Wednesday, 9 May 2018

One Way by S. J. Morden

“He knew he’d swapped one cage for another, and had simply shifted his brown cardboard box between prisons.”

If anyone wonders why the heck I’m so tired today, you can blame the author of this rather riveting read! 330 pages melted away like butter in the sun. It grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. How lucky I am to have received a free pre-release copy through and how disappointed am I that they’re not doing any more of those style giveaways for the moment to Australia!

My initial impression was one of trepidation when I opened the box and uncovered the book’s cover. It reminded me considerably of that recent bestseller and Matt Damon vehicle, The Martian.  I loved both the book and the film and was worried that this might be too close for comfort. While it shares the quest for survival inherent in establishing a human colony on Mars, it strays into rather different thriller territory with a real whodunnit flavour.

I love a book that combines multiple genres. They always seem more compelling to me, the reader. Here we have a prison lifer given the ultimate opportunity to get out. Frank Kittridge is expendable. He and a group of other convicted criminals will become the initial construction team to set up a human base on Mars. It won’t be easy and yet it seems like a welcome respite from the confines of a maximum-security prison for life. Little does Frank know that his life might be in danger from more than just the brutal conditions of a foreign planet.

The atmosphere between the pages is charged with the sense of imprisonment and fear that the prospect of dying on an unfamiliar planet conjures up. I really enjoyed this one, despite the somewhat chauvinistic undertones inherent in the female characters’ fates.

5 out of 5, in space no one can watch you die.

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