On average, I enjoyed Green Mars more than I had enjoyed Red Mars. The latter half of Red Mars had a chaotic mish-mash of major events happening at a large variety of places to a large variety of people. There were so many things going on that I didn’t really feel invested in any of it. This book, on the other hand, felt more focused even though events were occurring on an equally large scale. I cared more about what was happening, and about the characters.
I also thought the characters in this book seemed more likeable, or at least more sympathetic. As with the first book, this book was split up into sections which were each told from the perspective of a different character. There were a couple new characters who I liked quite a bit. One was (sort of) the offspring of the first 100 from the previous book. Another was a new arrival from Earth. But most of the book, particularly in the second half, still took place from the perspective of members of the first 100. We finally got to know Sax in this book, and we came to understand Maya a little better. There was also finally some closure to part of Frank’s story from the previous book.
This book didn’t contain as much excessive description as the previous book, but it wasn’t entirely absent either. It depended on which character’s perspective we were reading from. As with the previous book, I was still impressed by the way the author handled perspectives. There was a clear difference in the way each character viewed the world, themselves, and the other characters, and there was a different tone based on whose perspective we were reading from. When we were in Sax’s perspective, for example, he spent a lot of time noticing, thinking about, and analyzing various species of lichen. I found this realistic, because I’m sure a real person with Sax’s background and in Sax’s situation really would spend that much time thinking about lichen. However, as a reader who doesn’t care that much about lichen, I sometimes got exasperated with it.
Even though I enjoyed this book reasonably well, I think this is where I’m going to get off the train. I’m not enjoying the series well enough to plow through the last 800-page book and I’m ready to move on to something else. However, I was pretty happy with where this book ended. There’s clearly more story to be told, but I could easily be content with ending the story here.