Blue Mars
Kim Stanley Robinson
Review by James Walton

I wanted to like this book. I tried very hard to like it. In the end I hated it, but that is not Robinson's fault.

Blue Mars is the third in Robinson's Mars series which began with Red Mars and continued with Green Mars. It takes up where the previous book left off with no explanations of what went on before.

Which brings us to the problem I have with Blue Mars. I never read the previous two books, so I have no idea of what is going on, nor do I care. Blue Mars does not stand alone as a novel. To get anything out of it you must read the first two.

Blue Mars is very well written. It is filled with beautiful descriptions of scenery both on Mars and on Earth. I have no doubt in my mind that Robinson has visited every local he describes on both planets. I read some of the passages several times to insure I had taken in all the minute details.

But the pretty pictures did nothing for me without a story. Without knowledge of what went on in the first two books, I found myself becoming annoyed with the various characters. They all seemed to be wandering around for the sole purpose of wandering around.

This would be a good place to insert my yearly rant about Hugo nominated books standing on their own, but I've gone over that too many times.

I hope Robinson comes out with a stand alone novel as well written as Blue Mars.

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