SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 963 The Mars Run, by Chris Gerrib Book Review |

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The Mars Run, by Chris Gerrib
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Lulu
Published: 2006
Review Posted: 11/8/2006
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 8 out of 10

The Mars Run, by Chris Gerrib

Book Review by Eric Turner

Have you read this book?

I cringed when I read the back blurb and saw that the protagonist's last name was Pilgrim. Too much science fiction by new writers relies on cliche and stereotype, and I feared our protagonist, 18 year-old astronaut Janet Pilgrim was going to be another cliche-ridden sci-fi stereotype. On that count, I apologize to the author, because Ms. Pilgrim is anything but.

The Mars Run is told through the eyes of our protagonist, who ended up in the space program not because of some glamorous goal of exploring the stars. No, in the future presented by author Chris Gerrib, space travel has become pretty normal, and astronauts are "the lowest form of life in space." In a world where space travel is the norm, astronauts are reduced to blue-collar workers responsible for making sure that tourists get to their destinations safely and that cargo makes it to its destination on time. The life of an astronaut, as described in raw detail through Pilgrim's voice, is dangerous, unglamorous, and unrespected. In Pilgrim's case, her father spent her entire college fund on yet another get rich quick scheme gone wrong, forcing her to give up her hopes of a college education and settle for an entry level position as an astronaut.

And unfortunately for Pilgrim, life becomes even more dangerous and unglamorous when her first official mission is attacked by space pirates. Through a combination of fast-talking, solid logic, and good looks, Pilgrim is able to convince the pirates she's worth more alive than dead. Suddenly, Pilgrim finds herself a member of the pirate crew she's determined to get revenge against.

Gerrib does a wonderful job of clearly defining the parameters of his futuristic universe, making it a believable and a gritty reflection of our own world. Gerrib makes a great effort to insure that his characters are well-developed and have clear motivations, from our main protagonist all the way down to the secondary pirate characters she interacts with later on in the story. The Mars Run is a worthwhile read with a solid plot and strong narrator to give the reader an incredible trip.
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