Red Hope Synopsis: The Mars Curiosity rover rolls across the dusty Red Planet. On-board cameras detect something shimmering on the horizon. Engineers re-direct it to go investigate. When the rover finally arrives, the cameras capture shocking images of five-fingered fossils embedded in a mysterious boulder, located right next to an unusual stone building. Just as Curiosity attempts to transmit high-resolution photos, the power cuts out.
With the reckless ambition of an embattled president, a high-risk discovery mission is planned on a rushed deadline. It’s all made possible with technology from a Silicon Valley tycoon who was in the right place at the right time. Equipment is built too quickly; flaws and a Wart are sent to the launch pad.
The initial crew balks at the mission for safety reasons, but not family man Adam Alston; he’s the consummate professional who will do what his country asks him. And he’s nearly broke after his post-astronaut business ventures are quietly failing. This lucky break becomes his last option for saving his family and failing career; perhaps not in that order.
Ride along with Captain Alston and his crew as NASA is plunged into a race to the Red Planet with little time to spare. Nothing can prepare them for the split-second back-stabbing decisions they’ll make along the way. Will they find out the secret of the mysterious fossils? Or will the human pride they carry to Mars condemn their mission and all of humanity? – Goodreads
Red Hope Review
I ended up reading Red Hope because it flashed across my kindle screen as one of those sponsored ad things, and it mentioned it was on Kindle Unlimited. Now, its rare to find a fantastic book on KU, but it occasionally does happen, and I like space-ageish books, so I decided to give this one a try. I’m not disappointed I did, but I’m not thrilled either.
John Dreese has writing talent, and I loved the premise of the novel. Especially because it used a currently popular scientific instrument that most people have at least some knowledge of, unless they’re so obsessed with pop culture they can’t see past a Kardashian’s ass. He might stretch the science a little bit (more in terms of accelerated timelines than anything), but I easily shrugged off some of my disbelief in pursuit of a good story.
This was a very quick, entertaining read but unfortunately it was utterly unmemoriable. It was well-written enough, with no major typographical or plot errors that caught my attention, but in terms of space-age scientific reads, its a virtual nonentity.
ETA: Apparently since I’d downloaded this from KU, the author had released a revised/edited edition. It presumably fixes some of the pacing issues that the version I read had. (The book did seems a bit fast-paced, but it didn’t bother me tons, so…)
Were you wanting something a little more ‘hard sci-fi’? Well, there’s really only one suggestion: