Desolation Road was about a town. Ares Express is about a person. I hate to talk about another book too much in a review, but these books are very similar, and Ares is a quasi-sequel. It’s not necessary to read Desolation Road first, but you will catch a few cameos and other things in this book with that background.. They’re both very beautiful, both very lyrical. However Ares Express is just better. It doesn’t suffer from the sudden jarring of character, it doesn’t (excuse the term) go off the rails.
This book is all about Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey-Bun Asiim Engineer 12th. A 9 year old (in Mars years) girl who wants to run a train. But she can’t, because the controls of the train (which generations live on), will go to her brother, because the controls are passed father to son. Then her train/family tries to marry her off to a Stuard on another train and she leaves, making her own destiny rather than being subjected to what her mini-society expects.
Our plucky hero has a story with zombie-like towns, a cult-personality (and, well, the cult itself), mad politicians, angels, slavers, and free-children. It’s a great story with lots of vibrant imagery, great characters, and wonderful action.
This has everything I loved reading in Desolation Road, and none of the things I didn’t. Great story. Great ride.