Polly is part of the thriving Colony One on Mars. She dreams of piloting a starship one day and has her internships lined up. But her mother abruptly informs Polly and her twin brother Charles they are being sent to Earth for their education.
To Earth? Earth is old, grubby, and stifling.
Shaken, Polly wants to stay on Mars and get back into her cancelled internships. But their mother dangles in front of her the prospect of getting into a piloting program upon graduation from the Earth academy. Besides, they have no choice. They leave in two weeks.
Carrie Vaughn’s Martians Abroad is an impressive story. Polly is not a whiny brat, neither is she a superwoman, but she is smart and bold as she gets thrown into one challenge after another. Look at the excellent cover above. Mars’ gravity is only one third of ours, so Polly grew up tall and thin. Notice how slender her torso and limbs are. As she approaches Earth, she knows she’ll have difficulty moving around in a gravity three times what she’s used to.
Her brother Charles is a genius—not just in theoretical matters, but in detecting plots against them. Yes, there are plots. Not just physical difficulty, not just some semi-bullying by elite Earth students, but some actual hostility—a rockslide here, a kidnapping there. What is going on?
Martians Abroad is an enjoyable read for teens on up. For more on the author Carrie Vaughn, click here.