The Lora Trilogy
By Paul Magrs
Lost on Mars: 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.
The Martian Girl: Apparently safe in the City Inside, Lora becomes suspicious of its human/Martian authorities. But then she gets the chance to join their expedition to the Martian plains to find Grandma’s friend Ruby, survivor of the old Earth starships. When their flying saucer crash-lands Lora must lead on through deadly adventures. They find Ruby but she’s changed, and admits to abandoning Lora’s Ma and sister Hannah to an ancient and dangerous Martian spirit. Horrified, Lora sets out again, to try to save her family.
The Heart of Mars: After trekking the Martian deserts and battling against many dangers, Lora and Peter bravely set off to find the Ancient Heart of Mars and rescue Ma and Hannah. But warned by Sook, Lora discovers that the Ancients, who seem friendly, are actually the group mind of the burning heart of Mars itself. They have been disturbed by the human settlers … and they want the ten Earth starships for themselves. Can their allies reach them in time? Or does Toaster, Lora’s faithful walking talking sunbed have the answers that may yet save them all…?
Praise for the book
Shortlisted for the Steyning Grammar School Brilliant Book Awards 2016
‘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