An Amazon best-selling adventure-thriller with a touch of sci-fi
For two million years, Mars has hidden a secret. Two hours ago, the Mars Curiosity rover found it. With less than a year to prepare, four modern-day astronauts are asked to leave their families behind and risk their lives on what will become the most dangerous mission humanity has ever launched. Will the Red Planet give up its real secret before the astronauts run out of time?
About Red Hope:
Red Hope is the first book of a fast-paced two-novel series. It has an entertaining ending with a mild cliffhanger leading into the second book, which is being written right now. Red Hope is intended for a general audience - you won't need a calculator or a slide rule to enjoy this adventure!
©2014 John J. Dreese (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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"One of the best Mars novels I've read."
I'm a sucker for novels about Mars. I thought John did a great job at writing a story that was fast paced, descriptive, and captivated my love of adventure and exploration. It wasn't filled with huge scientific ideas, or techno-babble. Don't get me wrong, I love hard sci-fi, but sometimes the super heavy science jargon gets in the way of the plot, and the character development. That certainly wasn't the case here. I enjoyed all the characters, and felt their motivations and actions were believable in their situations.
I don't want to give out any spoilers, but there was a point where you find out some more information after someone's death that really made an impact on me.
Without giving any spoilers away, there was a scene that involved an argument between two people that ended badly. Trying to put myself in that situation was hard.
There are a couple of twists in this book that really had me going "oh shit, that's crazy".There are some death scenes which are hard to think about after getting all the information later on in the novel.
I bought this on impulse just by searching for novels on Mars. I thought the summary sounded really awesome, and just went for it. I'm so glad I did. This is definitely one of the best novels on Mars that I've come across. I've been recommending it to all my friends. You really need to check this one out.
"A Sci-Fi Mystery"
Red Hope was written if a hard science fiction, a normal sci-fi, and a mystery book all had a baby together. There were definitely parts of hard sci-fi in this with some of the descriptions of the propulsion, the world that they find, and just the everyday life of the scientists on Mars. The regular "old school" sci-fi was the premise and the struggles that the astronauts and scientists were going through. The mystery part was the most intriguing. Sure, any science fiction can have mystery in it, but this whole book was shrouded in it.
I did enjoy it, it wasn't as tech savvy as The Martian, or as wonderfully as some thrillers or mysteries that I usually read, but it was still a really enjoyable book. Enjoyable enough that I definitely want to figure out what happens in the next book.
The narration, done by Bob Reed was good. He reminds me of a voice that I know from Hollywood but I can't place the name even though I can see his face. (I wanna say he was bigger in the 80's but that doesn't really help much here). Regardless, Reed does a really nice job with Red Hope -- helping move the story along nicely.
I have a bit of a spoiler question that I will attempt to write without spoiling anything. Dear Mr. Dreese -- unless there is a lot more explanation in the second book, why was the extra thing included on the ISS there (and that whole random plot-line there?) Seriously, it felt so completely out of place with the entire rest of the story. I was a little worried the entire book was going to take a weird turn from that point on.
Overall, Red Hope was good. I definitely enjoyed reading it and will check out the next book if it's released on audio.
I received this book for free. The gifting of it has not affected my review in any way.
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"A fun, fast-paced story"
I'd recommend this for anyone looking for a fun science-fiction story. Lots of adventure and twists/turns.
My hope was that I would enjoy this book but what was delivered was one that I could not put down.
Excellent storytelling, interesting characters... Simply refreshing.
Interesting quick read. no real depth to the story or characters.
"Dreese leaves nothing to chance"
What happens when you have a president seeking re-election, an egotistical rich entrepreneur, a Russian Paleontologist and two “not top of the rung” astronauts with everything to lose? A disaster of epic proportions!
The Mars Rover discovers a secret that the red planet has held for thousands of years. In a bid for re-election, the president promises a trip to Mars in an unheard of time frame. Rich CEO Murch has the equipment to get the astronauts to Mars within the time frame but with one condition. Astronaut Adam leaves his family behind so the money he will make from speaking engagements can provide his wife with the experimental surgery that may help her walk again. The other two astronauts - Molly and Yeva – well, they just try to do their jobs.
John Dreese builds a strong story around doing the right thing, the right way. Unfortunately, none of the characters do the right thing, the right way – rather they become the catalyst for nothing less than disaster.
The character development is rich and vivid; one cannot help but admire Adam at first but then he becomes one of the distasteful ones like the President and the CEO Murch. If one of these three had just done their job the right way and did the right thing, perhaps life on Mars would have been different.
Dreese builds the excitement slowly but steady, he leaves nothing to chance and nothing is left hanging. He provides closure to everything and everyone while still managing to leave a cliffhanger that will have you holding your breath!
