Dix Jenner, a self-proclaimed slacker, is the first chef to live—and maybe die—on Mars. After an explosion kills his colony companions and leaves him with nothing but his spacesuit, his time on the faraway planet is about to expire… until he’s rescued by friendly Martians Bleeker and Seepa, who smuggle him into their vast underground civilization.
Despite an unfamiliar world of telepathy, strange class dynamics, and really bad food, Dix sets out to make his mark. After opening a cafe—who knew Martians loved espresso?—he starts to notice that responsibility can feel good. Not only that, but he’s got a new romance, and for the first time he actually cares.
Unfortunately, his success attracts the attention of the corrupt and narcissistic Martian Grand Leader. Forced to run to avoid being imprisoned, Dix gets lucky: a NASA rescue mission lands on Mars. But seeing it brings back the dark secret he’s been keeping from himself about the colony’s explosion, and now Dix must choose between returning to Earth or spending the rest of his life in a cell on the dusty red planet where he belongs.