The Prairie Martian was, in short, a lot better than I thought it would be.
When I picked up the book, the cover didn’t inspire me, and the first chapter didn’t catch me immediately. The prose seemed overly windy and drawn out. But when the moody narration of the book set into its groove, time began to fly by, and before I knew it I had consumed a third of the tale. The pacing drew me in, and not a chapter went by without something happening that made me wonder what was next.
The Prairie Martian advertises as Science Fiction, but it is also a Western, a Mystery, and most importantly, a slice of life story. The elements of all the characters’ lives are bound seamlessly into one another, and watching the unfolding of day-to-day life in New Halchita is entertaining, even though I was not emotionally attached to many of the characters. The greatest feat of this story is how it takes those elements of everyday life in a dangerous prairie and weaves each one into the plot. Though there were entire chapters devoted to someone’s daily life or romantic escapades, each piece contributed to the whole.
The story wouldn’t make much sense if you even removed the most trivial chapter.
So buy this book if you like a good mystery, if you like stories to unfold where all of the pieces come together, and if you like science fiction worlds that make pretty good sense. This story is written exactly as it needs to be to do what it wants to do.
Don’t buy this book if you’re looking for an epic, grandiose adventure, or a close-knit story focused on one character. The Prairie Martian emulates a town, connects many intimate plots, and leaves the reader satisfied with an ending that sums it all up.