Last Day on Mars (Chronicle of the Dark Star Series #1)

Last Day on Mars (Chronicle of the Dark Star Series #1)

by Kevin Emerson

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

11/28/2016
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. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Feb.)

Soman Chainani

Last Day on Mars is thrillingly ambitious and imaginative, a rousing space opera for any age, meticulously researched and relentlessly paced. A fantastic start to an epic new series.

Emma Trevayne

A hugely enjoyable blend of adventure, humor, science, and kids trying to find their place when humanity itself doesn’t have one.

Tui T. Sutherland

This is perfect science fiction: a terrifying yet very cool vision of the future, lots of technological awesomeness, mind-bending alien mysteries, a mission to save the human race—and two funny, resourceful, very real kid heroes who I’d follow to the edges of the universe.

School Library Journal

01/01/2017
Gr 4–8—The year is 2213. Earth has been destroyed, thanks to the sun turning into a supernova far sooner than anyone expected. The humans who are left in the solar system reside on Mars, which will soon meet the same fate as Earth. In order to survive, they plan to colonize a distant planet named Aaru-5. Thirteen-year-old Liam was born on Mars. His whole life, his scientist parents have worked long hours doing vital experiments for the Mars-to-Aaru-5 transition. On the day when the last starliner spaceship will leave for Aaru-5, almost all of the 100 million remaining Martian residents are already on board. Liam and his best friend Phoebe remain on the ground, waiting for their parents to finish work at their research facility. The two teens expect to spend the day idly awaiting their departure. Instead, they end up discovering an invisible research lab, appropriating some seriously advanced 4-D alien technology, saving their parents from a fiery explosion, flying through space with an artificially intelligent panda named JEFF, and racing to catch up with the last starliner so they can deliver important information that might be the key to saving humanity. (Oh, and also so they won't be left behind forever.) While complex at times, this series opener is action-packed and entertaining. With a focus on space and time travel, including well-researched and accurate science, the novel will be an easy sell for sci-fi enthusiasts. VERDICT This fast-paced adventure story is recommended wherever science fiction is in high demand.—Liz Overberg, Zionsville Community High School, IN

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2016-11-16
All remaining humans are leaving Mars for a distant planet, but departure day goes sideways.The "burning husk" of Earth fell into the sun five years ago, and Mars is about to become uninhabitable. The Scorpius leaves today with the last 100 million passengers. Thirteen-year-old Liam's sad to go: he was born on Mars and identifies as a Martian, unconcerned that his Earth heritage is "Thai, Irish, Nigerian, Texan, and like ten more." His parents and his friend Phoebe's parents are rushing the final research for terraforming their destination planet when a radioactive explosion, complete with mushroom cloud, blows the lab to bits. The Scorpius departs with Liam's sister and the 100 million aboard, leaving Liam, Phoebe, and a highly skilled robot functionally alone (their parents are alive but unconscious)—can they catch the Scorpius? Emerson's story is fast, exciting, and terrifying, involving spacecraft of many sizes, travel through space, more explosions, an alien gadget that shows Liam the near future (and that extraterrestrials exist! Humans hadn't known), and some shadowy characters. Who's the blue ET chronologist murdered in Scene 1? Who's trying to exterminate humankind, and why? How many unrelated ET groups are out there? A stunning reveal at the end will leave readers gasping for the next installment. Enigmatic enemies, sabotage, space travel, and short, bone-wracking bits of time travel make for a banging adventure. (Science fiction. 9-12)

Lisa McMann

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.

Booklist (starred review)

★ “With high-stakes tension, propulsive action, multidimensional characters, and vivid scenes, this well-wrought and thrilling series starter is perfect for middle-graders who prefer their sci-fi to be grounded in the realm of the possible.

Brightly

Action-packed science-fiction adventure.

Brightly.com

Action-packed science-fiction adventure.

Tui Sutherland

This is perfect science fiction: a terrifying yet very cool vision of the future, lots of technological awesomeness, mind-bending alien mysteries, a mission to save the human race—and two funny, resourceful, very real kid heroes who I’d follow to the edges of the universe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062306715
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Series: Chronicle of the Dark Star Series , #1
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,219,633
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews