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The Heart of Mars

Written by Paul Magrs

Part of the The Lora Trilogy Series

Adventure Stories Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Recommended Children's eBooks Science Fiction

LoveReading View on The Heart of Mars

In a Nutshell: Martian odyssey meets classic quest 

Ingeniously inventive, involving and wildly witty, this thrilling finale of the Lora Trilogy is sci-fi, but not as you know it…

Having suffered and survived the perils of the inhospitable Martian prairie, Lora and Peter must find the Ancient Heart of Mars. But, as Toaster, Lora’s walking, talking sunbed, remarks, “Going to meet these so-called Ancient Ones might be the most hazardous adventure we have embarked on yet.” Toaster’s certainly right on that front, and he might also hold the key to saving them. This flamboyant fusion of science fiction and classic adventure contains more sparks and surprises than a box of fireworks. It’s a rousing epic underpinned by playfulness, and a drive to do the right thing in even the most difficult of circumstances. It’s also a genuine, 100%-certified crossover that will delight a vast spectrum of readers.  Joanne Owen


The Heart of Mars Synopsis

Lora faces a dramatic final battle between the Ancient Heart of Mars, which holds her family prisoner, a repository of all the life force of the planet, and the Hybrids of the City Inside. Both claim they are on the side of the humans and the Ancients have the power to restore their starships to working order, if they can only learn the secret of star-flight. Reunited with her family but caught in the middle of the conflict, will Lora decide to stay on Mars or leave forever? And what part has their ancient robot, Toaster, still to play in the fate of the red planet?

The Heart of Mars Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review the first title in the series, Lost On Mars. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Isaac, age 14 - 'This book has made space exploration dreams become a reality... I would put this book towards ages of 12+ and its perfect for those who enjoy thriller, adventure and action books.'
  • Rosa Boran - 'Lost On Mars by Paul Magrs is an interesting novel. It is a cross between ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and a modern science fiction story...An exciting and unique adventure story.'
  • Emily Kirby, age 13 - 'I thought the book had a great story line that was inventive with a few twists and turns.'
  • Mia Emery - Dormston Secondary School- 'Overall I find this book interesting and clever as it made me wonder what living on Mars would really be like and whether this could actually happen one day in our future.' 

The Heart of Mars Press Reviews

Praise for Lost on Mars:

'wondrous, strange and satisfying.' 4 stars, SFX

'a novel that shares many of Doctor Who’s qualities – an extraterrestrial setting, alien characters, mind-bending mysteries – while being rooted in classic children’s literature ... Lora is a beautifully realised protagonist: complex and convincing. Almost anything could be going on, and Magrs keeps us guessing with expert skill ... much to offer all readers of children’s and YA literature, as well as adult science fiction.' SF Said, The Guardian 

'It's FANTASTIC, it's BRILLIANT, it's certainly strange and the plot will hit you in both the gut and the heart at the same time. It's thought provoking and very surreal … the more that I read, the more that I fell in love with this book… This is easily my favourite read of the year. It is a cracking space odyssey for the Young Adult audience and beyond. A unique outlook all wrapped in a disturbing fight for survival against a bleak and desolate landscape.'   Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books   

'Lost on Mars left me feeling very scared, but determined to find out what happens next' The Bookwitch

'Paul Magrs’ Lost on Mars is a wonderfully written sci-fi adventure about a pioneer family on the desert plains of the red planet, a terrifying, inhospitable world of massive dust storms. Then the Disappearances begin. Grandma is taken and all that is left is her cybernetic leg. Completely irresistible.' Patricia Duncker, selected as one of The Best Summer Reads' for The Independent   

'Funny, scary, and like Ray Bradbury crossed with Laura Ingalls Wilder, it will appeal to boys and Doctor Who fans.' Amanda Craig, selected as one of The Best Summer Reads' for The Independent   

'The manner in which the conventions of the adventure story and those of science fiction can be made to coalesce convincingly is much in evidence in Paul Magrs’s Lost on Mars … Some of the novel’s set pieces and cameo sketches are highly diverting, helping to create a fiction which is at once epic in its ambition and entertaining in its execution – and not without its darker moments.' One of Robert Dunbar’s favourite books for 2015 for children, teenagers and young adults for The Irish Times   

'You can see that Paul Magrs, the author of several Doctor Who books, is comfortable writing about a vivid extraterrestrial setting, and this gripping sci-fi thriller is set on a futuristic Mars. The story is bold and you have to love a chapter that opens with the words: "It was late in our Martian autumn when we were allowed to hold the funeral for Grandma's leg." Lora, stubborn and complex, is at the heart of this first part of a trilogy about third-generation settlers on the desolate red planet. There's also a likeable and talkative robot called Toaster. It's also a novel about alienation. But watch out for the Martian flesh-eaters.' One of Martin Chilton's Best YA Books of 2015 for The Telegraph

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781910080580
Publication date: 15/03/2018
Publisher: Firefly Press Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781910080580
Publication date: 15th March 2018
Author: Paul Magrs
Publisher: Firefly Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 244 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Family / Home Stories, Science Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Paul Magrs

In 1975 he and his family moved to Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. In 1988 he began to study English at Lancaster University. He obtained a first class BA degree in 1991. He then studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Out of this came Does It Show?. From 1992 to 1995 he was at Lancaster University working on his PhD on Angela Carter as a Queer Writer. In 1995 he moved to Edinburgh to write full-time. His first published writing was the short story Patient Iris. In 1997 he moved to Norwich to take up a post of full time lecturer at the ...

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