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In the Shadow of Ares

Amber's Mars: Book 1

Thomas L. James
Carl C. Carlsson

The third exploration mission to Mars vanishes in 2029 without a trace. Two decades later, the success of human settlement of Mars and the life of a young girl hinge on the secret of what happened to the Ares III mission...

In 2051, Mars is a growing outpost of humanity, and 14-year-old settler Amber Jacobsen is a minor interplanetary celebrity - 'the First Kid on Mars'. But pioneering is hardly glamorous work,and Amber wishes she were just an ordinary girl living on Earth.

When the Jacobsen homestead is destroyed in an apparent accident, they relocate to an independent settlement in Noctis Labyrinthus, a vast and largely unexplored canyonland. Their new home promises new opportunities, and Amber looks forward to being just an ordinary member of the community. Instead, the other settlers dismiss her as a burdensome child and refuse to accept her as the responsible young adult she has become.

To prove the value of her skills and unique perspective, Amber vows to uncover the fate of the Ares III mission, whose loss has largely been forgotten during the Martian settlement boom. This seemingly harmless challenge thrusts her into a deadly conflict: those who know the truth will kill to keep it hidden, while others would use the secret to secure their dominance over all of Mars.

In solving the mystery, Amber could destroy everything the Martian settlers have worked to create.