Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Dystopian Giveaway Hop - Saving Mars by Cidney Swanson

I am super excited about this hop because I love Dystopians and I love this one especially!

Blurb (from Goodreads):

When the food supply of Mars’ human settlement is decimated, seventeen-year-old Jessamyn Jaarda, the best pilot Mars Colonial has ever seen, flies to Earth to raid for food. Earth-Mars relations couldn’t be worse, and her brother is captured during the raid. Breaking rules of secrecy and no contact, Jess finds an ally in Pavel, nephew to a government official, but their friendship only makes more agonizing the choice before her: Save her brother or save her planet?

Saving Mars by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Saving Mars (Saving Mars 1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to the lovely Cidney Swanson.)
17-year-old Jessamyn Jaarda lives on Mars with her parents and older brother Ethan. It has been nearly 2 centuries since the initiative to populate Mars began, and a lot has changed in that time. The Earth has cut Mars off, and there is a treaty in place that means that Mars is to have zero contact with Earth.
The Marsians have been unable to produce an edible food source on Mars though, and with supplies running out they must journey to Earth secretly, to exchange trillium (a very expensive product found in abandon on Mars) for ration bars which the Marsians live on.

Jess has wanted all her life to be a pilot, and a trip to Earth is her ultimate dream, so when her pilot license is suspended, and her brother is going to Earth without her, she’s determined to find a way to get to Earth, and also a way to help her brother who shows signs of autism, and is also a geneius with technology.
Can Jess find a way to Earth? Can she get the ration bars that Mars is so desperate for? And can she get the Marsians back safely?

Wow! This book was really good! Jessamyn was such a strong character with a remarkable drive and determination to help her people. I totally loved her, and loved how she always strove to be the best at what she was doing, and never wanted to give up even when it seemed that all was lost.
Ethan (Jess’ brother) showed signs of autism, but was also incredibly intelligent, I like how this was woven into the story, and how Jess took time to help her brother through difficult moments. I think it’s inspiring to see an author writing characters who have ‘disabilities’ but work with them, rather than showing people with disabilities as being worthless.
There were also a lot of wonderful ideas about the future society of both Earth and Mars which were brilliant little touches. At one point I was so into the book that I had to remind myself that no, this wasn’t real, and no, I am not really a Marsian (I know – silly, but the book just had me totally hooked.)

The storyline had a bit of everything, and there was never a dull moment! There was sci-fi, dystopian societies, mystery, and even a bit of romance. I really loved the excitement and anticipation in this book! I was so on edge by the time I got towards the end of the book, and was desperate to know what would happen next!
Overall; a fantastic YA dystpian/ Sci-fi novel. Definitely one to watch out for!
9 out of 10.

(Amazon Prime members can read for free!) 

Interview with the author -

Cidney Swanson

Hi Cidney! Welcome to the Blog!

When did you start writing?

I was seven when I started writing stories, eight when I began my first novel. (I didn’t finish it.)

What was your inspiration for The ‘Saving Mars’ series?

Since before I was a teen, I’ve wanted to read books about a real, possible, life on Mars. With a girl as the hero! Eventually I think it occurs to every writer that they need to write that book they wish they could read.Then a couple of years ago I had this inkling of a question: How far would humans go to solve the perceived issue of “youth is wasted on the young”? Once I had an imagined answer to that question, I realized I had a perfect set of worlds with vast philosophical disagreements about what it meant to be human, to live a good life, and so on, and I knew I’d established the “world” for my Mars book. And then Jessamyn showed up, all fiery and red-headed and in love with flying fast, fast, fast!

What three words would you use to best describe The ‘Saving Mars’ series?

Conflict. Choice. Family.

What are your favourite things about Jessamyn?

I love how fearless she is. I love writing a flying scene from inside her head because she’s all, “Yes! Faster! This is freaking awesome!” I love how she notices beauty and it just stabs right through to her core even when she’s facing devastating loss or impossible odds. I love how fiercely she acts on her alter-abled brother’s behalf, and how some of the time she’s so busy trying to protect him that she doesn’t see he is really doing quite well on his own. I think love for our family members can make us really blind in areas like that.

