This, is one absolute gem of a sci-fi book. And I’ll tell you why in a second.
We Are Mars follows the colony of Rubicon, in the year 2128, on—you guessed it—Mars. Rubicon is harsh, but simple. Most of the inhabitants are genetically modified humans, all with their own purpose, their own job to go to, and everyone works together to make sure the Rubicon stays afloat. The biggest problems the inhabitants face, are each other, and the divides between them. Until one day when a disaster hits; when something that shouldn’t be possible happens, putting the whole Rubicon at risk. The people of Mars must come together, or face extinction.
Lawson’s books is magnificent. I’ve recently read the classic sci-fi book Dune, and this is better. Much better. Lawson’s writing style is lavish and gorgeous, and the plot was gripping from the start. I was fascinated.
Her absolute forte is the world-building. It’s been long since I’ve come across such a well put together world, such excellently researched and crafted scenarios. If I didn’t know better—which I don’t—I’d say Lawson works in some kind of industry that has ties to space exploration, like NASA or similar. It’s absolutely amazing how well-crafted this book is, and it shows from the very beginning.
On the other hand, there was one thing I struggled with with this book. There’s a few minor errors—the kind you find in any book—but they’re really not a problem at all. Then there’s a lack of chapters, which I found a bit strange simply because I’ve never come across it before, but again, it’s not an issue. There are some titled parts, and there are sections indicating which POV we’re reading from, so chapters or not doesn’t really matter.
But the lack of dialogue, was very noticeable. (Maybe particularly to me, because I love dialogue, and I write a lot of it myself). In the first third of the book there was hardly any, and throughout the rest it was very little compared to the narrative. At first I found it a little bit annoying, because often when I see this it makes for very boring reading. Thankfully, Lawson’s writing is excellent regardless, so that wasn’t it. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, until I got further into it, which was when I realized I hardly knew the characters. The lack of dialogue between people made me feel like I didn’t know the people I was reading about. Of course I knew what they were doing, what they were up to, but I didn’t know much about how they spoke or thought. There were a few cases of scenes between characters, where I would have loved to have seen what they were saying, instead of just being told that they said it. Don’t misunderstand though, I loved the book. The style is very different to what I usually read, and I was intrigued to read something that while very familiar, was so different.
Again, this book is fantastic. The writing is superb, the plot is gripping and the world-building is absolutely phenomenal. Many bonus points to Lawson for all the research she must have done. You can tell she’s very dedicated to sci-fi.
So, if you’re looking for a vivid, emotional, thrilling, an exceptionally well-crafted Mars adventure, go check out We Are Mars by Cheryl Lawson. It’s great!