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Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn {4 Stars}

Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn {4 Stars}

Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn
Published by Tor Books on January 17th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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A great new stand-alone science fiction novel from the author of the Kitty Norville series.

Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly's plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.

Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there's more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

4 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of Martians Abroad from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.


  • Polly is a heroine I just have to love. She has problems doing what she is supposed to and just can’t help pushing the boundaries but also holds to a strict internal honor. She is brave without trying to be and just wants to do well and be a pilot. Her love of spaceships reminds me very strongly of my love of science so I felt instantly connected.
  • I quite liked Polly’s brother, Charles, despite him being not the most likable person. I guess really I liked their relationship. They are twins because they were taken out of cold storage at the same time and raised at the same time by their mother. Their relationship is lacking in twin telepathy, much to Polly’s annoyance, but they care about each other when it counts.
  • Due to the short length, this is a very light and fun sci-fi read. The pacing is quick and doesn’t get bogged down by too much setup. It’d be a great sci-fi for people just getting started with the genre.
  • Despite the lack of extended explanations of sci-fi technology, some of the things brought up in Martians Abroad I hadn’t read about before in quite the same way. The main thing is that the Martians and other non-Earth born students have a very different body morphology than the Earthlings and they have to deal with adapting to Earth gravity. It added a nice extra layer of sci-fi that I feel like authors generally try to skip over.


  • I wanted more pretty much all around. The book was so short and I felt like there was a lot that should have been developed more. I wanted a much stronger character arc for Charles and his relationship with Polly and more intrigue when it came to the strange accidents. It felt more like a single episode on a television show than a novel at the end.
  • Polly really doesn’t feel like a ‘Polly’ to me. Just never jived with my impression of her….


Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn

© 2017, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. The more I hear about this the more interested I am. It sounds so fun! It sounds like the sort of sci-fi that won’t leave me scratching my head at least.
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