Image of One Way


Image of One Way

Written by an actual rocket scientist, One Way is a stunning novel that mixes science, fiction and mystery into an exciting tale. Frank, the protagonist, is a man readers will relate to. Morden’s use of briefing posts and press releases to open each chapter allows the narrative to grow organically for readers as the details presented dovetail with what Frank is dealing with. While the ending is complete and will satisfy readers, this tale of humankind’s first mission to Mars will continue with a sequel that readers will definitely want to snag.

Xenosystems Operations has won the contract to colonize Mars and wants to do it on the cheap. Since XO also operates for-profit prisons in the United States, they decide to offer eight for-life prisoners the chance to join their expedition to build a base that can support future astronauts sent by NASA. Frank got life for killing the guy who was supplying his son with drugs, and now divorced with no contact from his family, he signs on with XO as the habitat builder and back-up buggy-driver. After months of grueling training in a remote, unescapable facility, Frank, seven other convicts and an XO representative blast off. Only the representative, Brack, is treated respectfully; Frank and the crew are shipped as cargo in cryogenically frozen containers for the duration of the trip. On Mars, construction begins on the wrong foot as previously shipped containers are miles off course. Frank’s team works together, but Brack, while seldom around, still threatens them. None can forget that Mars is a harsh environment where death is imminent after even the smallest slip, and after some tripping, Frank needs to gather clues about what's truly going on. (ORBIT, Apr., 368 pp., $15.99)

Reviewed by: 
Karen Sweeny-Justice