I have just finished Green Mars (Mars Trilogy) and Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy) by Kim Stanley Robinson. I would tack this up to two illnesses starting with Green Mars versus a stomach virus and then Blue Mars versus a head cold. While I found Red Mars to be super dark and depressing, I did find that Green and Blue were much brighter. That said, while I have found the interactions of the characters to be fantastic and the ability of the author to really dig into drastically different characters and deal with them in a very personal manner.
Now while I have really enjoyed the series, it feels that a lot of the world and how it plays out is driven by these smart, charismatic, slightly dysfunctional characters. In addition, the antagonist is really played by all that is old in thought and motivation. It speaks of a viriditas and how the world is shaped by a constant interplay of chaos and order in the galaxy. Much of the book is fantastic. I tended to lose interest in the long monologues where it goes into full on soapbox mode.
With all the things that occur in the books, I don't think I could really do justice in them by trying to provide a full on review. I definitely think this is a book series that people should read, even if at times it can drag on. There is definitely some moving moments that will be most poignant as I was wrapping up the final book. It was super moving and done in a very classy way.
The most personal message that I am taking away from this is that our goals in life should leave the world better off than when we started.