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The Mars Arena

A violent struggle for survival in a post-holocaust world

Mel Odom

Cover Artist:
Michael Herring

First Edition

Release Date:
August, 1997

Cover Price:


Audio Cassette

Release Date:
April, 2001

Cover Price:


Graphic Audio MP3 CD

Release Date:
April, 2009

Cover Price:


Graphic Audio MP3 Download

Release Date:
April, 2009

Cover Price:


Front Cover - Small
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In the ruins of Las Vegas, Ryan Cawdor enters the blood-soaked arena of regional barons to reclaim his son's life.

Back Cover:


The nuclear firestorms had swept away the hatreds and the power struggles that had dominated the Earth for decades. But no hoped-for better reality was born in that blighted landscape. In a lawless and maddened world, blood and violence remained a means to survival -- and power.


In the harsh territory near what used to be the Western badlands, Ryan Cawdor and his crew join the search for the wreck of a crashed space station. But in the ruins of Las Vegas he falls prey to a maelstrom of violence. Hostage in a bitter war between regional barons, Ryan finds that even his best effort is an odds-even gamble, and that his son's life may depend on the whims of destiny.

Deathlands is a conspiracy against survival....


Finished # 38 The Mars Arena 10/18/2003
by GuapoPogi
This book was heading for a 10, before the monkey with wings appeared. The Hemidall Foundation leaves many plot possibilities for future books. I'm surprised it took almost 40 books before the group visited Las Vegas. The arena was great, although it was slightly reminiscent of "The Running Man". Krysty's powers were expanded upon, and even took a front role in a book for a change. If not for the moronic winged monkeys this would have been a 10. I give it a 9.
Non-stop action
by Robey
Mars Arena, by Mel Odom, is probably his best book in the DL series. It brought Dean back into the fold and introduced a couple of interesting concepts like the Heimdall Foundation and the precursor to the Outlanders Program of Unification with the Five Barons.

Turning Las Vegas into a big arena for survival games isn't exactly an original concept in DL, but it's never been done up as vividly or colorfully as here!

The action the writing was crisp, the characters intelligent and the action was non-stop from the white water raft sequence to the final battle in the arena!

Love this book!
Dean shines in his return!
by The Phantom
Mel Odom writes an excellent, non-stop action adventure even better than his first DL novel. In a nutshell, this book is a lot of fun, one of the very best books in the series.
Another book to break the pattern of the mat-trans jump, explore redoubt, travel to a ville, eat dinner at Baron's table, Baron turns on them type of story that LJ relied on in many of his novels. This book is fresh and well written, good plot and characterizations, and very good action scenes. No redoubt is even involved in this novel.

But what really makes me rate this book as much as the ten-star status is the way the whole storyline involving Dean was written. I loved the perspectives from Dean and his classmates at the Brody school and at the Arena. Dean hasn't been featured since Crossways, and in The Mars Arena, we see the story of Dean's return to Ryan's group. Odom wrote this part into the book very well, I liked Dean's escapades at the school, especialy the great scene in Phaedra's bedroom.

All the party members manage to come together in a great ending sequence at the arena, with exciting and suspenseful action and an interesting twist from the usual Baron theme. The ending could have been a little more fleshed out, but still very good. From cover to cover, this is a great DL novel.

Books like this and Demons Of Eden by Ellis, are the kind of stories that I consider to be the models by which the DL series should be held to.
Another Great One!!!
by jschiltz1
Here we go again on another great ride!! I loved the way this one started. One of my complaints with DL books is it usually take 50 to 100 pages to really get into it. This one was certianly an exception. From page one with the excape from the brushwooders it stayed exciting.

I really enjoyed the dual stories about Dean and the gang switching back and forth like that helped keep you in the story. This one was not my favorite book but certianly in the top five. This is one of the books you give to a friend to get them interested in the series!!
by One Eye Chills
Mars Arena was one of the very best Deathlands that I had ever read. I knew instantly that is was a new writer, and at first I was cautious and leery of that fact.
But it did not take long for me to realize that this writer took Deathlands and kicked it into the stratusphere!!
This was one of the coolest ideas in sheer scope with some of the best action sequences ever written in the Deathlands universe.
I absolutely loved this one. Using Las Vegas as a huge staging ground for a battle arena was breathtaking and truly exciting to read.
A must for Deathlands readers. My hat goes off to the awesome writer now revealed at last - Mel Odom.
Excellent Adventure!!
by Poopy_Penguin
This book was great. It focused on Dean a lot more then in any other Deathlands book I've read so far! there was great action in the book and a great plot to go with it!
One of the best!!
by ShadowTek
Ok, where to start on this one.. Dean is in school and his classmate form a attack team, Las Vegas is a battle arena, many teams from barons are gathered to fight to the death in the deadliest war game in the deathlands!! Ryan and company is one of those groups in addition to Deans classmates, This book was exiting from start to finish, never a dull moment,

This book is what the Deathlands is all about!! For me its a defining book in the series, it kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish..