cover image Martians Abroad

Martians Abroad

Carrie Vaughn. Tor, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8220-7

It’s not billed as a YA novel, but this SF tale from Vaughn (the Kitty Norville series) is unlikely to appeal to adults; the color-within-the-lines plot and young characters without any depth fail to create interest, much less sustain it. Sometime in the future, Polly Newton, a teenager who has grown up on Mars, finds her plans for a career as a pilot disrupted by her mother, Martha, the operations supervisor for Colony One. Martha has dictated that Polly and her twin brother, Charles, attend the Galileo Academy on Earth for three years, despite her daughter’s intense resistance to the idea. Once Polly arrives at the academy, she goes through the de rigueur cycle of feeling out of place, enduring romantic trouble, challenging authority, and getting an opportunity to demonstrate her courage and smarts. The introduction of a plot line suggesting that someone is trying to kill Polly and her colleagues fails to add excitement. (Jan.)