First Lines Fridays #1

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s First Lines:

“The tallest tower of Tharsis City extended beyond the outer dome like a gleaming monument. Zara Ortega looked out over the city, recalling the first time she had seen Mars, about thirty years ago. She had been just a child, accompanying her father on a business trip.”

Do you know which book this is from? Scroll down to find out!

Title: The Year Before the End

Author: Vidar Hokstad

Publication Date: November 23, 2020

Book Website:

Goodreads Synopsis

Forty years ago humanity found out we were not alone. The Centauri offered us the galaxy. With one year to go before the gate is ready, Captain Zara Ortega learns of a conspiracy between Mars separatists and the Centauri to split the solar system between them. The crew of the ship Black Rain goes on a daring raid from one of the most well-guarded stations in the system to uncover the truth, but an attack on their ship raises more questions. A meeting with their contact near Mars goes badly wrong and leads them into a chase through the asteroid belt in a desperate bid for survival. Deceit and betrayal have put not just their lives on the line, but the future of humanity.

Thoughts & Comments

This is my current read, and, so far, it is pretty good. I haven’t gotten very far yet, but the story setup has been interesting. I will say that these first lines did make me interested in the book. I immediately wanted to know more about Mars and why this person is arriving there again. Does this book sound like something you would like? Why or why not?

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