Can you tell us what you’re working on at the moment?

Oh, that’s easy! I’m in final revisions on the next book in the series, of course!

Will we have to wait long for the next installment in this series?

Not too much longer. It will be out just before Christmas.

You also have another popular series about a girl who can ‘ripple’, could you tell us a bit about this series?

Absolutely! The Ripple Series is about a girl who can turn invisible, the boy she’s crushing on, and the neo-Nazi geneticist who is after them both. The story begins in central California, a beautiful part of that state that most people aren’t very familiar with. Of course, before long we are off to France, Italy, and lots of places! The heroine, Samantha, is quite different from Jess. Where Jess is just born brave, Sam had all of that ripped away from her when her mother was killed before her eyes. So Sam’s journey is one of building back those beliefs about herself and the possibility of safety, of love, of a future worth living.

Other than your own, what are your favourite books?

I love all the Laini Taylor and Maggie Stiefvater titles I’ve read. I like C.S. Lewis’s fiction. I adore Possession, but not all the A.S. Byatt I’ve read. Huge HP fan . . . Sara Zarr’s writing is passionate, honest, and frankly divine.

Random Questions
-          What’s your favourite treat?
Anything dark chocolate with a cuppa tea (white)!
-          What’s your Favourite place to read/write?
For reading, outside on a hot sunny day in this lounge chair I have by my teensy fake pond. Unfortunately it isn’t hot and sunny here much. For writing, I have a desk set up in a little-used part of the house. It is cozy!

-          If you won the lottery what would you most look forward to spending money on?
Traveling to places I haven’t seen and meeting people there and trying new foods and then putting it all into my stories!

-          If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would love to live in Montecito, California or Sonoma, California. They both have these gorgeous oaks and sunshine and manzanita. At least Sonoma has manzanita (a shrub with lots of mahogany colored branches that look like skin and small silvery-green leaves) although now I’m not sure if Montecito has manzanita or not. But Montecito has the ocean, so that works! I also have a strange interest in spending 6-12 months in Los Angeles someday. And I adore Somerset and Cornwall. Gosh, I’m terrible at limiting myself! I really need to win the lottery!

Find Cidney here:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4904826.Cidney_Swanson
Website: http://cidneyswanson.com/
Blog: http://cidneyswanson.com/blog
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cidney-Swanson/e/B005344OTQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1350135388&sr=8-2-ent
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cidneyswanson
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cidneyswanson
Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/cidneyswanson/

Thanks so much to Cidney for visiting the blog and for making this giveaway possible!


one lucky winner will win an ecopy of saving mars!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you! And yes I'm very interested! Definitely sounds awesome. : )

  2. Thanks so much for the chance to win. I love the sound of this book. Hope I win.

  3. Saving Mars sound really interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Thanks for posting this giveaway, I am following you via GFC. The interview was great.

    Fiction Playground

  5. Thanks for the chance to win this book. Sounds like a great book.

  6. SAVING MARS does look like a great read.

  7. It sounds really interesting. Thanks for this awesome giveaway! :)

  8. Thank you for taking the time to share with us today. I am looking forward to reading Saving Mars :)

  9. Hi Sarah Elizabeth and Cidney :D Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway :D Yes, I definitely love the concept :D I hope I win :D - Ara

  10. Thanks for the giveaway!!!:) Sounds really interesting:)

  11. Saving Mars sounds like an interesting good read. Thanks for sharing

  12. Thanks for the giveaway! I added Saving Mars on Goodreads--sounds interesting, even though space sort of freaks me out ;)

  13. This book sounds amazing! Thanks for the awesome giveaway

  14. Thanks to you both for the giveaway! Saving Mars sounds intriguing!

  15. Thank you Cidney! I think this book sounds really interesting and different since it's about Mars. I would love to read it! Thanks for the chance!

  16. Thanks Cidney! This book sounds unique and completely interesting! I'd love to win it! =)