Midnight on Mars

Earth is dying. Nature has forestalled humanity: with the impending reversal of the magnetic field, dormant super-volcanoes are on the brink of eruption, and the output will blanket the atmosphere in enough ash to extinguish agriculture in the areas not drowned in lava or damaged by the accompanying earthquakes. Humanity’s one off-world colony, on Mars, is viable, but a covert scientific experiment has encountered an unlikely issue: human clones born or awakened off Earth are functionally sociopathic. Only Kari Keskiyo is able to provide an explanation – and it’s not one offering an easy solution.

Midnight on Mars is a dystopian sci-fi, positing the perfect storm of natural disasters that would wipe out most, if not all, life on Earth, as well as a renewed cycle of dangerous religious fundamentalism. The setting is dark, and largely convincingly written. I enjoyed the originality of some of the religious beliefs; author M. C. Glan managed to mostly avoid the common trap of adhering religiously (pardon me) to the Judaeo-Christian version. However, I found that overall the characters were lacking in that extra quality that would have captivated me, and some of the story elements would have benefited from more development. This may have been a function of the story length, but it impacted the book’s ability to draw me in.

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