Last in the trilogy that started with Red Mars and went on to Green Mars. I found this one to be less interesting to me than the first two. I wanted to know what happened to the characters who'd been introduced in the earlier books, and I got that, but the story itself was less memorable than the earlier two books. Still, all in all the trilogy is an excellent read.
Good gracious, this book took me *forever* to plow through. About ten years ago I had read Red Mars and Green Mars, the previous two volumes in this trilogy, but had never gotten around to reading Blue Mars. (I think it had something to do with the sudden arrival of babies in the family...) Anyway, I finally snagged a copy of this one and dove in.
The story is basically the events following the Second Martian Revolution (which happened at the end of Green Mars), in which Mars becomes further terraformed (life taking hold), and in which the hard work of building a state and a government post-revolution takes place. The book is told in large sections from the perspectives of a number of the "first 100", switching back and forth as their stories unfold.
What I liked: Watching how a constitution convention works in a technological age was fascinating, if only because the management of human capital is what's really required. I think I've become a fan of light political fare, as long as it doesn't get too dry. I also liked the weird time shifts as all the first 100 start to get truly old (their longevity solutions result in more than two centuries of life). By the end of the book, the characters had become intriguing, but they took me a long time to get used to.
What I didn't like: There were lots of bright spots, and lots of places that just seemed to drag along. I think this could have really used a harsher editing pass.
Part of the Robinson Mars trilogy, an interesting hard-sci-fi look at colonizing Mars.