By S J Morden
- No Way
Author: S J Morden
- Publisher: Gollancz
- ISBN: 978-1473222595
- Published: February 2019
- Pages: 384
- Format reviewed: Paperback
- Review date: 19/04/2019
- Language: English
No Way is the follow up to the gripping thriller One Way. A perilous journey to the Red Planet by a group of convicts. Deciding that it was much more economically viable to train people that would have otherwise rotted in a jail rather than a group of experienced and highly trained Astronauts forms the basis of the story.
I can't really mention any more than that without spoilers to this first book - so if you haven't read One Way and are meaning to, it's best not to read any further until you've caught up. If you want to jump straight in though, No Way can be picked up without having read the previous.
No Way picks up where One Way left, with one survivor (Frank) stuck on the red planet with little real hope of ever getting home, or even surviving long enough until others arrive. Frank hasn't given up though and after reflecting upon what happened (to new bring readers up to speed) he's got a faint plan on how he might just survive and maybe even get back to Earth (the longest of all long shots). As you might imagine, nothing really goes to plan and there are a few new shocks in store for the reader.
One thing I didn't realise until starting this book is that the author is actually a rocket scientist with degrees in both Planetary Geology and Planetary Geophysics. His knowledge really shines in this book, with detailed and realistic depictions of survival on the Red Planet. By this point you are probably thinking of that other recent book about Mars (there is even a reference to the film included) but apart from the fact that both seem realistic (I'd say this series much more so) and both feature survival on the Red Planet, the similarities end there. The story in No Way follows a different path. This is a more serious journey (although the writing does have some genuine humour) with a great deal of suspense, and then the book drops a big reveal that changes everything.
It's a book that you just can't put down and the pace is relentless - every new chapter fully engaging the reader and offering some new problem for Frank to figure out. It also does what a sequel should, continuing the story and going in new directions without repeating what's happened before. A great read and even better series when read with One Way, highly recommended.
Written on 19th April 2019 by Ant .