Mars Evacuees

Mars Evacuees

Book - 2014
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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. I was worried that I was about to be told that my mother's spacefighter had been shot down, so that when I found out that I was being evacuated to Mars, I was pretty calm. And, despite everything that happened to me and my friends afterward, I'd do it all again. Because until you have been pursued by terrifying aliens, been taught math by a laser-shooting robot goldfish, and tried to save the galaxy, I don't think you can say you've really lived.
Publisher: Toronto : Puffin, ©2014
ISBN: 9780670067756
Branch Call Number: MCDOUGA
Characteristics: 404 pages ; 22 cm

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scifiandscary
Jun 25, 2018

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 part of it is at one point this threatens to turn into yet another “Under the Dome – for Kids” scenario. (It doesn’t, but still that was enough to dampen my interest.)

I think part of the problem is I didn’t particularly care for the main character, Alice Dare. I liked the other girl in the group, Josephine, a lot better. And even she had a bit of an annoying snot air about her half the time. I wanted to like her because she was a bit Hermione Granger-ish but instead of feeling an instant connection, I just thought of her as a bit of a snob. The flask-stealing probably didn’t help matters any. Carl and Noah were decent kids and fairly forgettable characters. Now, Goldfish… Goldfish was awesome.

Goldfish is a floating/flying robotic tutor stationed on Mars. It is incessantly cheerful, and very excited about teaching the students things. You spend a good portion of the novel wanting to knock it out of the sky. However, when things start to go sideways, Goldfish rises to the occasion (within the limits of what it can do), and you start to admire the little booger. By the end of Mars Evacuees, I think I wouldn’t have really cared what happened to most of the kids, as long as Goldfish got to rescue at least one of them. When it went all Mama, uhm, Fish on some bad guys who were trying to hurt the kids, I was totally cheering it on.

One of the things that I think was a strength of a book was the way the author did her best to write it as a kid telling the story for other kids. Everything was simply stated, and easy to understand. I don’t think what the main character understood was far above what it should have been, either. I just wish the character herself was a bit more memorable. (However, I will say one scene near the end had me laughing.)

Mars Evacuees is a solid middle-grade science fiction read. It’s a bit thick, but the language is very accessible. I can’t whole-heartedly recommend it, but I think you should give it a try if you come across it. Especially if your child loves science fiction, because lord knows there’s not enough sci-fi for kids out there yet!

Very, very, VERY good

k
kaylen101
Nov 18, 2017

I think this book was actually super awesome! I think it was really well written, not to mention the creativity put into it. A few times I was worried one of the characters was gonna die, so I had to keep reading until nope, they're okay. Super energizing and suspenseful. Loved it.

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vgupta1
Jun 22, 2016

vgupta1 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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