Maybe his brains will finally get him out of prison.
When Ephesus, a talented young scientist, is personally summoned to Mars to work for a prestigious governor, he thinks he may have found his ticket to freedom. His enigmatic new boss, Dr. Nic, promises to transport Ephesus's family to Mars if Ephesus can provide the equation needed to complete an important project. With his family still imprisoned on Earth for religious freedom, this seems like a favorable arrangement. But when the project becomes progressively more sinister -- and Dr. Nic refuses to answer questions -- Ephesus begins to wonder if the offer is too good to be true.
Alternating between Ephesus's and Dr. Nic's point of view, "Project 74" tells the story of the deception and heartbreak that led into "Red Rain", the debut novel by author Aubrey Hansen.
I don't recall how long it's been since I read Aubrey Hansen's novella Red Rain, but I do remember enjoying it enough that I read it twice by myself, and once with my sister.
I was really excited when she published it's prequel, Project 74. Happily I was able to snag a free review copy!
I enjoyed it, but I definitely think it was far too short. I think it would have benefitted from being longer and fleshing out the characters, especially Ephesus', more. Ephesus wasn't quite conflicted enough about the Big Choice he had to make; with more space, I think his internal conflict could have been shown better.
I have to say that I loved the chapters from Dr. Nic's perspective! You never got to see this side of him in Red Rain: he's a sociopath-leaning-towards-psychopath, ready to go to (almost) whatever lengths it takes to be in power (although his scruples against killing more people than necessary didn't seem in character for him). He's extremely cool and calculating and I would love to read more from his perspective, which I think is possible when the sequel to Red Rain comes out (Crook Q).
So, to sum up, I liked it, but I think it could (and should) have been longer so the characters could be better developed.
Oh, and definitely read Red Rain first, because I think it helps with getting what's going on better :)
Book Link - Project 74
Website Link - Aubrey Hansen