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Publisher's Summary

Living and slaving in Fill City One, you get used to the smell. We call it the Everpresent Stink. But every once in a while, on a spring day with a breeze, it clears away enough to remind us that there is something more out there. Most Fillers' wildest dreams would be just to get past the walls and live in the mainland. But my dream? It’s a little bigger.   

I’m going to Mars.   

Well, I’m only going to Mars if I can find a winning Red Scarab to get on Zach Larson’s crazy reality show. And then I’ll have to figure out how to escape this hellhole. And then compete on live television for three months. And somehow win a spot on the crew of the very first manned mission to Mars. Oh, and one more slight obstacle? There might be a reason that by 2085 a human still hasn’t set foot on the Red Planet. A dangerous reason. A reason worth killing for.   

In You’re Going to Mars! Rob Dircks, Audible best-selling author of Where the Hell Is Tesla?, creates a near-future filled with family (the good kind and the insufferable kind), pop divas, mobsters, and the world’s first trillionaire - and sends them all on a science fiction odyssey/comedy/love story/adventure that will change their world forever.

©2018 Rob Dircks (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewers Choice Award, its that good

Triplets named Paper, Rock and Scissors live in Fill City One with their father and grandmother.  Paper’s dream is to go to Mars someday.   Good news for Paper!  Zach Larson, a private entrepreneur is funding a private trip to Mars.  For one lucky person who competes on his TV game show and wins!  Much like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Paper has to find the much sought-after prize, a red scarab.  If she’s lucky enough to find a winning scarab, she has to escape Fill City One; ride over 2,000 miles with her absentee mother, then she has to compete in Larson’s live TV show for three months and beat out 25 other contestants. Can she do it?  Thing is Paper is smart and strong but she’s not without feelings.  She has to decide to what depths she will sink to get to Mars …

Rob Dircks, the author, gives his audience an action-packed adventure full of twists and emotional highs and lows. Dircks creates characters that he gives depth to and cultivates them into likeable (and hate-able) beings.

The plot is well structured and solid.  Each character is realistic as is the dialog.  The reactions of his characters are spot on as well.  Dircks has carefully and delightfully constructed a memorable story.  I would love to see it filmed!

I got this audiobook two days ago and I finished it within the 48 hours I had it.  It is captivating, interesting and creative.  I could not put it down!

Khristine Hvam performed the audiobook excellently!  She was comfortable with the story and characters, she made the audiobook pleasant and memorable as well.  This is the first time I have heard her; she is perfect!

I loved it this book.  I enjoyed the different messes Paper found herself; I found the emotional discoveries she made were insightful and at times painful.  This is an audiobook I will listen to again and again!

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

This audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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81 of 89 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Author nails it again!

Love the imaging, love the storytelling, love the humor. Another great read/listen. The author’s books are just so enjoyable, which is what books and stories are supposed to be! Keep them coming!

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Just the ticket

Although the plot seemed interesting, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started listening to this audiobook. The story takes part in the future and revolves around a girl who lives in a city which is basically a trash dump. She has no hope of ever leaving as her family is contracted to live and work there. However, one day, a family member presents her with a winning ticket to a game show which has a prize of a being one of the first people to step foot on Mars. Since the girl has a passion for rockets and a dream to leave the city, her adventure begins with the question of how to escape her home. The main character and her family are very likeable. Definitely one you will root for. There are plenty of other characters in the book to like and dislike, and a puzzle of which one(s) are the bad guy(s). The plot is good, funny, and has some twists. I thought the narrator did a fantastic job with the audio. There were a few bursts of singing which I wasn't keen on, but they were in the script so completely acceptable. (The narrator did well with those too, just not my thing, lol) The audio production, to my mind, was flawless and a pleasure to listen to. Very definitely recommended. I was given a copy of this audiobook for an unbiased review.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • DJ
  • 11-15-18

Another amazing, suspenseful story from Dircks

I've listened to Rob Dircks' audiobooks before and have enjoyed his unique combination of techie sci-fi and relatable humor. This audiobook has that, but goes a step further in two regards - First, it's a longer story, so it was an even richer experience. Second, though I've enjoyed hearing Rob's own voice in previous audiobooks, this one is narrated by a professional narrator, and the difference is striking. She nailed the task of creating unique voices for the many female (and male) characters, especially the main character, Paper. I found myself instantly connecting with Paper, who plays a smart and motivated underdog who is faced with hurdles and roadblocks throughout the story and gets past them thanks to her sense of adventure and sheer willpower. As usual with Dircks' stories, the storyline and settings are really inventive and leave a lot of room for your imagination to paint the made up worlds of Fill City One and the 'You're Going To Mars' sets. As I was listening, I couldn't help but think that this would make a great movie, playing off our obsession with reality TV and the behind the scenes shenanigans that go on. It has touches of 'Hunger Games' in it, but with more humor and unpredictability. That said, there's enough meat and detail to the story that it seems plausible - something that helped the suspense of Paper's wild ride feel even more gripping. The twists, turns and details uncovered kept me wanting to know what was going to happen throughout the entire audiobook. What a fun and mind-opening ride.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Fun book with a few flaws

