Kids’ Book Review: Review: Mars Awakens


Dee was born on Mars, raised in the Davinci settlement. Food is scarce and doesn’t grow easily. But Davinci and its inhabitants have hope that phase 2 of the Mars mission will soon begin and supplies are on their way.

Dee is not so sure. It’s been so many years, and many generations have been born on Mars, their genes and abilities to cope with the harsh environment evolving with each child born. 

Dee just wants to focus on her work — gardening the craters to provide food for the settlement. She likes her work and her friends. She’s happy to get on with it. 
But when a strange object crashes into Mars not far from where Dee is working, everything changes.

Over at the Newton settlement, Holt sees the object crash land too. The Newtons don’t leave their settlement often, and when they do, they always wear protective gear for fear of the Mars environment. But the object must be investigated, and Holt is chosen to head out and find it.

So Dee from Davinci and Holt from Newton head towards the crash site, unaware of the intentions of the other. Dee isn’t even aware the Newton settlement exists, and Holt has been brought up to believe Davinci is filled with savages.

When they meet, there is fear on both sides, but when a new enemy reveals itself, Dee and Holt must learn to work together or everything and everyone they know will be destroyed.

Mars Awakens is a brilliant middle-grade sci-fi from H M Waugh. Thrilling and addictive, it explores themes like prejudice and adversity, all on the super cool setting of Mars. There are mysteries to solve, challenges to overcome and sacrifices to be made. It’s a book that makes you think about what you would do if you discovered a hard truth. What sacrifices would you make to save a friend (or maybe an enemy)?

Written in first person present tense, the book pulls you right up next to the characters. You also get to experience both sides of the fence, with some chapters written from Dee’s perspective and some from Holt’s.

If you love mystery, sci-fi, action and adventure, Mars Awakens is for you. It’s also book one in a duology, so there’s one more instalment to look forward to. 

Title: Mars Awakens
Author: H M Waugh
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $16.99
Publication Date: May 2022
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760526979
For ages: 10 – 14
Type: Middle-Grade Fiction



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