The Martian Race is somewhat realistic novel about going to Mars using basic technology. Much of it leftover from earlier missions. It’s also a race between two crews for a $30 billion Mars Prize. Our heroes: Julia, Viktor, Marc, and Raoul represent the Mars Consortium and its biotech billionaire CEO John Axelrod. They beat the Euro-Sino concern to Mars by over a year and get all the basic science done. The Euro-Sino group has a new faster rocket. They intend to use the Consortium’s research, do minimal science, and then racing back to Earth to collect the prize. However, Mars has ideas of its own.
It was a pretty good read and the science was good. The characters were fleshed out enough and the plot was so-so.