John L. Manning Jr.'s "The New Mars: The City Dome" is a fabrication of reality in every sense of the word. From living quarters to shopping centers to relationships, everything is copacetic. The plot follows three college students, their families, and their girlfriends. Initially on a vacation, they tour the Mars planet that has been newly developed for long term visitation. Basically, the characters serve as venues for the author to describe how each new structure in Mars is "cool." Pages are full of explanations as to what each place does and why it is important. There is not so much dialog, and the interactions between the characters are brief.
This book, like its predecessor, is very predictable. There is not really any mystery, and the whole story is expounding on what Mars is like. There is some Pod racing, but not as much as there was in the previous novel in the series. Most of the story is based on entertainment facilities and how fantastic they appear to be. There isn't really much scientific explanation given as to why the planet is inhabitable, but there are spare facts thrown in every ten pages or so. This book is more grammatically correct than its predecessor, but it still has vague associations with inappropriate behavior.
Vague encounters among couples and sparse drug reference
Reviewer Age: 17