not a bad messa
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is so great! It's a fun middle-grade space adventure that moves quickly and is funny, and has lots of girls and people of color and aliens with multiple genders, and the kids talk about which pronoun would be polite to use even though they're at war, and basically if you know any 10-13 year olds who like sf, you should give this to them. (It's also good for people who are, like me, way older than that.)

I'd say it's a descendant/antidote/response to the Heinlein juveniles, but I'm afraid tha
If you like sci-fi at all, this book is absolutely fabulous. In many ways, it's pure space opera for kids, complete with explosions and interplanetary travel. But it's definitely got parts that touch on deeper subjects, including the nature of war, understanding "others," and what makes people into friends. I also love the many funny parts (the robot Goldfish teacher who will not be deterred from its mission is a particular favorite) and that the kids are so obviously kids, not miniature adults. ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
This is my new favorite- from its gripping first line to its satisfying conclusion, despite the fact it's a series, it packs in lots of adventure, fabulous, diverse characters, gratifyingly sciency science fiction and intriguing and imaginative alien worlds. Like the True Meaning of Smekday crossed with the Martian and a tiny bit of Lord of the Flies (by way of Ender's Game), except, of course it's it's own original thing. ...more
FANTASTIC. Funny, and heartfelt, and so good. Sophia McDougall is now an auto-buy author.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My wife kept telling me how amazing this book was, and she's not wrong. ...more
Gin Jenny (Reading the End)
WHAT A TREASURE. Seriously, what a TREASURE. I read the first chapter of Mars Evacuees, one of the books Renay gave us in her fabulous SF starter pack, and I was so delighted with it that I set the book fondly and gently aside to read another day.

(If this doesn’t sound like the most rousing of recommendations, you must not know how I feel about delayed gratification. If little me had been administered the marshmallow test, she’d have asked the testers if it were possible to wait even longer and
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, middle-grade
Earth is under invasion from an invisible alien race. First appearing to be helpful, reversing global warming, it is clear they intend on freezing the planet and making it their permanent home. But humans won't let that happen without a fight.

This story is told about 15 years into this war. The story, told as a first person narrative through the eyes of Alice Dare, daughter to ace pilot fighter (her mom!), follows the first group of children sent to Mars. Dr. Muldoon has been terraforming the pl
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Sophia McDougall (born 1979) is a British novelist, playwright, and poet, who studied at Oxford University in England.

She is best known as the author of the alternate history trilogy Romanitas, in which the Roman Empire still exists in contemporary times. She is also the author of Mars Evacuees and Space Hostages - sci-fi adventures for children (and everyone else who likes spaceships.)

Other books in the series

Mars Evacuees (2 books)
  • Space Hostages

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155 likes · 34 comments
“The fact that someone had decided I’d be safer on Mars, where you could still only SORT OF breathe the air and SORT OF not get sunburned to death, was a sign that the war with the aliens was not going fantastically well.” 3 likes
“When the polar ice advanced as far as Nottingham, my school was closed and I was evacuated to Mars.” 1 likes
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