Like just about everything in this book even the title is not what it seems. Yes it does refer to the surface of the planet Mars, but it also refers to an important character in the book. I made a mistake in my timing of reading this book. I should not have chosen a week with only small reading windows. This is the kind of book that benefits from taking the time to read it in large chunks. An ideal holiday read. I found myself having to read back several pages before carrying on. There is a lot going on in this book and if you are not paying attention it can be easy to lose the thread. This book is well worth making time for so go sit in the quiet shade for a few hours.
science fiction stories with time travel aspects can seem like utter tosh unless there is some backbone to how causality is addressed. My head hurts from trying to follow the logic through across several time frames. Sometimes characters bleed across in subtle ways and at others you get a slap in the face from a wet fish.
I really enjoyed how Mr Tidhar took some Israeli political views and extended them in to the future. Of course they’d want their own state on the red planet and even more obviously of course they’d make a statement and use time travel to impact the genocide of their people in World War II.
There are too many clever references to list and I wouldn’t want to spoil your fun. I do have to mention the noir style fictional elements which are also personifications of real (in as much as anything in this story can be called real) characters.