As we look back to the beginnings of the space race, 2009 is also the year for looking forward to humankind?s next step toward the stars.
In the spirit of books that once imagined colonies on the moon, Patrick O?Brien has created a unique look at your first trip to Mars. Using the most upto- date designs and theories of what it will take to establish a base on Mars, you are off on an incredible journey, over 35 million miles to the red planet. Filled with details, and vividly brought to life, this is an adventure that you are never going to forget.
O'Brien (Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery) takes an inventive leap into the future, bringing readers on a journey to Mars. Made captivatingly real by stunning, photographlike digital art, the adventure begins as a child boards an "elevator car" that ascends along cables to reach an elaborate space station. A "Nuclear Thermal Rocket" docked there then embarks on a four-month journey to a space station orbiting Mars, from which a "lander" ship delivers the crew and young passenger to the planet's surface. The thrilled kid finally gets to explore the planet ("Gravity on Mars is less than half as strong as on Earth, so you take big, bouncing steps"), making his way to a habitat that houses scientists. O'Brien generates dramatic graphic particulars: sophisticated robotic machines perform various tasks and a sleek "MarsPlane" flies over the breathtaking Valles Marineris canyon. Though the second-person narrative makes the action feel immediate, when coupled with O'Brien's depiction of the protagonist as a Caucasian boy, it may leave non-white, non-male readers unable to connect. Still, this intriguing vision of space exploration should set imaginations soaring. Ages 5 up.