This is a fun, lighthearted story that I enjoyed. sometimes I felt like characters acted in ways that were inconsistent with their personalities, and sometimes the main character made mistakes that were too obvious, to create conflict and further the plot. The romance for the main character felt token, like the writer thought he had to have romance in order for the book to succeed, and as a result, it didn't fit very well in the story, and didn't get the attention it deserved. HOWEVER, those things were pretty minor irritations that I was able to overlook. I love sci-fi/space exploration books, so the content is right up my alley. the book moves at a good pace and has pretty interesting characters. I listened to the whole thing in two days, and don't regret it. Also, I believe a narrator can make or break a book, and Khristine Hvam is one of my favorite narrators. She also narrated Daughter of Smoke and Bone, one of my favorite books. She brings the characters of this book to life with equal grace and authenticity. I really really appreciate her work, always.
Overall, I recommend this book, as long as you're willing to not take it too seriously: look for the fun and entertainment it offers while overlooking the few awkward plot points.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Super fun fantasy/sci-fi and outstanding narration

It's a fun underdog story set in a future U.S. where a huge corporation has complete control over waste management. Our heroine, Paper (with sisters named Rock and Scissors), is a drudge in one of the very stinky trash cities. She has always dreamed of space travel and is smart as a whip, but her lowly position keeps her firmly on the terrestrial garbage heap. That is until a contest from the richest man on Earth gives her a chance to fulfill her destiny. Now she's on her own and has to prove her mettle in a competition—called "You're Going to Mars!"—for a seat to the red planet.

The book is a fantasy overall with some fun science fiction included for the geeks among us. The characters are unique and authentic and the dialog is realistic and funny, with lots of snarky remarks and sarcasm from Paper's fellow candidates. Some of the humor was sophomoric but I laughed out loud several times. There's also plenty of action throughout and an exciting finale.

The themes are a sort of combination of "Ready Player One" (integrity trumps environment) and "Red Rising" (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em) with themes from "The Wizard of Oz" (there's no place like home) and "The Hunger Games" (don't trust your competitors) but the book is definitely for adults.

The audiobook production was excellent. As I've said many times, a narrator can make or break a story, and Khristine Hvam is absolutely brilliant in this one. Her pacing and attitude were perfect. The one little complaint I have is that her voice gets a little whiny at times, but it's a small irritation compared to the whole.

Includes foul language in a modern context, no real sex, very little violence. Highly recommended in the audiobook format and for fans of Hugh Howey, Ernest Cline, Marko Kloos, Dennis E. Taylor, and John Scalzi.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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You're Going to Mars! (Whether You like It or Not)

From the “Everpresent Stink” to the eight-generation cycles of indentured servitude, the reality of You’re Going to Mars! is not one I’d choose to inhabit. But after a few chapters side by side with Paper and her triplet sibs, Rock and Scissors, I think I would happily endure it. By turns vibrant and muted, narrator Khristine Hvam draws out the mirth and emotional depth evident in Dircks’ characters, creating an appealing contrast to the dystopian setting; this also gives the novel more than a fair amount of crossover appeal to sci-fi and YA readers alike.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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5 Stars in every category

Rock, Paper, and Scissors. It is not just a game anymore. The triplets all have their different dreams but Paper is the one with the biggest dreams. She wants to go to Mars. She makes her own rockets from scraps and for homemade contraptions, they fly well. Paper has read everything she can find on space and Mars. She should be in college but instead, she is in Fill City, a massive dump on what used to be Staten Island. She cannot leave.

Along comes a contest for participants to compete on TV to win the only open seat on a trip to Mars. Millions of red scarab pendants are sold. Only thirty contain the winning message. The contest is sponsored by Zach Larson, the richest man in the world. Think Bezos and Musk but much cooler and actually in touch with the lives of common people. The contest will be like all reality shows, the lowest in each round goes home.

Paper just has to find a winning scarab, escape Fill City, get to California before the competition starts and win the competition. All without anyone finding out that she is a Filler. Easy peasy, right?

Khristine Hvam is a marvelous narrator. Her snark is so strong, she could have grown up in my family. This is the first title I have listened to narrated by her and it will not be the last.

My husband, who does not usually listen to audiobooks, joined me for the last 75% of this book and loved it. Andy approved - 5 Stars.
I would listen to it again. Repeat value - 5 Stars.
Marvelous narrator - 5 Stars

I won a copy of You're Going to Mars from the Dab of Darkness (https://dabofdarkness.com) and Rob Dirks, the author. I have written an honest review of the title.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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great road trip listen

my family loved this adventure story on a recent road trip. great for teens and up

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Dircks’ Best!

To write his latest novel, You're Going to Mars, Rob Dircks seems to have added one part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, two parts The Martian, a pinch of The Hunger Games, a smattering of Goodfellas, and thrown in equal amounts of Survivor and American Idol. I found the results to be delicious.

Protagonist, Paper, is the pluckiest heroine I've come across recently in this decidedly optimistic dystopian novel. Born to a life of generational indentured servitude within a Mob-Run city state, Paper dreams of winning a slot on the Reality TV show where the grand prize is ... you guessed it—a trip to the red planet.

<spoiler>Paper manages to "find her golden ticket" (in the form of a special scarab beetle) and escapes to LA just in time for casting to conclude and for the filming to begin. Along the way she becomes besties with a pop starlet, finds true love, sciences the sh-- out of some problems a la Mark Watney, and makes the world a better place. </spoiler>

Khristine Hvam was an excellent choice as narrator. She is one of a handful of female narrators able to not annoy me when she reads male characters (please note: only a handful of male narrators are equally capable of adequately performing female characters IMO). That said, this is a female driven novel and Hvam was able to create unique voices for each of the main female leads so that I always knew who was talking at any given point.

Be warned: there is a small amount of singing in this book. This is a personal thing, but I generally find singing in audio to be cringeworthy. If you can get past that (and you should) then you really shouldn't find any reason not to enjoy You're Going to Mars.

***** Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful