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Publisher's Summary

A novel of the red planet from the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Accidental Time Machine and Old Twentieth.

Young Carmen Dula and her family are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime - they're going to Mars. Once on the Red Planet, however, Carmen realizes things are not so different from Earth. There are chores to do, lessons to learn, and oppressive authority figures to rebel against.

And when she ventures out into the bleak Mars landscape alone one night, a simple accident leads her to the edge of death, until she is saved by an angel - an angel with too many arms and legs, a head that looks like a potato gone bad, and a message for the newly arrived human inhabitants of Mars: We were here first.

©2008 Joe Haldeman; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"If there was a Fort Knox for the science fiction writers who really matter, we'd have to lock Haldeman up there." (Stephen King)
"Grade: A-. A solid piece of science fiction." (scifi.com)
"Top 10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2008" (Kansas City Star)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent story AND narration

If you could sum up Marsbound in three words, what would they be?

I love Joe Haldeman. The Forever War is one of my favorite sci-fi books ever. I listened to Starbound first, not realizing it was part of a trilogy. After finishing it, I HAD to start at the beginning of the trilogy,so got Marsbound. It is another excellent Haldeman story!

What does Liza Kaplan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She does a really great job of bringing Carmen to life. She sounds just the way I figured she'd sound at the age she is in this book.

Any additional comments?

Get the entire trilogy. It's an excellent read!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Meh.

"Marsbound" initially impressed me as a better than average YA sci-fi story; Carmen seemed at first an interesting character to get to know, and the structure of the story recalled many of the Heinlein YA stories that I cut my teeth on, many years ago. Around the time that Carmen was getting acclimated to Mars and Solingen kept getting nastier, I started to chafe at the lack of pace and coherence. I eventually persevered to the end, but by the time I finished it was more of a chore than a pleasure.

Perhaps had I read this book instead of listening to it, I'd have enjoyed it more. Kaplan's narration was just bad. I know I've been spoiled by narrators such as John Lee and the late, lamented Patrick Tull, but I had expected someone who is, after all, a voice actress to do a better job. Her "voice" for Carmen and the overall narration sounded like a child in elementary school reading a book in a sing-song (truly jarring when she was narrating a sex scene) and her voices for other females reminded me more of some anime characters I've heard. Really, really bad anime characters.

I don't recommend this book. For good YA titles, try John Marsden's "Tomorrow" series, or the YA books by Charles de Lint. For good YA sci-fi, Heinlein is dated, but still good. John Scalzi's "Zoe's Tale" is great. Take the money you would have spent on this book, and look for one of those instead.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stephen
  • l, PA, United States
  • 08-17-08

Weak performance

Sorry, but it was impossible to get into this story because of the poor performance. Her diction is excellent, her voice is pleasant, but she gives no life to the characters and I felt like I was listening to a second-grade teacher read to children. I lasted abut 45 minutes, then gave up.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I hope this is for Young Adults

Having just finished "camouflage" by the same author and needing a book fast I bought this without reading any reviews etc.

Turned out this is (probably) a book for young adults. The main character is only interesting if you are in that age group (I suppose). The story is very slow and is a lot about relation to friends, family etc.

On the other hand, if parents are looking for a book for YA, I suggest they read the reviews below, regarding sex and drugs (!).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Joe Haldeman, where have you gone?

I've read Haldeman avidly for years, and his early stuff (the "Forever War," the "Worlds" trilogy, "Tools of the Trade," etc) stand the test of time.? The last several years, though, I 've picked up each of his books with dread (but hope -- that's what makes me pick them up in the first place).? With the possible exception of "Camouflage," which wasn't bad, my dread has been confirmed.This was not a good book. It was pretty bad.? To be fair, though, I have to admit that it's the first of his books that I've listened to, and the reader was comparably poor ... maddenly poor.? I made it through the whole thing only because it's Haldeman -- I love this man's early writing so much that I'm willing to take the chance every time a new title comes out.? Sadly, I'll probably do that until one of us kicks the bucket -- that's how good those early books were.? Now, if he comes out with something even close to what he has demonstrated he is capable of, all will be forgiven.? I'll put up with a lot of not-good books for another that I'll enjoy more than once.Sadly, this book is not it.? This book is as far from it as a book can be.? If you want to experience the writer Joe Haldeman can be, pick up something he wrote in the 70s or 80s.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • 09-01-08

Could not finish it

I agree with the first reviewer. You feel like you're listening to a novel meant for kids. The narration is ok but the story just gets more inane the deeper you go.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A masterpiece

Great book. Halve an has really outdone himself. Can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Weak and slow moving story

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

It needed to be faster paced with real conflict. Everybody were too accomodating of each other. There was very little suspense. Most of the dialog was on the level of gossip. This just wasn't in the same class as the

Would you ever listen to anything by Joe Haldeman again?

Forever War is one of the best Sci Fi books out there.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narrator did an OK job. Her performance matched the charactor.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

There were no moments in the book I can offer as particularly interesting.

  • Overall

NOT FOR CHILDREN

this audiobook start out with a child announcing "audible kids".the story contains sex, profanity, alcohol and drugs. marsbound is a light space opera, quite enjoyable (if you like the genre),but not for the easily offended or children. obviously classified by someone who only read the synopsis.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Steven
  • PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States
  • 09-19-08

Bound for Listening

I have previously enjoyed Haldeman's Forever Peace audio book, and recommend that one as well. There is the perfect mix of science, plot, and character to blend a really good listen.
I was a little leery about purchasing this one on account, that the narrator of the story is a young woman. However Haldeman pulled it off well. And I was able to suspend my usual penchant for macho characters, to relate to her story.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful