Mars Life continues the story set out in Mars and Return to Mars, with much the same setting and characters (particularly of the latter). Seventeen books in, there’s little particularly surprising about Mars Life, but it’s still a solid enough entry to the series.
For the most part, we’re back to dealing with the New Morality (which makes me wonder about the timeline a bit) and greenhouse flooding on Earth. In particularly how they just want to put their heads in the sand and ignore concrete evidence of intelligent life on Mars and user their oomph to get the Mars project shut down entirely. It’s interesting enough on one hand, but as mentioned, it’s starting to feel like more of the same.
One thing that is really starting to get frustrating is Jamie’s absolutely inability to bend and compromise throughout much of the work. I get that he doesn’t want to see Mars destroyed and at first, that was an admirable goal. Something of the little guy fighting back against the corporations and governments of Earth. But now… who exactly is he to make that call? And why exactly can’t Mars be used for more than one thing? It’s an entirely planet for crying out loud.
Overall, it’s a solid continuation to Bova’s Mars trilogy and the Grand Tour in general and I’m glad to have read it. It could easily be read immediately after the other Mars books without particularly spoilering anything in the greater universe. On the other, 17 books in and I think I’m almost done with this series. Almost. Onward to Venus!