Marsbound : Marsbound

  • by Joe Haldeman
  • Narrated by Liza Kaplan
  • Series: Marsbound
  • 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A novel of the red planet from the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Accidental Time Machine and Old Twentieth.Young Carmen Dula and her family are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime - they're going to Mars. Once on the Red Planet, however, Carmen realizes things are not so different from Earth. There are chores to do, lessons to learn, and oppressive authority figures to rebel against.And when she ventures out into the bleak Mars landscape alone one night, a simple accident leads her to the edge of death, until she is saved by an angel - an angel with too many arms and legs, a head that looks like a potato gone bad, and a message for the newly arrived human inhabitants of Mars: We were here first.


What the Critics Say

"If there was a Fort Knox for the science fiction writers who really matter, we'd have to lock Haldeman up there." (Stephen King)
"Grade: A-. A solid piece of science fiction." (
"Top 10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2008" (Kansas City Star)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent story AND narration

If you could sum up Marsbound in three words, what would they be?

I love Joe Haldeman. The Forever War is one of my favorite sci-fi books ever. I listened to Starbound first, not realizing it was part of a trilogy. After finishing it, I HAD to start at the beginning of the trilogy,so got Marsbound. It is another excellent Haldeman story!

What does Liza Kaplan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She does a really great job of bringing Carmen to life. She sounds just the way I figured she'd sound at the age she is in this book.

Any additional comments?

Get the entire trilogy. It's an excellent read!

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- Gina A. Emory


"Marsbound" initially impressed me as a better than average YA sci-fi story; Carmen seemed at first an interesting character to get to know, and the structure of the story recalled many of the Heinlein YA stories that I cut my teeth on, many years ago. Around the time that Carmen was getting acclimated to Mars and Solingen kept getting nastier, I started to chafe at the lack of pace and coherence. I eventually persevered to the end, but by the time I finished it was more of a chore than a pleasure.

Perhaps had I read this book instead of listening to it, I'd have enjoyed it more. Kaplan's narration was just bad. I know I've been spoiled by narrators such as John Lee and the late, lamented Patrick Tull, but I had expected someone who is, after all, a voice actress to do a better job. Her "voice" for Carmen and the overall narration sounded like a child in elementary school reading a book in a sing-song (truly jarring when she was narrating a sex scene) and her voices for other females reminded me more of some anime characters I've heard. Really, really bad anime characters.

I don't recommend this book. For good YA titles, try John Marsden's "Tomorrow" series, or the YA books by Charles de Lint. For good YA sci-fi, Heinlein is dated, but still good. John Scalzi's "Zoe's Tale" is great. Take the money you would have spent on this book, and look for one of those instead.
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- Wes Parker

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-05-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios