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Lost on Mars

by Paul Magrs

Published May 2015

£7.99 Buy now from the Firefly BuzzShop

‘Paul Magrs writes with such joy and honesty.’ Russell T. Davies

First in the acclaimed Lora trilogy. The sequel The Martian Girl published in September 2016. The last in the trilogy The Heart of Mars is out in March 2018.

Shortlisted for the Steyning Grammar School Brilliant Book Awards 2016

With the scale and scope of the great science fiction epics, Lost on Mars tells the story of Lora and her family, settlers on the red planet struggling to survive in incredible circumstances. The family clings to life on a smallholding, surviving storms and sinister rumours of people disappearing – until one night Lora sees the Dancers. When her father and grandmother disappear, Lora and her family are driven out to seek a new life across the plains. But none of them are ready for what they find – the beautiful, dangerous City Inside. 

Paul is the author of five Doctor Who novels, as well as Exchange (Book Trust Teen Book Award shortlist, Carnegie longlist) and Diary of a Dr Who Addict (Leeds Book Prize shortlist) among many others. 

Paul sees Lost on Mars as a blend of the best of classic children’s fiction like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, and Golden Age space operas such as Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.

 ‘I wanted to to make my own contribution to the children’s science fiction genre ... going back to elements in the books that I read as a child and celebrating them,’ he says.

Praise for Lost on Mars:

'wondrous, strange and satisfying.' 4 stars, SFX

'a novel that shares many of Doctor Who’s qualities – an extraterrestrial setting, alien characters, mind-bending mysteries – while being rooted in classic children’s literature ... Lora is a beautifully realised protagonist: complex and convincing. Almost anything could be going on, and Magrs keeps us guessing with expert skill ... much to offer all readers of children’s and YA literature, as well as adult science fiction.' SF Said, The Guardian

'It's FANTASTIC, it's BRILLIANT, it's certainly strange and the plot will hit you in both the gut and the heart at the same time. It's thought provoking and very surreal … the more that I read, the more that I fell in love with this book… This is easily my favourite read of the year. It is a cracking space odyssey for the Young Adult audience and beyond. A unique outlook all wrapped in a disturbing fight for survival against a bleak and desolate landscape.' Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books

 

'This is not just a YA novel but an existential exploration of being a stranger in a strange land … I enjoyed getting caught up in their troubles and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.' SFCrowsnest 

 

'Not only is this a great story, it harks back to other great stories and sets itself up in the grand literary cannon of our times.' 4 stars, Strange and Random Happenstance

 

'Lost on Mars left me feeling very scared, but determined to find out what happens next' The Bookwitch

 

'Paul Magrs’ Lost on Mars is a wonderfully written sci-fi adventure about a pioneer family on the desert plains of the red planet, a terrifying, inhospitable world of massive dust storms. Then the Disappearances begin. Grandma is taken and all that is left is her cybernetic leg. Completely irresistible.' Patricia Duncker, selected as one of The Best Summer Reads' for The Independent

 

'Funny, scary, and like Ray Bradbury crossed with Laura Ingalls Wilder, it will appeal to boys and Doctor Who fans.' Amanda Craig, selected as one of The Best Summer Reads' for The Independent

 

'The manner in which the conventions of the adventure story and those of science fiction can be made to coalesce convincingly is much in evidence in Paul Magrs’s Lost on Mars … Some of the novel’s set pieces and cameo sketches are highly diverting, helping to create a fiction which is at once epic in its ambition and entertaining in its execution – and not without its darker moments.' One of Robert Dunbar’s favourite books for 2015 for children, teenagers and young adults for The Irish Times
 
'You can see that Paul Magrs, the author of several Doctor Who books, is comfortable writing about a vivid extraterrestrial setting, and this gripping sci-fi thriller is set on a futuristic Mars. The story is bold and you have to love a chapter that opens with the words: "It was late in our Martian autumn when we were allowed to hold the funeral for Grandma's leg." Lora, stubborn and complex, is at the heart of this first part of a trilogy about third-generation settlers on the desolate red planet. There's also a likeable and talkative robot called Toaster. It's also a novel about alienation. But watch out for the Martian flesh-eaters.' One of Martin Chilton's Best YA Books of 2015 for The Telegraph