Author: Guy Haley
Publisher: Solaris Books
Page count/Size: 416pp
Release date: 10th May 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
In the far future, Mars is dying a second time. The Final War of men and spirits is beginning. In a last bid for peace, disgraced champion Yoechakenon Val Mora and his spirit lover Kaibeli are set free from the Arena to find the long-missing Librarian of Mars, the only hope to save mankind.
In the near future, Dr Holland, a scientist running from a painful past, joins the Mars colonisation effort, cataloguing the remnants of Mars biosphere before it is swept away by the terraforming programme. When an artefact is discovered deep in the caverns of the red planet, the company Holland works for interferes, leading to tragedy. The consequences ripple throughout time, affecting Holland’s present, the distant days of Yoechakanon, and the eras that bridge the aeons between.
This novel spans many generations, and as such, is a little confusing at first as the reader finds their bearings, however, as the novel progresses, you understand how the various time spans and characters are linked. Haley has imagined a gritty, realistic Mars in its early terraforming stages. In fact, his depiction of Mars and the language he uses to describe the planet is eerily poetic.
This is not an easy book to read, but it is a satisfying book. From Yoechakanon’s mission to save the planet, to Holland’s development as he learns to overcome his android phobia and the event that almost destroyed him, there is plenty here to get your teeth into.