downloadReviewed by Elizabeth T.

In 2031, Christopher Burke and his crew of astronauts are the first people to set foot on Mars. They stay for two years to do research and conduct experiments. Everything goes well save for Chris’s mysterious disappearance of eighteen hours when he only had four hours of oxygen left. They are on their way home when they lose contact with Earth. When they crash land on Earth, the crew finds that every man, woman, child, and animal is gone. Were they abducted? Have they died? What happened there?

Offworld‘s great strength is the reality of its characters. At first, all the reader sees is their disciplined and business-like façade. As they get deeper into the empty world and they run into obstacle after obstacle, the reader discovers the real people underneath. My personal favorite was Trisha. She is a strong and disciplined woman, and was a Marine before she became an astronaut. Underneath her tough exterior, she has a painful disease that she works through every day. I enjoyed the deconstruction of the layers the crew built up. I was impressed that they managed to keep so much from each other while still being in close quarters, and it definitely made for some interesting reading.

Offworld is a great science fiction adventure. The plot twists and turns in ways that you would never expect. It’s a mystery, an adventure, science fiction, and an action movie all rolled into one. The plot moves forward from page one and never stops and the narrative is exciting and fluid to read. My only criticism has to do with the unusual solutions given to the problems at hand throughout the book, making it harder to suspend my disbelief.

For more information, please visit Robin Parrish’s website.

Elizabeth is a student at Cal State Long Beach. She laughs a lot, loves cats, and lives for music and books. You can read her blog here.