Colony One Mars promises to be a fast-paced sci-fi thriller, and it certainly delivers. The prologue is short and sweet, and although it doesn't offer any story information that isn't in the story proper, it does set up the atmosphere for what is to follow. The tension ramps up very quickly and most unexpectedly, and everything changes before we've had a chance to grab our breath.
The knowing-something-bad-is-happening-elsewhere is delightfully hooked up with not-knowing-what-the-bad-thing-is, ramping up tension and even anxiety. I have a feeling Mr. Kilby reads a lot of horror novels, and he's put his knowledge of the genre to good use.
The main character, Dr. Jann Malbec, is a bit of an oddball as far as the mission goes, but the perfect woman for the story. The story progresses in a comfortably alarming way (because we wanted a thriller, right?) and when the action lets up, it's only to deepen the mystery.
There are some quirks. Kilby constantly refers to characters by rank/title and full name, for example, which gets tiresome. Good characters are treated well by Kilby, and the not-so-good characters are treated harshly, which flags them all up for which side of the fence he's put them.
As novels go, it's short at about 200 pages, but the story doesn't need more than that. Kilby keeps the pace going, and that kept dragging me back until I'd finished, so it's a success.
I'd like to see more attention paid to the typography (missing end-quotes, for example) and grammar, but it has a colloquial style that works well and keeps things ticking. The story is terrific, and I love the fact that it wrapped the story up yet presented me with a cliffhanger and wanting to get stuck into the next installment of the trilogy - as it should.
Would I recommend it? Yes I would, Kilby has a knack with stories and knows how to keep the reader turning pages.