The Red by A. Michael Marsh

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When powerful forces from Earth converge upon the settlers of Mars, eighteen-year-old Thom Morales finds himself at the center of an interplanetary conspiracy that seeks not only to hide the truth about his people’s past, but threatens the future of all those who call their home, “The Red”.

Disease didn’t take his grandfather - it was the Eua. Highwaymen didn’t try to kidnap him and murder his two best friends - it was the Eua. At first, Thom thought he must be losing his mind. To believe that conspirators from Earth’s powerful government would reach all the way to his tiny colony on Mars was laughable. Why would they? What could Thom or his grandfather possibly have that anyone in the Eua would want so desperately? Not even in his nightmares had Thom imagined a life where he and his two best friends would be on the run, pursued by those to whom killing is no sin, and mercy no virtue. After finding help from an unlikely source, Thom and his friends begin their search for the answers, and just maybe, a way to one day return home without putting their loved ones in danger. But what Thom discovers is a web of lies involving the bloody civil war that ravaged his planet a generation ago, corruption that extends all the way from Earth into his own government, and for reasons he can’t yet understand, his very existence.

From Kirkus Reviews:

"A young man on a Mars colony evades corrupt agents of Earth and learns the truth of his origins in the author’s debut sci-fi/action novel.

Thom is like any other teen—he excels at sports and is contemplating his future. He’s also living on Mars. But after his grandfather dies, everything changes. Thom, a possible suspect, is questioned by authorities. Things only get worse. Two men try to kidnap him and kill his friends, and Thom learns that a bounty hunter, Myron, has been enlisted to track him down. All of his woes can be traced to a war with Martian natives known as the Velitrans, and Thom finds unlikely allies in fighting the Eua, the unquestionably shady government of Earth. Marsh’s plot speeds along with plenty of action scenes, which include one when Elaine—the sister of one of Thom’s friends—escapes captivity and helps Rosha, who leads Thom, et al., to the Velitrans. But it’s the environment and characters that make the book a standout. Mars is a well-established home. It has its own sport, called "endurance," which is essentially a race between teams armed with electrically charged sticks; its own vehicles, such as a “floater”; and its own profanity—the term “fugging” and its variants are a popular word choice. Characters are likable all around, even the villains—the world-weary Detective Cooper-Fonda is so desperate for control he gives himself the call sign of “Boss.” Desmond, “Desi” to his friends, is perhaps the book’s best character. He supplies much of the humor, incessantly complaining that people don’t bother to learn his name, but he’s also a skilled programmer, rewriting a com’s operating system in mere minutes, and has ties to the main plot—Myron grabs Desi first before looking for Thom. The work includes enjoyable add-ons like a bad guy identified by a discernible wound (a defensive bite from Elaine), as well as a bulky second-to-last chapter, with multiple
characters converging for a searing action set piece.

A considerable novel populated by a cast of memorable characters, who enhance the Mars backdrop instead of depending on it."

About A. Michael Marsh

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Published June 18, 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 272 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Red

AV Club

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A dead girl lies face-down in the dirt in the opening shot of the Red Riding trilogy, the swan wings stitched to her body acting as a final insult added to the violence and perversion that brought her there.

Feb 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Red

The New Yorker

As the series goes on, the police commit crimes to cover their relationship with Dawson, and then more crimes to cover the earlier ones.

Feb 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Red

Red Online

The menu features seasonal dishes and the best of the South East’s local produce, including local wines and the Romney Marsh lamb (a must-try dish).

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Red Online

- The beautiful Secret Garden with its herbaceous borders, powder blue benches and 300-year-old mulberry tree - The Mulberry Restaurant - a must for foodies - The Library’s roaring open fire and comfortable sofas - The spiced mojitos in The Beagle Bar Rates: From £158 to £350 per room, per night,...

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Red Online

Restaurant & bar: Seats 30 in the bar, 30 in the lounge areas, up to 60 in the restaurant.

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