Title: Micromium: Clean Energy from Mars
Author: David Gittlin
Genre: Science Fiction / Mystery / Action
In Micromium: Clean Energy from Mars, Logan Marchant and his team are sent to Mars for two reasons: find closure on a meteor shower that caused untimely, unexpected deaths of two astronauts, and perform an audit on the U.S. government’s newest mining operation on the planet. But the more that’s uncovered, the less that adds up. Not everyone is who they seem on Mars, and for Logan and his team, meteor showers are the least of their worries.
In the year 2038, Earth, in the face of deteriorating environmental conditions, is desperate in their search for a clean energy substitute for fossil fuels. NASA finds Micromium, an ore found on Mars that can supposedly power an entire city for a year. The stakes are high, and there’s a lot of money to gain (and lose) from the mining operation. Logan and his team’s arrival to Mars put a spotlight on everyone involved in the operation, leaving anyone up to questioning.
The characters are one of the many stars in the novel, and despite their out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, they are personable and relatable. There are scenes where the characters have some existential conversations that are refreshing; they don’t play into the typical cliché models of isolation or feeling “small” because they’re in space, but they are in response to difficult, serious, and traumatic events in their life and experiences.
Given how many characters there are, it may have been more beneficial to trickle their introductions throughout the first few chapters rather than introduce them all in one go.
Logan is great as one of the lead narrators. He is thoughtful, honest, and embodies that All-American hero figure readers love to root for. His coworker, Kate, is sharp and funny, and the two characters’ playful banter and relationship is a light that shines in this sometimes-serious book.
By the end of the novel, Dmitri’s character feels a bit unfinished. He plays a large role in the beginning of the novel, and then his appearances trickle out and he’s given a half-important scene toward the end, so some closure with him would have been beneficial.
There are images throughout the novel, and they are a refreshing touch. They are high quality, rich in color, and eye-grabbing. The best part is they are specifically modeled after specific moments, which really draws the reader’s attention to the scene.
Sometimes, the scenes have sharp, abrupt transitions. The book is quite fast-paced, which is a good thing most of the time, but there are moments when they feel a bit rushed. Often, this is when there is too much information thrown at the reader at one time.
Versatile in its imagery, characters, and storyline, Micromium: Clean Energy from Mars will take readers on a journey throughout the galaxy. With scenes ranging from intense and scary to action-packed and awe-some, the novel will never cease to wow readers. The pages of this easy-read will fly through readers’ hands while its story and characters remain in readers’ minds.
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