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NO WAY ****

Written by S.J. Morden.

Published by Gollancz. Paperback, 371 pages, Out Now.

 

In 2018s ONE WAY, Frank Kittridge along with eight other prisoner astronauts were sent to Mars by corporate giant XO to build NASA's first base.  The deal was once completed, they would all be returned to earth and freedom. The choice between twenty-odd years in jail or a journey to the red planet and freedom didn't need thinking about twice. It was a no-brainer. XO had other plans though.

 

NO WAY takes up from where ONE WAY ended. Frank is now alone. The base was meant to be assembled by robots.  To make the contract more profitable XO sent Frank and the others to do the job.  Once done they had planned to cover up the goings on by killing the prisoners and hiding the evidence.

 

After having to fight for his life he wants to get home, so has no choice but to work with XO taking on the identity of Brack, the corporate minder who was meant to be the survivor of the mission.

 

The story moves like a train, but Morden also takes time to allow us to find out more about Frank his past and how he ended up where he is. Unknown to Frank he is not alone though. XO in a blatant land grab sent a second secret mission which hasn't fared as well.

 

Had the penny dropped that No WAY was the sequel to ONE WAY, which I wasn't the world's biggest fan of, when the offer of the book came in I would have said thank you but no thank you. I'm glad I didn't. Morden has moved up a gear with NO WAY, ratcheting proceedings up with edge of your seat tension and action.  I'm not the world's fastest reader. I will often take several weeks to get through a book. I prefer audiobooks. I know its lazy, but I couldn't put NO WAY down.  I churned through this in under a week. One day even parking myself on a bench at a central London station for 30 mins till I got to the end of a particular gripping chapter.

 

A very satisfying read.

 

Ian Rattray.

 

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