Lost on Mars

Written by Paul Magrs

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LoveReading View on Lost on Mars

Shortlisted for the Steyning Grammar School Brilliant Book Awards 2016 

First in the acclaimed Lora trilogy. The sequel The Martian Girl published in September 2016. The last in the trilogy The Heart of Mars is out in March 2018. With the scale and scope of the great science fiction epics, Lost on Mars tells the story of Lora and her family, third generation human settlers on the red planet who are strugging to survive in incredible circumstances.

Paul sees Lost on Mars as a blend of the best of classic children’s fiction like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, and Golden Age space operas such as Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles. ‘I wanted to to make my own contribution to the children’s science fiction genre ... going back to elements in the books that I read as a child and celebrating them,’ he says.

Lost on Mars Synopsis

The family clings to life on a smallholding in the desert landscape, surviving storms and sinister rumours of unexplained disappearances - until one night Lora sees the Dancers. When her father and grandmother disappear themselves, Lora's family is driven out to seek a new life across the plains. But none of them are ready for what they find - the beautiful, dangerous City Inside.

Lost on 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 this title. 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.' 
  • Holly Wilkins, age 14 - ' Out of this world!'
  • Anastasia Abdian, age 13 - 'Lost On Mars is about a girl named Lora and her family that live on Mars in a small "town". There are mysterious disappearances occurring and her family must leave. I highly recommend this book.'

Lost on 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

'High adventure in a vast and hostile landscape, a spirited heroine and a coming of age journey ... beautifully written ... Paul Magrs has combined elements of the Western, Science Fiction and Fantasy to give us something new, exciting and very unsettling.'   Celia Rees

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781910080221
Publication date: 14/05/2015
Publisher: Firefly Press Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781910080221
Publication date: 14th May 2015
Author: Paul Magrs
Publisher: Firefly Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Science Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks
Other Categories: 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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