My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas, is a tantalizing and illuminating look at what it means to be truly human. Surely we have seen movies, read books of other beings who may be human because of certain qualities, but once you’ve read about the Blue Hearts which are perfect, beautiful androids who reside on Mars- you could then sympathize with the protagonist, Retta and see that the book is about more than handsome androids. It is about the soul. It is about culture. It is about love no matter the cost.
Retta resides in New Helsinki on Mars. Things have gotten really bad one Earth and androids were sent out to Mars to settle the places there, make it habitable for humans. Some of the cities on Mars under the dome resemble those on Earth- like New Helsinki and New Tokyo.
But the most forbidden zone is falling in love with a blue heart- which is exactly what Retta does when she meets Hemingway. The blond, perfect specimen likes her as well and so begin their trial of love when parents, friends, and the government frown upon the union. Who is ablue heart? How can one tell? Retta finds herself saying over and over,
Would this type of thinking never end? “They have souls. You know they do. Isn’t it the soul that determines what is alive and what is not?”(p.237).
The reader will adjust somehow to the colonies but will more likely be interested in how Retta and Hemingway will get out of their jams. One can not help but think, this can be a fictional study of how race or culture does not matter, but what about robots? If you ask Retta, Hemingway is certainly no hunk of metal…just a hunk with pretty eyes who loves her back.
The ebb and flow of the story hinges upon scenery and dialogue. Picture the red planet, under a glass dome with gardens and springs and sky rise buildings. Then picture New Tokyo where Retta and Hemingway ride their bike and go to the festivities. It is a feast of words and worlds.
Blue Hearts of Mars is not a bad read at all. In fact, it is a nice diversion from many other well told stories available. It is a getaway to another planet where teens still have raging hormones and people continue to have their prejudices.
*This book was received for my unbiased review from Netgalley.