Author: Carrie Vaughn
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Series: N/A, Standalone
Hardcover, 288 Pages
Publication: January 17, 2017 by Tor Books
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly's plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.
Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there's more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.
Carrie Vaughn is well known for her ever popular Urban Fantasy Kitty Norville Series, but Vaughn branches off into something different with Martians Aboard, a new standalone Sci-Fi novel for Young Adult (but can be enjoyed by everyone of course). If I am correct, I think this is Vaughn’s first foray into Young Adult, and she did it marvelously. Martians Aboard kind of reminded me of CW’s Star Crossed, minus the whole romance aspect and being a whole lot better. But what we had was a group of teens from across the solar system being sent to earth’s Galileo Academy to promote interplanetary relationships between humans and offworlders...and as you can imagine...high school is no joke. And if a student is able to succeed and pass at Galileo Academy, then they’ll be ready for anything. For the real world. Readers follow twins Polly and Charles, the only martians at school as they try to navigate the unknown territories of earth and high school.
I absolutely loved Polly. Teenagers, or characters in most Young Adult novels come off annoying and angsty, you know, typical teens. However, Polly and her brother, lived somewhat a sheltered life, I mean, living on Mars had a lot of restriction and there’s only so much one can do on a dry, dusty terrain. Polly is definitely not your typical teenager and I think her obliviousness to earth’s social norms made her all the more endearing. There was a lot of “accidents” occurring coincidentally since Polly and the other colonies kids arrived at Galileo Academy (one of the most prestigious school in all of the colonies). Unlike most of Polly’s classmates who only looked out for themselves; Polly always found herself in the middle of those “accidents”, jumping in front of danger to rescue a fellow classmate, because it was the right thing to do. I loved her impulsiveness, bravery, selflessness and dedication to her friends and family. Polly’s group of friends were all just as great and super supportive. My favorites scenes was when everyone worked together, the Earth kids and offworlder kids. And despite their differences of living in different part of the solar system; at the end of the day they’re all the same, a bunch of kids dealing with the same problems, up and downs of high school.
All in all Martians Abroad was a very enjoyable read and everything wrapped up nicely (however, a little too quickly). Too bad this is a standalone. I wish there was more. I wouldn’t mind reading more about Polly, the enigmatic Charles and their buddies. Martians Abroad is a coming of age story and is a character driven novel, so there isn’t a lot of action. But trust me, watching Polly develop relationships with her fellow Galileo classmates was just as interesting and had me finishing the book all in one sitting! I was glued to the pages. I highly recommend everyone checking out this fun, light and charming Sci-Fi YA. It will not disappoint!