A creepy, satisfying tale of horror. One of Christopher Pike’s best.
Dr. Lauren Wagner is one of the crew of the Nova, a manned mission into space, specifically, to explore Mars. A Russian crew already tried, but have been given up for dead, so it’s up to the crew of the Nova to find out what happened, and why.
Lauren leaves behind her boyfriend (you never quite understand why she’s with him… he’s a wet rag) and her lovely sister. They live out in the backwoods of Wyoming. Jennifer (her sister) is a troubled young soul but deeply beautiful and old beyond her years.
When Lauren and the crew (which includes Gary, a sexy Pilot whom Lauren has a mad crush on) arrive on Mars, shit starts to go down. First of all, one of the cosmonauts is “alive” but anyone with a brain could tell you he’s been drinkin’ blood to stay that way. He leads them on a path into the darkness, taking them into the depths of the red planet to a cave and a lake that will give you nightmares of the blackest kind.
Although some of the astronauts make it home, they can never quite reach Earth again. Not in the same way.
Sad, horrifying, gross. This is a great book, but the ending is haunting and indeed, Mars doesn’t look quite so beautiful against the night sky after reading.