A premise that was right up my alley turned into a ridiculous book I could hardly finish. You can find this full review and many others at Scifi and Scary s Book Reviews.I ended up reading this book because it flashed across my kindle screen as one of those sponsored ad things, and it mentioned it was on Kindle Unlimited Now, its rare to find a fantastic book on KU, but it occasionally does happen, and I like space ageish books, so I decided to give this one a try I m not disappointed I did, but I m not thrilled either.John Dreese has writing talent, and I loved the premise of the novel Especially because it used a currently popular scientific instrument that most people have at least some knowledge of, unless they re so obsessed with pop culture they can t see past a Kardashian s ass He might stretch the science a little bit in terms of accelerated timelines than anything , but I easily shrugged off some of my disbelief in pursuit of a good story.This was a very quick, entertaining read but unfortunately it was utterly unmemoriable It was well written enough, with no major typographical or plot errors that caught my attention, but in terms of space age scientific reads, its a virtual nonentity.ETA Apparently since I d downloaded this from KU, the author had released a revised edited edition It presumably fixes some of the pacing issues that the version I read had The book did seems a bit fast paced, but it didn t bother me tons, so I hate giving a low star review, but I had high hopes for this book and I was sorely disappointed The premise was very interesting when the Curiosity rover takes pictures of human like fossils and some kind of written language in Mars, a team of astronauts is sent to the red planet Awesome I am no scientist, but I ve read The Martian and the science in this book seems little implausible Fine, I can live with that, this is fiction But then the characters were beyond belief I don t know any astronauts personally, but I assume they don t do it for the money I also assume that, as much as they love their families, they probably would sacrifice it all to be able to explore outer space I doubt that Neil Armstrong s first thought upon stepping on the moon was gee, I hope I ll become famous So, sorry, but the whole I want to be the first to land on Mars so that billions of people will know my name is about as absurd as NASA not knowing every single little thing that goes on in the astronaut s bodies I bet they measure their pee and hiding medical conditions from them would be pretty hard The whole mystery will remain in Mars because it is not explained properly There is no exploration, nothing beyond the unfeasible motivations behind the characters Not my favorite read. Contains spoilers I read right thru this book in about 3 hours Not because I enjoyed it, but because I drank 3 glasses of wine with dinner the night before when I drink red wine, I get horrible insomnia So when I woke up at 3 am, I had nothing better to do than finish this book.Let me begin by saying the President is a complete douche He advances his own reelection agenda at the expense of the space program the entire country I know this is fiction I get that but the president s actions are completely unrealistic I am no expert, but a DO have a Bachelor s degree in Political Science I understand the basics, there is absolutely NO WAY the president would be able to pass this space exploration program thru in just a few months And hey, let me just attach this secret compartment to the outside of the Storage Wart I won t tell you what s in it, it ll be our little secretbut it won t add much weightI promise Uhhhhhright.Then, the majority of the characters are unlikable also unrealistic There is no way NASA would pull in 3rd string astronauts for this mission because the A B list astronauts they approached first all declined maybe we should learn something from themha Then they give in let the eccentric billionaire with the anxiety condition on the mission because he won t let them have his rocket engines if they don t And they train for a few weeks ahead of time by running on the beach going hiking in the Redwoods Also unlikely The mission is fraught with disaster from the get go no way even though they do land on Mars, most of them die, and we are not sad The characters are THAT AWFUL.THEN, if that wasn t enough, they steal an artifact from Mars that they try to take home We have learned from the mistakes of our forbearers in science fiction that this is a very bad, bad idea The whole mission was cheesier than Roger Moore in Moonraker when Bond just waltzed in to the secret volcano lair sidled up to the space shuttle off he went with no training whatsoever.Did anyone make it home I won t tell you I think Dreese has potential, but I, like many reviewers before me, feel like this book was written by a hormonal teenager Mr Dreese ARE you in high school The characters are flat undeveloped, and also unlikable The story is poorly researched, implausible fraught with cliches brighter than noon lunchtime in Texas The author refers to the Russian crew member as a retired astronaut before he corrects himself with cosmonaut Then there are the random capitalizationssigh. Like many other readers I had high hopes for this book The premise is intriguing The Mars Rover discovers what appears to be a fossilized human holding something The President who is simply a caricature makes the promise to get to and return people from Mars before the next election Luckily there is a down on his luck millionaire who just happens to have the magical rocket motor that will propel the astronauts to Mars But he s already made a deal with the Russians.The dialogue in the story is a weird mix of ultra casual like two people sitting around talking and just plain odd The events and occasions the author chooses to illustrate his montage of building and training are just bizarre The people who are chosen to crew the mission are unbelievable and apparently NASA is a bigger joke than we ever guessed One Astronaut disappears the morning of the launch to go teach his son to ride a bike Another suffers from severe claustrophobia and a third is pregnant oh and the fourth she s Russian.There is an absurd secret box on one of the launch items that the President demands in person Presidents don t do that it is called plausible deniability When they get to Mars they aren t the least bit professional There would be policies and plans this is like a badly organized boy scout jamboree And from there the plot just gets bizarre and implausible The author spends all this time explaining the time delay between earth and mars for verbal communication But then writes scenes where despite saying they decided that each would talk in burst and wait for the response every one talks at once anyway And the plot just gets and absurd with every turn of the page and guess what there s a sequel in the works. I understand this is the author s first book, but I have a quite a few criticisms The story showed promise, but quickly fell off ALL of the conflicts in this story would not happen with the NASA we have today To name a few Regardless of the engine technology, an extremely unprofessional and childish entrepreneur would not be allowed on this mission He adds nothing to the mission, except