Monday 5 February 2024

Edge of Catastrophe - Jane Killick - Terraforming Mars Book 2

Edge of Catastrophe 
ISBN 9781839081613
eISBN 9781839081620

Edge of Catastrophe - Jane Killick - Terraforming Mars Book 2

This is the second novel I have read in this series. I have also read other books about Terraforming mars both science fiction and hard science fact books. I absolutely love the Terraforming Mars games, I have played the board game with and without expansion packs with my brother and his wife many times. And we have a mobile version of the game on the go almost continually. What I loved about the game is it reminded me of the science fiction I read as a teen and young adult. This new series of novels brings that full circle, we circle from the game and elements in the game back to novels. And Jane Killick has done an excellent job again with this second offering she has penned. I hope there will be many in the series.

But back to this specific story, the description of this novel is:

“Return to the Red Planet as the saga of Terraforming Mars continues, in a sweeping science fiction thriller of planetary progress, set in the universe of the award-winning boardgame

In the 26th century, Mars is thriving: the huge crater made by the crashed moon of Deimos is now a vast domed city, buzzing with industry and a burgeoning Martian-born and immigrant workforce. Ecoline scientist Mel Erdan is at the forefront of vital research to feed and maintain Mars’ increasing population. But when her viral enhancer transforms lush green plants into a blackened swathe of dead crops, it triggers a wave of violent unrest across Deimos City, and Mel is accused of deliberately sabotaging Mars’ fragile viability. With resources rapidly dwindling, conspiracy theories flying, and criminal gangs rioting, Mel must prove her innocence, uncover the truth, and revitalise Mars’ harvest before it’s too late – for everyone.”

This story was much more a police procedural in space. Mel is blamed for crops failing and putting the entire planet on food rations. As things get worse and worse a group of rebels first steal and give away food, and then try and take hostages at a resort dome. Mel is busy trying to stay out of custody and find a way to prove he innocence. Mel trusts a long time friend, but things on the red planet are not all as they appear. Mel will need to trust some others or she will be captured and her hopes dashed. Will she make good judgements; can he science provide a solution to avert the crisis? To find out you will need to read this excellent novel in a great series!

This was another fascinating to read about the corporations that I have played so many times. Killick brings to life the corporations, and the leaders and personalities behind them in a wonderful way. She captures the spirit of the game and brings it to life. Reading about the process to feed the planet as it food supply being stained by disease. Mars in this volume has a bit less of a wild west feel that book 1 had, and more of a mystery noir. Unlike book one we now have a formal police. This story had some elements of the corporations and their power but it was for more a story about individuals and the decisions they make and the consequences for them and for others. In part it is a story of friendships some that prove worth the trust and others that prove to be false. 

It is a great read and continuation in this wonderful series. It would make an excellent movie or TV Series, maybe for Prime. For fans of classic science fiction, it will remind them of authors like Bester, Heinlein, and Herbert. For some it will have a feel of Piers Anthony or Harry Harrison. But no matter what it reminds you of it is an excellent story, and I look forward to more in the series.

Note: The third volume in the series has a new author.

Terraforming Mars Series:
Edge of Catastrophe - Jane Killick
Shores of a New Horizon - M Darusha Wehm

Other books about Terraforming Mars:

Manuel Alfonseca's Solar System Series:

Books by Jane Killick:
1 Traitor's Code 
2 Prince's Mission 
3 Assassin

1 Mind Secrets 
2 Mind Control 
3 Mind Evolution
4 Mind Power 

Babylon 5:
Signs and Portents 
The Coming of Shadows 
No Surrender, No Retreat 
Point of No Return 
No Surrender, No Retreat
Wheel of Fire 

Obsidian Rim:
3 - Traitor's Code 
11 - Prince's Mission 
16 - Assassin 

Other books:
Fairy Nuff
Matchmaker Cat
If Wishes Were Husbands
Help! My Breasts are Taking Over the World!
Stasis Leaked
The A-Z of the X-Files

Contributed to:
Gifts from the Heart: An Anthology
The Gift of Christmas: An Anthology
Aconyte Books Best of 2021

In the Shadow of Deimos - Jane Killick - Terraforming Mars Book 1

Edge of Catastrophe - Jane Killick - Terraforming Mars Book 2

Shores of a New Horizon - M Darusha Wehm - Terraforming Mars Book 3

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