Audiobook: Before Mars by Emma Newman (Narrated by Emma Newman)

“I’m Not Crazy!” A Space Story

4 out of 5 stars

This one took me a little longer to get into than I expected it to.  I think I started it too close to another book that I absolutely loved this year.  I started this very close to when I finished Obscura by Joe Hart and it had this feeling that it was going to be a similar story.  While it was, I thought that Newman was able to write a poignant story that covered a lot of topics.

The character of Anna was different than your average female protagonist and in a really good way.  She’s flawed and in ways that a lot of people can’t understand or follow.  I won’t get into the reason that Newman gives her but I respect the heck out of it.  I know that not all woman reacts to things in the same way and I liked that she covered a couple different stigmas around women.  (This feels a little cryptic but I don’t like to give away spoilers when I can avoid them).

The story itself was something that I ended up really getting into the deeper I got into Before Mars.  Newman painted a world that felt flawed in some way.  A way that Anna couldn’t really understand either but I wanted to figure it out with her.  The last hour or so of the book I was totally enthralled.  The reveal and ending really surprised me – I wasn’t sure what was coming but I couldn’t predict it.

Overall, I found myself enjoying Before Mars quite a bit.  It wasn’t a perfect book by any means – but the topics it discussed and the way in which it made me as a reader feel as confused and concerned as Anna was pretty cool.

I did not read any of the other Planetfall books and I don’t think that I needed to.  I can’t tell exactly what would be in them but I’m intrigued by the world that Newman wrote in Before Mars – so I imagine those others books are similar.

Add in the narration by the author and it’s an enjoyable book with a sprint to the finish.

Book Description:

Audiobook: Before Mars by Emma Newman (Narrated by Emma Newman) four-stars
Before Mars by Emma Newman
Narrator: Emma Newman
Length: 12 hrs
Series: Planetfall #3
Published by Tantor Audio on April 17th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: Audiobook
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After months of travel, Anna Kubrin finally arrives on Mars for her new job as a geologist and de facto artist-in-residence. Already she feels like she is losing the connection with her husband and baby at home on Earth - and she'll be on Mars for over a year.

Throwing herself into her work, she tries her best to fit in with the team. But in her new room on the base, Anna finds a mysterious note written in her own handwriting, warning her not to trust the colony psychologist. A note she can't remember writing. She unpacks her wedding ring, only to find it has been replaced by a fake.

Finding a footprint in a place the colony AI claims has never been visited by humans, Anna begins to suspect that her assignment isn't as simple as she was led to believe. Is she caught up in an elaborate corporate conspiracy, or is she actually losing her mind?

Regardless of what horrors she might discover, or what they might do to her sanity, Anna has to find the truth before her own mind destroys her.

I received this book for free. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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