Sunday, March 04, 2007
'The Mars Run' by Chris Gerrib
Title: The Mars Run
Author: Chris Gerrib
Price: $10.96 printed, $2.68 download
Publisher: Chris Gerrib via Lulu.com
Point of Sale: Lulu.com
The Mars Run is an intense science fiction story, wrought with suspense, intrigue and plenty of action. Earning money to rebuild her college fund Janet enrolls in the Merchant Astronaut Academy; after her grandfather and father loses their previous savings on an erroneous fast-money scheme. During a Level 3 simulation exercise Janet’s lover and classmate, Raj dies. The inquest and review hearing is intimidating but exonerates Janet from any wrong doing.
After graduation she boards the GR-30B Hercules spacecraft, the Windy City; Janet’s home for an entire year. She meets commanding officers Captain Kate Yergen, and her husband First Mate Alex Yergen and her reporting commander, a native Martian, Ken Bell. The next couple weeks Janet settles into a routine familiarizing herself with the ship and crew before the Windy City departs. Once they breach Earth and Moon’s systems the crew’s mettle is tested. A meteor strikes their ship damaging cooling units, which also operates their life support systems. Danger passes as damages are repaired the crew continues on schedule.
When the Windy City is eighty-nine days away from Earth does the action and intrigue intensify. A point between Earth and Mars, the crew encounters a vessel with hostile objectives. Under attack, Janet races to the ship’s greenhouse to access the damage only to find her Captain dead. The ship is boarded by pirates who kill Janet’s remaining comrades and take her hostage. Knowing her life is balancing between death and survival Janet barters her welding skills to repair the damaged Windy City. Not trusting her sincerity, the pirates offer her three options: 1) Join the Sarah Sands crew, 2) become their prisoner, or 3) die. Janet joins the renegade crew though begins devising her escape plan.
Mr. Gerrib’s characters are alive and real. Janet has stealth, which are never realized but she remains tenacious in fleeing her keepers. She shows a strong inner strength while enduring too many “forced” copulations with her male captors. Although, Janet does form a loving relationship with J.R. that minimally detracts from her abuses. A rebel, John is quite one-minded although dense, too. He’s easily distracted by a woman’s form – nude or even clothed – and never sees the obvious while brainstorming with his comrades. John and Janet’s hostility toward one another is genuine. After Janet signs on with the rebels, she proceeds to beat the crap out of John; who raped her after boarding the Windy City. A solid punch to his nose and a swift kick to his nuts had me jumping and cheering. Mr. Gerrib casts a vast array of motley secondary characters that add to the entertainment making the story fully cohesive.
The action and intrigue continues as more ships are forcibly taken as the story veers toward government corruption and personal greed. Acclimated to erotica stories, I find the sex not all that explicit or stimulating. Even Janet and J.R.’s intimate moments are just sweet interludes. However, Janet’s unwilling unions are strictly suggestive, leaving the rest to the reader’s imagination. The Mars Run is an exciting sci-fi that kept me so engaged that I finished it in one evening. I recommend this well-written story and will keep it on hand to enjoy reading it again.
Pod Critic: 7.5
Lulu [27 Apr 07]: 8.3
Amazon.com [27 Apr 07]: 8
AVERAGE RATING: 7.6/10
Reviewed by: In August of 2006, Pamela broke into book review writing with Erotic Escapades, but writes for The Erotic Bookworm, The Muse Book Reviews, Romance At Heart, and now POD People. Her own web site, Chewing the Bone exhibits book reviews in multilple genres, including children and young adult fiction. With all that she has going on Pamela finds time to dabble in flash-fic writing. Although, she doesn't aspire in becoming a published novelist, because it would take valuable time away from her first love... reading.