4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I always look for the red dot that is Mars in the sky when it is clear. It seems quite peaceful there, so why it ever became the God of War in the Roman Empire is a bit of a mystery to me. Even though it looks peaceful now it had an equally tumultuous beginning as Earth did during its formation.

There is a renewed interest in the planet too, there have been a number of probes sent on missions to the planet, some of which have been successful and sent back gigabytes of useful data and pictures; there have been others that have just become the latest crater on this lifeless planet…

It was formed 4.5 billion years ago, and how it came to be is the subject of many studies at the moment. Reading the Marscapes and geology is the remits of a few people, one of whom is Simon Morden, a planetary geologist. In this fascinating book, he will take us through the known stages of the planet and how it got to where it is today.

Some facts can be determined from the photos and data that have come back from the probes that are on the planet and he expands in some detail of each of the ages that it went through and explains the current theories and known facts. There are some points though where the evidence they have collected is not as clear cut and he takes time to explain each theory and the reason why scientists have reached their conclusions. These are things that can only be checked by getting evidence from those specific regions.

I thought this was a well-written book about our neighbouring planet by an expert planetary geologist with a knack for telling a story. Occasionally it felt like it was getting a bit technical, but thankfully it didn’t veer into the opaque world of academia too much. If you want to know about Mars and the unique and peculiar traits behind its creation then this is a very good place to start.

Spread the love