The Return by Austin Boyd is an interesting space novel that opens in an outpost on Mars. Admiral John Wells, leader of a previous Mars mission, finds himself perplexed about a strange sighting on a weather satellite, a blurry silver object moving across the surface of Mars. Defenseless, he and his crew must decide whether or not they should sit and wait, or travel across Mars' red ground toward the possible threat. John is cautious, but also curious about what might be out there. So far, he has been against the thought of life on Mars. Now, he's unsure about his former beliefs.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, a young girl named Sonya Edwards struggles with the teachings of Father Malcolm Raines about the Father Race, and the thought of being a “vessel.” All she wants is to return to her mother and brother, from whom she was taken by her father. Father Raines has big plans for Sonya and the other girls he has in his care. Building new headquarters in Slovenia, he means to move the girls there to new apartments, complete with nurseries. As preparations grow closer to completion, his loyal follower, Monique, finds out what he’s really up to and plots to save the girls.
Austin Boyd has found a way to capture the attention of readers while not making the story itself too melodramatic or busy. The characters are original, the story is detailed, and it's not hard to get into the book. Boyd has combined two worlds in this novel: Mars and Earth. Readers follow John Wells and his crew, as well as keep track of Sonya, Monique, and Father Malcolm, which keeps them wondering what will happen next.
Whereas John Wells is a very strong leader, he is also unpredictable. While reading this novel, I found it hard to foresee the direction he was going to go. However, he has the right skills for being Admiral for a Mars exploration team: strict, but not to the point where his crew members would want to ignore him, as well as friendly. Monique, also, is interesting to follow. She is quiet and obedient at first, but signs of distrust between herself and Father Malcolm cause her to become more of a risk taker. Bravery seems to bubble up from inside her, showing readers how noble she can really be.
I would recommend readers begin with the first two books of the series, The Evidence and The Proof, before jumping in to The Return. Some of the story may seem confusing without the backdrop of the first two novels. I recommend The Return to readers seventeen and older, who are interested in science, politics, and mature relationships. – Eliza M. Shane, Christian Book Previews.com
With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn’t hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they’d look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle not their own.
In the third installment of the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells’ family—presumed dead these last six years—rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael’s Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race. Wells will find himself in a race against time and all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Raines, and, if he’s very brave, about himself.