“Last Day on Mars is thrillingly ambitious and imaginative. Like a lovechild of Gravity and The Martian, it's a rousing space opera for any age, meticulously researched and relentlessly paced, that balances action, science, humor, and most importantly, two compelling main characters in Liam and Phoebe. A fantastic start to an epic new series.” —Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of the School for Good and Evil series
“Emerson's writing explodes off the page in this irresistible space adventure, filled with startling plot twists, diabolical aliens, and (my favorite!) courageous young heroes faced with an impossible task.” —Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of the Unwanteds series
It is Earth year 2213—but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova. The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while we have prepared for a second trip: a one-hundred-fifty-year journey to a distant star, our best guess at where we might find a new home.
Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed.
Or so he thinks. Because before this day is over, Liam and Phoebe will make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space and find out that the human race is just one of many in our universe locked in a dangerous struggle for survival.
In the year 2213, as humanity abandons the dying solar system ahead of the sun going supernova, several children are drawn into a death-defying, time-and-space-twisting adventure. Liam and Phoebe, both 13, are supposed to be on the last colony ship off of Mars, but their parents must finish vital terraforming experiments before they can leave, in order to ensure that humanity's new home will be habitable. When the Scorpius is forced to depart without them, Liam and Phoebe must figure out a way to catch up to the ship before they're left behind forever. In the process, they encounter alien forces that may have caused Earth's destruction, forces that won't be content until humans are extinct. This first installment of the Chronicle of the Dark Star trilogy is ambitious, exciting, and just a shade terrifying; Emerson (the Exile series) suffuses his story with a sense of melancholy and loss, even though his young protagonists never lived on Earth themselves. While much of the novel serves to set up the next books, it's a satisfying, if unsettling, beginning. Ages 8 12.