The Mars House: A Novel

By Natasha Pulley

Hardcover edition

Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing Imprint Bloomsbury USA (Adult) ISBN


The Mars House: A Novel


Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion,Language: Strong Language,Violence: Gun Violence

A compulsively readable queer sci-fi novel about a marriage of convenience between a Mars politician and an Earth refugee.

In the wake of an environmental catastrophe, January, once a principal in London's Royal Ballet, has become a refugee in Tharsis, the terraformed colony on Mars. There, January’s life is dictated by his status as an Earthstronger—a person whose body is not adjusted to lower gravity and so poses a danger to those born on, or naturalized to, Mars. January’s job choices, housing, and even transportation are dictated by this second-class status, and now a xenophobic politician named Aubrey Gale is running on a platform that would make it all worse: Gale wants all Earthstrongers to naturalize, a process that is always disabling and sometimes deadly.

When Gale chooses January for an on-the-spot press junket interview that goes horribly awry, January’s life is thrown into chaos, but Gale’s political fortunes are damaged, too. Gale proposes a solution to both their problems: a five year made-for-the-press marriage that would secure January’s future without naturalization and ensure Gale’s political success. But when January accepts the offer, he discovers that Gale is not at all like they appear in the press. They're kind, compassionate, and much more difficult to hate than January would prefer. As their romantic relationship develops, the political situation worsens, and January discovers Gale has an enemy, someone willing to destroy all of Tharsis to make them pay—and January may be the only person standing in the way.

Un-put-downably immersive and utterly timely, Natasha Pulley’s new novel is a gripping story about privilege, strength, and life across class divisions, perfect for readers of Sarah Gailey and Tamsyn Muir.

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Praise & Reviews

Library Journal

DEBUT Margot Murray, a marketing executive in London, agrees to her client Ben Gibson's offer to pose as a fake couple and spend the Christmas holiday with him and his family at their manor. Margot won't have to be alone on Christmas after a recent breakup with her girlfriend, while Ben won't have to answer a flurry of questions from his family about his love life. The plan hits a snag when Ellie, Ben's sister, becomes suspicious of Margot's intentions. Then Ellie finds out that Margot is also a lesbian and expresses her attraction to her, leading to midnight rendezvous between the two women. What is supposed to be a picture-perfect Christmas get-together, however, is overtaken by misunderstandings as the Gibsons reveal their struggles to one another and Margot processes the effects of an abusive previous relationship. How much longer Ben and Margot can keep up with their fake relationship depends on how well Margot and Ellie maintain their secret relationship—or risk something real. VERDICT Samuels's debut will appeal to readers looking for a quick, lighthearted story filled with cozy romantic tropes.—Michelle Mistalski

Adult Crossover Thrillers Plus (Grades 11 & Up)

Adult Crossover Thrillers Plus

Adult Crossover Thrillers Plus (Grades 11 & Up)

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