Book Review: Last Day On Mars by Kevin Emerson - By Felicia
The novel, “Last Day On Mars”, by Kevin Emerson, tells the story of two kids, Liam and Phoebe, who live on Mars. The sun is going supernova in a few days, and they must get off Mars as fast as possible to go to a new planet, Aaru-5.
Liam and Phoebe were at school when an alarm blared: the solar storm would be arriving ahead of schedule. They stay calm and collected, and they run away from school with their friend Shawn to see the solar storm. But once the solar storm passed, they realized they were stuck. Luckily, Phoebe found a vent which the trio crawled out of. However, out of the corner of his eye, Liam saw a flash on the mountain. He brushed the thought away and focused on getting back to the base. Once they were back, JEFF, their panda robot, took care of them while they were waiting for their parents. In the end, Liam’s parents didn’t make such a big fuss, but Phoebe’s parents were furious: “THIS WAS A LETHAL STORM. YOU COULD HAVE GOTTEN KILLED! YOU ARE GROUNDED.” Contrary to her parents’ warnings, Phoebe drags Liam out the door to find the flash that Liam saw earlier. As they were exploring a cave, rocks started to fall from the ceiling. The last thing Liam heard before he blacked out was Phoebe’s desperate scream. When he woke up, he discovered a tear in his suit. He patched it up as fast as he could and looked for Phoebe. Finally, he found her… with a broken leg. Calmly but quickly, Liam used a link on his suit to communicate with JEFF. “Jeff, I need a rescue drone. Now.” Once the rescue drone arrived, they boarded the drone… to go find the flash. When they saw it on top of the mountain, Liam drove the skim drone over to the precipice. Sure enough, there is a gray object with someone inside. Wait, someone isn’t the word. Whatever. This being had dark blue, translucent skin, so you could see its delicate blood vessels and organs, like humans, but not quite. Its head was narrow, with a sort of diamond-shaped face. It had two eyes in a human position, open and clouded over white, but then also two noses, one above and one below the eyes. Two flat ears and one small, closed mouth. It was clearly and utterly dead. Who was it? An alien. However, JEFF and their parents were waiting for them, so there was no time to investigate. Liam just took its strange, four-dimensional, blinking watch and left with Phoebe. When they came back, JEFF informed them that both Liam’s and Phoebe’s parents were missing. Uh-oh… However, JEFF told them that they had to stay back at the base instead of helping rescue their parents. Bored, Liam then decided to play with the watch that he stole from the alien. He turned the dial on the side of the watch, and then everything started to spin. He was travelling to the future. He could see the spaceship, the Scorpius, leaving Mars. It went up, exploded, and created a gigantic mushroom cloud. Immediately, Liam turned the dial back and threw up. Once he explained his findings to Phoebe, they again disobeyed orders and went to find their parents. After a long while, they finally found a cave where their parents were located. The first person to wake up was Liam’s mom, who said something about sabotage and gave him critical data for the mission to move to Aaru-5. Intrigued, Liam used his watch to travel forwards in time. While he was almost at that moment, the moment where they were leaving Mars, he saw a strange man dressed in a black suit who tried to take the watch. Liam was quicker though and was able to turn the dial back quickly enough to escape. Unfortunately, once he escaped, there was an earsplitting explosion that knocked him out. Once he woke up, he was back at the base. He then checked his regular watch. 0 seconds left until Red Line - the Scorpius had already left without him! The only people left were Phoebe and him, not including JEFF the robot. Unfazed, JEFF brought them onto another spaceship, Cosmic Cruiser Delta Four Five. After a while, they could see another spaceship above them. The kids decided to wear their spacesuits and go to the airlock to see the mysterious spaceship. Using the link, Liam talked to the new name that had appeared: Simon Onatu. “Simon” revealed his real name, Barro, and asked for the critical data that Mom gave Liam. Liam then bluffed and scared Barro away. When the duo came back, JEFF greeted them with sad news: the Starliner Scorpius had left without them. Soon enough, though, another plot twister: they found a faster engine floating around in space and they used it to catch up with the Scorpius. Phew! Finally, Phoebe and Liam go into stasis, waiting but ready for their next adventure.
I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars for numerous reasons. I love all science fiction books, and as you can see, “Last Day On Mars” is clearly one, so I love it! There was a lot of suspense. A lot. There were also so many cliffhangers that my dad had to wrestle the book out of my hands to get me to stop reading and fall asleep! However, I must argue that there are a bit too many plot twists. That’s why this book is 4.5 stars instead of 5 stars.