The Season of Passage

Christopher Pike, Author
Christopher Pike, Author Tor Books $18.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-312-85115-6
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-8125-1048-5
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-15140-5
Prebound-Glued - 438 pages - 978-0-7807-9225-8
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The year is 2004 and, detente in place, the U.S. has sent a manned mission to Mars to find out what happened to and perhaps rescue the Russian cosmonauts who landed there two years earlier and have not been heard from since. Lauren Wagner, chief medical officer on the U.S. unit Nova , suspects alien infection killed the crew of the Lenin and worries that the same may happen to those on her ship. Little does she know that they face a fate far worse: there are vampires on Mars! Pike ( Chain Letter ), bestselling author of YA thrillers, offers a campy SF/horror scenario with all the credibility and finesse of a '50s B-movie; the ``Red Menace'' in this case is a thirsty crew of Russian zombies who get their blood from victims via IV hookup. An intriguing subplot concerning Lauren's earthbound sister and a story she is writing--which appears to be a telepathically received fable about Mars becoming a wasteland of ghouls--is not strong enough to redeem the outlandish main events. Long before the Nova heads home, most adult readers will have abandoned ship. (Feb.)
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