• You're Going to Mars!

  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (3,922 ratings)

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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.

Editorial Review

A light, rollicking sci-fi adventure

Rob Dirck’s Where the Hell is Tesla? has been something of a cult favorite among listeners for as long as I can remember, and Khristine Hvam is something of a legend in the realm of sci-fi and fantasy narrators, so unsurprisingly, author and narrator make for a winning combination in this fun Audible Original. If you’re new to the genre, this is a great entry ala Ready Player One—it’s light on the terminology, and big on the kind of fun, imaginative near-future worldbuilding that just effortlessly sweeps you away. But it also has romance, action, adventure, a quirky but loveable family story, and a heavy dose of humor. I wouldn’t call it exactly a family friendly listen, but if you’re hitting the road this holiday season as a couple or with some more mature, nerdily inclined listeners, I’d call this the perfect listen to keep spirits high through miles of travel—after all, at least you don’t have to escape all the way to Mars. —Sam D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about You're Going to Mars!

Average Customer Ratings
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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.
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

252 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great book, but could be better

The first 2/3 of the book are amazing, but after that not so much. It's not bad, it just isn't as good as the beginning. The story promises to be much more and doesn't delivery it.
I think what killed my enjoyment on the book was the romantic parts. They are very artificial and come out of nowhere sometimes, I even think they could very well be totally removed from the book and it wouldn't make a difference. The family parts, though, are good and well written.
It is a good book overall, if you enjoyed the summary and the sample, you're probably gonna like it. The first parts are great, things happens very fast near the end (almost feels like it was written in a rush), and the ending is ok (not great, but bad too).
I must add, Khristine Hvam does an wonderful job reading it. Even the parts that weren't so great story-wise, became enjoyable with her voice and performance. She gives every character a voice and personality that they almost seem real sometimes.

80 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

NOT the Hunger Games (thank goodness)

THANK YOU for writing a book about a girl competing in a "game" that does NOT require the deaths of the other participants in order for a victor to be declared.

In case it's not obvious, I'm not a fan of the Hunger Games, or Survivor, or pretty much any reality shows in which the contestants must stab each other in the back and resort to other negative behaviors in order to win.

I loved that this book took the reality show concept and showed how people can win by cooperating and generally acting like decent human beings to one another.

I would have liked the book even more if it had done a bit more to emphasize the conflict inherent in the background of the main character. Given the world the author has created, I think the main character would have faced a lot more prejudice from the other contestants and that would have made for a more nuanced story.

Not as funny as his other books, but still recommendable for young girls; it would be a good book for any 10-12 year old girl who likes science and science fiction.

[This is available only as an Audible book performed by Khristine Hvam, who did a good job with all the different voices. Not sure about her choice for the voice of Zach Larson, but all the other characters felt spot on].

66 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

53 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

34 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

24 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Willy Wonka meets Hunger Games

This book starts out like Willy Wonka, win a trip to umpa land then turns into a contest as in Hunger Games only no one dies. Good book to make into a movie.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good

I liked the story and characters, but in all honesty it was just a meh story.

13 people found this helpful

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  • tamasm
  • 07-27-19

Loved it!

Good story, great characters and fantastic narration! The very end feels a bit rushed but this book is about the journey and at that it’s a 5 star one! Enjoyed every minute of it!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-19-19

A jolly good read

Loved it a very entertaining and well written story. The characters are well drawn and the suspense is palpable.

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