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About Before Mars

Hugo Award winner Emma Newman returns to the captivating Planetfall universe with a dark tale of a woman stationed on Mars who starts to have doubts about everything around her.

After months of travel, Anna Kubrin finally arrives on Mars for her new job as a geologist and de facto artist in residence–and already she feels she is losing the connection with her husband and baby at home on Earth.

In her room on the base, Anna finds a mysterious note, painted in her own hand, warning her not to trust the colony psychiatrist. A note she can’t remember painting.

When she finds a footprint in a place that the colony AI claims has never been visited by humans, Anna begins to suspect that she is caught up in an elaborate corporate conspiracy. Or is she losing her grip on reality? Anna must find the truth, regardless of what horrors she might discover or what they might do to her mind.

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Review of Before Mars

I quickly got into this mystery when Anna Kubrin’s first day at the Mars colony leaves her with several questions. It seems her luggage has been messed with. She finds a warning note from herself. And one of the team members takes an immediate dislike to her.

What I did not know is was the cause of these questions. It could be that Anna is not quite right in the mind or it could be that things are just not as they should be.

In this future, everyone has an implant in their brain. The implant allows them to record anything and relive it later in an immersion session. Immersion psychosis is a possible outcome. The implant also interfaces with external systems, providing communication, news and even health information. It seems like so much could go wrong with such a system.

But Anna is the heroine of the story so I was convinced (well, I hoped) that she was sane and there was a real mystery to be solved.

The Mars base that is the location of this story is called Principia. That is also the name of the AI that runs the facility and interfaces with the implants that everyone has. It controls access within the base and outside of the base. Is it perfect? That is a great question.

No spoilers, here. Lets just say the mystery has many aspects: psychology, geology, conspiracy, art, family, discovery and, ultimately, the future of earth and human-kind.

Before Mars is book three of the series Planetfall, but stands alone. It is the first book in the series I have read, but I am interested enough to go back and read book 1, which is also called Planetfall.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, though NetGalley, so that I could bring you this honest review.

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