There were points in the story where I know I shook my head because I couldn’t believe what was going on; it was realistic yet one could see the common sense of the astronauts leaping through the window.
The book was an easy listen with the correct amount of suspense and “OMG, no he didn’t” type of action. Exciting and shocking, this audio is excellent. This is a book for everyone – it is not just science fiction but romance, horror, drama and so much more rolled into one.
Bob Reed performed the narration perfectly with the right amount of inflection and excitement. He expressed the emotions of each character well. His voice was soothing and smooth.
There were no issues with the audio production of this audiobook.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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"A little basic research would have helped ..."
An interesting idea - a surprising discovery prompts an emergency trip to Mars by 4 astronauts including one Russian and one American businessman who won't let NASA use his rockets unless he goes. Perhaps a bit far-fetched, but OK, I can suspend belief enough for this. I can even handle the little romance between two of the travelers, although one would have thought that NASA might have caught on and kicked one of them off the trip. My big problem has to do with the whole carbon dating thing.
Does the author not know that carbon dating depends upon the percentage of carbon-12 and carbon-14 in the atmosphere and that there is no reason to believe that those percentages would have been the same on Mars as on Earth? If they did not know surely the engineers and scientists back on Earth would have known so the idea of making decisions based on such a flimsy piece of evidence seemed unreasonable to me. The author could have taken the basic idea of this book (which is interesting, even if done before in other sci-fi books) and found other scientific basis for the actions that everyone takes.
Still, the book is interesting and the idea that there are no monsters on Mars to threaten them or any falling comets to destroy all of their equipment is refreshing. Basically the characters are decent people, their actions reasonable based on their premises (even if the premises are a bit unrealistic) and I am interested in what is going to happen in the second book. While I have read far better books I have also read far worse ones, so I may buy the second book in the series when it is published.
"Childish, I'll thought out and disappointing"
While the premise of the story is promising, the implementation is childish and not well formed. The characters and their interaction is unrealistic, and the story plot is full of holes. The story makes huge leaps and bounds, jumping from plot line to new plot line without ever fully exploring each item or reaching any conclusions. Very disappointing read.
struggled to finish.. not worth the time. adolescent story. performance probably a result oft the material.
The story is too far fetched. I would hope that NASA would plan better for contingencies.
"More Mars, Less Earth Please ..."
Red Hope is an interesting story and like others before in the genre,
tantalizes the reader with the evidence of intelligent life having existed
on Mars at some distant past time. Ben Bova's series of Mars stories deals
with the same issues as for those interested in Mars related fiction that
haven't read his books they are a worthy read. Red Hope has that bang up to
date contemporary feel of a recently written book and so paints a picture
of everyday life that people will feel familiar with.
The narrator is a new one to me and is competent and fluid in his rendering
of the story. In the early stages of the book though, I did think his
reading of narrative sections was a little too fast. He is able to portray a
range of accents but when not having to differentiate characters in that way
and dealing with those of the same sex, I did find that, for example, the
male Americans pretty much sounded the same as did the female Americans.
Only those with a Russian or Texas twang had more distinct voices. I also
felt that the narrator, though very good on the whole, didn't have the
gravitas in his voice to convey the danger, mystery and wonder of some of the
book that I felt was needed. I smiled to myself thinking at one point how
his youthful and enthusiastic voice would lend itself to a character in a Scooby Do cartoon
or something similarly lightweight. That's not to say that the narrator was
in any way a poor one, just perhaps not the best for this type of material.
Still, he gave the prose a flowing and natural reading without any pauses or
other unneeded breaks in the rhythm.
The author did manage to give the reader a series of unpredictable
occurrences and I was surprised at how things turned out so full marks for
that. I did, however, feel that not enough time was spent painting a picture
of life on Mars so that the reader was immersed in the inherent dangers of
the alien environment. This is where I think Bova did a better job in
bringing Mars to the reader. This Mars novel seems more to be a story
platform rather than the setting.
Red Hope is the first of a two part series and so we are left with a cliff
hanger of sorts that will make anyone who liked this story want to get the
concluding part. I am also left wondering just how much the red planet will
figure in the follow up to this story given the circumstances leading to the
end of this book..
Red Hope shows its more contemporary feel in the way it places its key characters in more dire situations than perhaps those in Ben Bova's Mars books but I'd have to say that I prefer Bova's series because it places the reader onto that alien planet in a more immersive way and spends more of his books in that environment than this one does which gets the reader there in perhaps the final third.
"A great idea ruined"
The subject material for this book suggests many great story scenarios, but on this occasion, the author has written it in an immature, childish style, forgetting that even science fiction has to be vaguely plausible. It is an entertaining yarn, as long as the listener doesn't think too much about the details.
I understand that this book, (Red Hope) is book 1 of a series; the only way I shall try any subsequent efforts, will be by accident.
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