for access to his engines The character is extremely unlikable and is nothing, but a money man All he did, throughout his life, was take others ideas and sell them Pregnancy tests are standard during the quarantine period before a space flight Quarantine is, typically, 7 days prior to launch There is no way the mission commander would be able to leave and have a heartfelt moment with his child Especially before such a monumental mission The space station is not used as a relay for Mars missions The DSN primarily utilizes three large radio centers across the planet to provide 24 hour coverage with very large dishes Immediately after landing on Mars, let s go for a walk Each mission day would be planned to the minute on what they are supposed to do This would maximize the use of the very short amount of time available It seems that these characters have complete freedom to do as they please The decision to leave the parachutes unpacked for a month is a recipe for disaster Although the atmosphere is thin on Mars, there would still be concerns for damage in the winds Most parachute release systems use an explosive to release the cover and chute, which would mean there s no reason to pack them for reuse without having new explosives to install 20 minutes of oxygen left Let s keep looking around The safety margins would be ridiculous on this mission and 20 minutes would probably cut into the reserve time This crew must have the new, compressive suits, because they can just jump in a suit and walk outside Most suits require prebreathing oxygen for over 2 hours including 10 minutes of vigorous exercise to remove all other gases from the bloodstream otherwise, the low pressure of the suits would cause the bends The crew in the Big Turtle are too busy walking around barefoot on the exposed Mars regolith to hear desperate cries for help If there were people EVA, they would have one person at the base camp monitor their progress at all times In a mission like this, there would a contingency for rescue Why expose the Mars regolith to atmosphere It s already been shown the perchlorates are in high concentration on Mars, and handling the dust, or exposing it to atmosphere and heat, would be deadly Floating cube Why not mess with it There is no way they would begin handling the cube until directed by mission control Inspection and analysis would be required before anything like that would happen Molly s death was just awful She was so in love that she couldn t go on without Keller It s too cliche and unprofessional behavior for an astronaut Third tier or not The nuclear bomb wielding helicopters were a strange addition I m fairly certain NASA would perform that mission remotely, when the crew is safely away from the planet They must ve had some massive bombs to cause climate change in a few days How did 8 nuclear missiles fit in that tiny container on the wart Without propulsion systems, those bombs weigh 700 lbs That s almost 3 tons of additional weight to carry up to space The nuclear war seemed to have no change on day to day life back on Earth Space food is no longer pastes and gels inside of toothpaste tubes That s been gone for quite some time now Almost all of the foods are freeze dried and are in plastic containers that are injected with water to reconstitute the food There is absolutely no way liquefied steak would hold air pressure for months It looks like overpopulation on Mars caused the magnetic field to fade and the atmosphere to be stripped away Overpopulation of a planet with no remains of civilization seems a bit far fetched.It was as if a bunch of high schoolers went to Mars and did whatever they wanted The lack of basic knowledge and good judgement from the astronauts created all the problems This group of bumbling idiots were extremely unlikable The humor in the book is really forced and every character seems to have the same delivery method I found myself rolling my eyes, instead of laughing at the supposed jokes or stories I cannot recommend this book at all. SciFi ThrillerThis book is a good space adventure story It has mystery, action and plot twists I wish it didn t end so soon. 3,5 5 Aliens Exist And The Mars Curiosity Rover Just Discovered Their Bones The First Manned Mission Is Rushed Corners Are Cut Adventure Betrayal Disaster SurpriseRetired Astronaut Adam Alston Can T Support His Family When NASA Comes Knocking For A Mission Leader, It S A Match Made In Heaven Especially Since Their A List Team Declined The Haphazard Mission And So Did Their B List But Adam Doesn T Know That And Neither Does His FamilyRide Along As Four Modern Day Astronauts Prepare And Launch A Quickly Assembled Adventure To Discover What The Mars Curiosity Rover Found Right Before It Died With Time Running Out, The Fate Of Humanity Rests In The Hands Of Four Doomed TravelersWho Will Make It Back And Why Won T The Others Note This Book Is Not Hard Scifi And Contains A Technology Based On Speculative Science My original Red Hope An Adventure Thriller audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.What happens when you have a president seeking re election, an egotistical rich entrepreneur, a Russian Paleontologist and two not top of the rung astronauts with everything to lose A disaster of epic proportions The Mars Rover discovers a secret that the red planet has held for thousands of years In a bid for re election, the president promises a trip to Mars in an unheard of time frame Rich CEO Murch has the equipment to get the astronauts to Mars within the time frame but with one condition Astronaut Adam leaves his family behind so the money he will make from speaking engagements can provide his wife with the experimental surgery that may help her walk again The other two astronauts Molly and Yeva well, they just try to do their jobs.John Dreese builds a strong story around doing the right thing, the right way Unfortunately, none of the characters do the right thing, the right way rather they become the catalyst for nothing less than disaster.The character development is rich and vivid one cannot help but admire Adam at first but then he becomes one of the distasteful ones like the President and the CEO Murch If one of these three had just done their job the right way and did the right thing, perhaps life on Mars would have been different.Dreese builds the excitement slowly but steady, he leaves nothing to chance and nothing is left hanging He provides closure to everything and everyone while still managing to leave a cliffhanger that will have you holding your breath There were points in the story where I know I shook my head because I couldn t believe what was going on it was realistic yet one could see the common sense of the astronauts leaping through the window.The book was an easy listen with the correct amount of suspense and OMG, no he didn t type of action Exciting and shocking, this audio is excellent This is a book for everyone it is not just science fiction but romance, horror, drama and so much rolled into one.Bob Reed performed the narration perfectly with the right amount of inflection and excitement He expressed the emotions of each character well His voice was soothing and smooth.There were no issues with the audio production of this audiobook.Audiobook was provided for review by the author.