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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Mars Awakens by H.M. Waugh

There’s nothing like a fast-paced sci-fi action aimed for younger readers. They just are so much fun to read.

Immersing yourself in the vastness of space and the mysticism of the red planet, Mars, just adds to the incredible journey that we, as readers, travel on with our two main characters, Dee and Holt.

The world as Dee and Holt know it on Mars is much different from our own, actually much different from each other as it turns out. In a futuristic world where two very independent settlements have been established on the planet, there are some rather strange differences that become apparent very quickly.

For Dee, with her settlement named Davinci, there is an overabundance of Y’s or girls. So when, while waiting for a supplies drop from earth to arrive she stumbles across Holt, a boy(!) there is cause for much anxiety and concern.

Holt is from the other settlement on Mars, Newton - where the male and female ratio is much more normalised - and finds himself being protected like some important commodity by Dee. However, for Holt, Dee represents something not to be trusted and difficult to understand.

Together, they must find a way to work together and decide how to bring others from their respective colonies to a point where they can support challenges beyond both of the groups.

It is so easy to get sucked into the world of Mars through this middle school fiction novel. It has been some time since a narrative at this level has the depth and strength to be so captivating from start to finish. One can imagine it will be a classroom (as well as a home bookshelf favourite!) in no time at all.

Overall, this is a sophisticated piece of writing that captures the heart as much as the imagination. Well worth a read for lovers of action and science fiction of all ages. And, with a second book on the way, it’s likely to be an ongoing success.

Reviewer: Chris Reed

Allen & Unwin


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