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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
Thirty years after the Mars exploration mission Hera, whose crew died in mysterious circumstances, the ensuing political issues that slowed NASA's race to conquer space have finally ended. This time the five members of the new Isis mission will not travel the 400 million kilometers for a short visit. This time they are destined to become the first colonisers of the Red Planet.
I loved the premise of Red Desert: Point of No Return by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli. Space travel is such an interesting topic, especially when you throw Mars into the mix. I love science fiction that reads like contemporary fiction, that really makes sense, and is as plausible and believable as reading the newspaper. These topics are so relevant and in the news right now that this book is very timely and will benefit from the fact that we are looking for water on Mars as we speak. Any of the events in this novella could be happening in space right now, and that's what makes this story so interesting.
This story really reminded me of Instellar, especially Matt Damon and Anne Hathaway's characters. I kept envisioning them in my mind as Anna makes her escape. When she doubts her colleagues, I doubted them along with her. When she made bold moves and took daredevil steps, I worried about her sanity and her motivations. Would she have enough oxygen? What was she looking for? Why would she risk her life for it? What could be so important? These were all questions that flooded my brain as I flipped page after page, waiting impatiently to get to the end. I just had to know how it all worked out, and I prayed that it did all work out because I was so invested in Anna's character by the end of the story.