First Grave on Mars by Veronica Brush
First Grave on Mars follows a second team of colonials as they land on Mars two years behind schedule. Everything is a disaster. The first team of six is no longer a team, nor are there six members. On their first day at the colony, team two discovers a body, and it does not look like an accident. With a suspected killer on the loose and five anti-social suspects to interrogate, the new team of three realizes that life on Mars is not the exciting dream they were sold, and they’ll have to stay closer than ever to survive.
So from the very first line to the very end, this book grabbed me and I could not put it down. I’m not one for space stories, as I find it all hard to visualize, but the descriptions were vivid. I loved the author’s writing style. It was easy to read but intelligent, and often reminded me of The Martian (the book, not the movie) with it’s well-researched science and random bits of humor. I could easily imagine everything perfectly, and when you combine that with an alien planet and the space suits, this novel had me spooked more than once. I actually had to pick up a fluffy read to read and calm down before bed after finishing this book. Apparently space suits freak me out.
The plot is fast-paced and packs a punch for a novella. I had no idea who the murderer was at all. I want to say more but there’s a huge plot twist at the end I never saw coming and I’m torn about how I feel about it. On one hand, I never saw it coming and my mind is blown, but on the other, I really don’t like it. I debated posting a spoiler, but if I do, it ruins the entire book and I don’t want to do that for you. I guess you’ll just have to read it and see what I’m talking about. 😉
The characters, while lonely, selfish, and in survival mode, were memorable and well-developed. The psychological side of this novel really shines and adds another level of suspense. I like how Sadie and the crew quickly go from super excited to be colonizing Mars and helpful contributors to terrified in about two days.
Overall, I loved everything about this book but the ending, for a couple reasons I can’t go into. Trust me when I say that they’re huge spoilers and two pet peeves of mine.
My Rating: 4.7/5
Plot: 3.5/5 I really wish I could have given this a higher rating but that ending!
Interested in reading this book? (You really should!) It’s free for KU subscribers and $3.99 to buy on Amazon.
Thanks for reading!