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on Aug. 04, 2012 :
This novel is too short. It needs at least twice the words to fill in the details and develop the characters. But I liked it.
Five guys are asked to go to mars to find out what happened to the previous two teams that found some evidence of previous civilization. So they traipsed around the alien workshops and living spaces and speculated at how it all worked, why it was there, and what the history was and whether the bones were humanoid or vicious beast. Good stuff.
Some of the detail that I would like to have read more about was the technique of thrusting to accelerate half way to Mars then flipping abound and thrusting the other way to slow down. I've read about that in other novels too. It's plausible. It gives you "gravity" all the way there. But on the way home, did they start out at low thrust and build all the way home to regain their strength? Didn't say.
Also, I would have expected earth to be very excited to hear their story about how they made it out alive the first day. But there's very little about communication with earth.
And they were able to extract oxygen and water from Mars. How? What chemistry? And what was the plan if it didn't work?
In spite of the brevity, I'm pleased to have read this.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)