storytimewithbuffy

The Martian War

In Book Reviews on September 1, 2013 at 6:00 am

The Martian War

Titan Books 2012

Hello, my friends. Guess what! I’ve got a book to talk about. Wooooooooooooooo! It’s about time. It took me 10 days to read it, which is unheard of for me. I can usually read two books in that time. I say this because I’ve noticed that it’s a much different experience when a book is spread out over time rather than reading it all within a few days. This book features a lot of action, so spreading out over almost two weeks meant that my experience was a bit choppy.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it immensely. I picked this up at the library because of the cover. (Yes, I’m one of those people.) I brought it home without realising that I already own a book by Kevin J Anderson called Captain Nemo: The Adventures of a Dark Genius. Once I figured this out, I became even more excited about this book. He’s a fantastic author!

He certainly didn’t disappoint.

Nutshell blurb: The year is 1884 and a martian crash lands in the Sahara desert and is intercepted by Dr. Moreau and Professor Lowell. H.G. Wells, his girlfriend and his professor must try to stop a martian invasion.Β 

This takes place before The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. What I loved about this book was that it felt like old-school pulp science fiction. I also loved that it paid almost no attention to the science part of sci-fi. People could walk on the moon and Mars without wearing space gear and there were magic crystals owned by the Martians which allowed the holder to see the red planet whilst they were on Earth and allowed the Martians to spy on Earth from Mars to gauge our defences. The moon is inhabited by a race of Selenites who have been kidnapped by the Martians and pressed into service on Mars as slaves.

The characters were fantastic. Wells’ girlfriend, Jane, was a pretty awesome 19th century chick. She jumped into the action with gusto and often took the lead when combating the Martians. Dr. Moreau was creepy as hell, as is to be expected, but his actions were prompted by a need to further scientific study, which made him pretty interesting.

I loved this book. It was so much fun. If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I’m a woman of action. I love to read about how people get through conflict and I especially love it when mild-mannered, bookish types end up kicking butt and saving the world. Perhaps it’s a bit of insight into my own personality and the type of person I would want to be in such a situation.

Also, the book has dialogue like this:

“Don’t lose our advantage, Mr. Wells,” Huxley said. “Move forward with the proper balance of caution and panicked haste.”

I have so much love for this book. And yes, I realise how many times I’ve said ‘love’ in this post. I regret nothing.

On a personal note, many of you know that I’ve been studying for an exam for work all month. Well, I took it yesterday morning and tanked it big time. It was really disappointing as I studied really hard for it (and gave up so much reading to do so!). But I have a newfound sense of freedom and am back to reading two books at a time and will hopefully be back on track soon.

Also, we’ve found a new flat and are moving into it on Tuesday so there might be a slight gap in my posts, but I’ll do my best to catch up soon. Thank you so much for reading!

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  1. Pulp novels, eh? You should see my basement. πŸ˜€

    • Really? Post a picture! I’m curious now. πŸ™‚

      • I will have to get my little brother to take a picture, since I’m not living there at the moment. My pulp collection is momentarily limited to ‘The Big Sleep’ and an older edition of ‘And Then There Were None’. (And I suppose the Doctor Who novelization is a pulp as well…)

  2. The novel sounds really interesting. When was it published? Sounds like it is HG Wells fanfiction. And here I thought that was a relatively new phenomenon.

    • It was published in 2012. I’m not sure if it’s fan fiction or not. Or maybe it is in a sense. I seem to remember reading in his acknowledgements that he had to get permission from Wells’ estate to publish it. KW Jeter wrote a book called Morlock Night which was a sequel to The Time Machine. So I think that it’s a bit more than just fan fic. I’m not really sure how things like this work, if I’m honest. It’s a really good read, though.

      • Poor Buffy, biffing the exam, but glad to have you back among the books!

        Side note: fanfiction has been around for longer than you might expect; there was lots of Sherlock Holmes fanfiction written after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories ended in the early 1900s.

      • Yeah, it sucked that I didn’t pass the exam. My colleagues didn’t either, so I felt a bit less bad. It was a difficult one. I consoled myself by buying a gorgeous red velvet cupcake and some books. πŸ˜€

        I’m afraid I know very little about fan fiction. I always thought that it was written (by fans) but seldom published. I guess I thought that if someone went through the trouble to get permission from the person’s estate that it made it more legitimate. I have never considered writing a story using someone else’s characters or story world (except for a steampunk version of a Shakespeare play which I never finished). I would probably need to do some research on this to be able to say anything remotely intelligent on the subject.

      • Lots of authors pass their stories/worlds on to other authors after they die, like Robert Jordan’s estate handing the Wheel of Time off to Brandon Sanderson. Under that situation, I think the results are canonical, so aren’t technically fan fiction; they’re a continuation. They may have started as fanwork but since they were accepted by the estate, they’ve basically graduated.

        Fanfiction indeed is rarely published, but with that whole Kindle Worlds thing starting, it now can be (for certain properties). I think when it gets published through that method, it might become canon, and that’s those creators’ way of generating more material.

        Uh…yeah. Just general notes there.

      • Thanks! That’s pretty interesting. I’ve never heard of authors passing stories down. I guess it makes sense to pass them to someone you trust. I’ve also not heard of Kindle Worlds. I’ve never been interested in fan fiction (as I’ve understood it) because I would be upset if someone wrote something bad about something I loved and then it would be stuck in my head. But I guess trusted sources do that too now that I’m thinking about it. Star Wars prequels are a prime example. It’s seems like a fraught subject.

      • Yeah, the Star Wars Expanded Universe is kind of…a plethora of canonical fan fiction, as far as I can tell, done with varying degrees of success.

      • I try my best to not acknowledge is existence. haha!

  3. I’m going to try to get this one. My library system does not have it but I will try interlibrary loan. They do have another book of the same title, but by a different author, Gabriel Mesta. I did order that one!

    I have another title for you to try out – I just read it. I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s called “Apocalypse Cow” and it’s by Michael Logan. I think it’s right up your alley.

    I am sorry about your exam after so much hard work. Maybe there will be another chance and it will go better?

    • Let me know what you think if you read it. I’ve heard of Apocalypse Cow! It’s funny that you mention that. It won the Terry Pratchett first novel competition a few years ago. I entered a novel into the same competition last year. (and didn’t even come close to winning.) It’s one of those ones I keep meaning to pick up but haven’t yet. Thanks for the recommendation!

      The exam isn’t a big deal, but thanks for your sympathies. I can retake it bit I won’t even think about it for a while. It took up too much of my free time to study for it and I need a loooooong break from it. πŸ™‚

  4. I hope the move went well! πŸ™‚ I’m sorry about the exam. :-/ This book looks hilarious. I’ll have to add it to my list!

    • The move went swimmingly and we are happily ensconced in our new flat. It’s bliss, except for intermittent internet/phone reception which we’re working on. (I haven’t been able to read other people’s blogs the past few days and will have a lot to catch up on!)

      The book is definitely really fun and worth a read if you like sci-fi.

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