The Strange by Nathan Ballingrud
A March 2023 Read This Next! Title
The Wild West meets Mars in this science fiction page-turner! 14-year-old Annabelle Crisp is one of a group of settlers from Earth who’ve formed a colony called New Galveston. The tough, lawless residents are presumably abandoned on Mars, as nobody has heard from Earth in years. The Silence, as they call it, has cut off supplies, news from Earth and, sadly for Annabelle, her mother. Then Silas Bundt and his gang show up to her father’s diner and steal the cylinder with her mother’s voice- her last remaining object of remembrance. Annabell is a feisty protagonist who is on a quest of revenge, travelling across Mars to reclaim the cylinder. She is accompanied by a sketchy group of partners, and an Engine named Watson. Dangers abound in the form of War Engines, ghosts and other settlers who have been taken over by “The Strange.” I enjoyed this page-turner in a genre that I only occasionally read!
The Strange by Nathan Ballingrud, (List Price: $27.99, Gallery, Saga Press, 9781534449954, March 2023)
Reviewed by Lisa Uotinen, Book No Further in Roanoke, Virginia