The Manna Trail Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Manna Trail

In the 25th century, the inner-system-based United Nations sends superspy Charles Dunn to a Jupiter-orbiting city deep into Outer Consortium territory to retrieve a secret document hidden inside a famous painting. Dunn is accompanied by a Digital Person named Daphne who is implanted into his brain and who serves as secretary, chauffeur, communications system, lookout, and sometimes pain in the posterior. They stumble into an assassination staged by underground criminal elements on an influential Martian senator and a Jovian senator who are forming a task force to look into black market manna smuggling.
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Manna is a plant with tremendous nutritive and medicinal properties which can also be misused as a drug. It is genetically modified to survive only in the harsh Martian environment. Dunn cannot save the senators, but he rescues Sarah, the Martian's young daughter, and grabs the document. They must then flee from the peacemen, synthetic humans who were designed for law enforcement purposes, and in so doing they come upon others who are also fleeing.

Little Sarah has a knack for helping other children in trouble and soon Dunn is traveling back to the inner system with many more children in tow. One of them is a child peaceman who was stolen at birth and raised as an enforcer for black market manna runners. Dunn discovers that by retrieving the document, he has perpetuated the Martian monopoly over all manna trade and together with the children he now plots to break that monopoly.
The review of this Book prepared by Clifford W. Dunbar

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Chapter Analysis of The Manna Trail

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   spying/espionage in enemy territorry Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book If enemy is a group...    -   drug dealers

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   spy Age:    -   long lived adults


Terrain    -   Desert    -   Domed/Underground City    -   Asteroid Which planet?    -   Mars    -   Asteroids    -   Jupiter Earth setting:    -   medium future 22-24th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Not Earth, in Solar System?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Clifford W. Dunbar Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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