Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson (Blog Tour Review, Guest Post & Giveaway)

I met Kevin Emerson a while back when he had just released his YA contemporary,
Exile. He was really fun to chat with. This is his newest release. See what I thought,
check out Kevin's tens list (which is totally fun!), and enter the giveaway below. And also
check out this guide that he and the publisher put together here (it's got some cool stuff).

Last Day on Mars
(Chronicle of the Dark Star #1)
by Kevin Emerson
Middle Grade SciFi
Hardcover & ebook, 336 Pages
February 14th 2017 by HarperCollins/Walden Pond Press


It is Earth year 2213—but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova. The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while we prepare for a second trip: a one-hundred-fifty-year journey to a distant star, our best guess at where we might find a new home.

Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the very last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed.

Or so he thinks. Because before this day is over, Liam and Phoebe will make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space, and find out that the human race is just one of many in our universe locked in a desperate struggle for survival.

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Praise for the Book

“Emerson’s writing explodes off the page in this irresistible space adventure, filled with startling plot twists, diabolical aliens, and (my favorite!) courageous young heroes faced with an impossible task.” --Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds series

“Last Day on Mars is thrillingly ambitious and imaginative, a rousing space opera for any age, meticulously researched and relentlessly paced. A fantastic start to an epic new series.” --Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil

“This is perfect science fiction: a terrifying yet very cool vision of the future, lots of technological awesomeness, mind-bending alien mysteries, a mission to save the human race—and two funny, resourceful, very real kid heroes who I’d follow to the edges of the universe.” --Tui Sutherland, New York Times bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series

“A hugely enjoyable blend of adventure, humor, science, and kids trying to find their place when humanity itself doesn’t have one.” --Emma Trevayne, author of The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden

“Action-packed science-fiction adventure.”

My Review

LAST DAY ON MARS was an entertaining read with young heroes, interesting twists, and adventure with humor and friendship weaved in. A great start to this new series with a lot more to come. 

I liked these characters from the start. They felt like regular kids and families trying to live as they can and survive their world ending. Literally. The teasing, friendship, and humor between Liam and Phoebe was spot on, as was the worry and stress they and those around them were under. The story starts off by steadily getting the reader acquainted with the characters and with the backstory while also going on a brief adventure with the main group of friends.

As a reader, you can feel the level of intensity gradually grow as the story progresses until the action-packed end. Some characters were introduced, but I expect them to become more developed in following books where the villain's plot becomes more apparent. In the end, you're left wondering who can be trusted and what will happen next.

In the end, was this what I wished for? This was an enjoyable story. I expect more character and plot development in future books as we learn more about what is going on. Perfect for Middle Grade readers and lovers of SciFi (and my 12-year-old son).

Content: Some violence, but clean.

Source: Received a complimentary ARC from the publisher through the tour host, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.

Guest Post

10 Random things that inspired Last Day on Mars from Sci Fi Books and Movies

1. The uncertainty of finding a new home in Battlestar Galactica (the new series)

2. The realization that there are far more intelligent beings than us in the universe, and that we can’t even fathom our true purpose, from Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

3. The sense of just how vast space really is, from Interstellar

4. The gritty realism of life on Mars from The Martian

5. The surprising and hilarious reveal of who’s really in charge of our world, and also the mind-boggling concepts of probability in A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

6. The terrifying and claustrophobic dangers of surviving in space, and alternately the frailty and strength of the human body, from Gravity

7. The sense of a truly epic journey, and the dangers of how human pioneers treat things they don’t understand, from The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

8. The tantalizing mix of wonder and fear of the unknown from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

9. The vision of a planet left behind, and (somewhat) of large human spaceships from Wall-E (In an early draft of Last Day on Mars, Liam had a pet cockroach, but then my editor reminded me that there was one in Wall-E);

10. The question of what it means to be human when Earth is only a memory, from Serenity (shiny!).

About the Author

Author of the EXILE series, THE ATLANTEANS series, THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION, the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. Musician in THE BOARD OF EDUCATION. Former K-8 science teacher, currently teaching with Richard Hugo House and Writers in the Schools. Originally from Cheshire, CT, now living in Seattle, by way of Boston.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

- 7 Copies of Last Day on Mars (Chronicle of the Dark Star #1) by Kevin Emerson
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

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