Winner of Hugo and John W. Campbell awards.
This is the third/last book in the series. Reading this book without the previous 2 can be challenging.
In this volume, we have an
independent Mars both working on its internal matters and interacting with
humanity elsewhere in the solar system. There are actually parts of the book
involved with new settlements on a number of planets and moons.
There seems to be a different
sense of the characters' experiences. There are things to do, questions to
consider, points to worry about; but not quite in the same way. Or maybe it
just seems that way because we have a longer stretch of time here (over 100
years) - and there are situations when the book skips over a period of years.
Or maybe Robinson is trying hardest to smooth interpersonal issues - as the
societies and worlds developing have too long a history ahead of them for good
As always, there are lots of
ideas: the environments changes on Earth, possible constructed habitats on
various worlds, kinds of governments, interplanetary relations, other
sciences... It's a lengthy book.
As in the first 2 volumes,
the book is divided into sections seen from the vantage point of different
characters. And perhaps we get more involved in this than before.
Some of the old issues remain.
Most people living on Mars do want it to be terraformed, but there are still
some "Reds" advocating a more Martian environment.
This isn't such a good choice
for a novel to be read by itself. The question is what you thought of the
first 2 volumes and whether they've made you interested in getting another
large installment in the series.