A clever science thriller/SF story that you could see easily making a good mainstream science thriller/SF movie.
Kazakhstan doesn’t appear often in western SF, and one of the pleasures of the story is that whilst there is an American co-lead to the story, and the West, alongside global bodies such as the UN and Google, the story features Russian perspectives.
There’s a mystery to be solved, around why the young American guy, who won the chance to pilot an old Mars Rover, is wanted, and by whom, and why. There’s depth as he, as do the other characters, have long-standing motivations and desires. As the story comes to a conclusion and the pieces drop into place, the science thriller becomes more SF, and delivers a rewarding read.