The Martian War by Kevin J. Anderson is a modern day retelling of H.G. Wells’ classic War of the Worlds. It is a nice homage to the pulp classic sci-fi that I am such a fan of reading. Anderson adds some other classic sci-fi characters to his version of the story, as well as making Wells himself the main character. Here is a brief synopsis of the book from the Publisher’s website…
What if the Martian invasion was not entirely the product of H. G. Wells’ vivid imagination? What if Wells witnessed something that spurred him to write The War of the Worlds as a warning? From drafty London flats to the steamy Sahara, to the surface of the moon and beyond, The Martian War takes the reader on an exhilarating journey with Wells and his companions.
Wells’ companions in this story are made up of scientists T.H. Huxley and Percival Lowell. Not to mention famous literary characters such as Dr. Moreau and the invisible man Hawley Griffin. The characters combine their talents to thwart the impending invasion of Earth by Martians. While each character battles their own personal demons, such as Moreau searching for redemption and Huxley looking for a new lease on life. The story is easy to follow and if you enjoy classics like Wells, Verne, or Burroughs then you will enjoy this story. With all of that said….I DID have a complaint about the story. Allow me to elaborate.
As an avid sci-fi fan, I tend to look the other way when authors play fast and loose with the laws of science. This story takes place in the mid to late 1890’s and Anderson does a good job of describing the scientific beliefs that were prevalent in that day. My issue arises when some of the characters are put in a position to disprove those beliefs and they fail to do so. I can ignore the canals on Mars and the fact that they are shown to truly exist when we are treated to a firsthand description of the Martian surface. Yet, I couldn’t help myself from being irked when characters land on the moon and have a nice stroll around the lunar surface. No protective suits of any kind required. In fact there is an atmosphere and vegetation and everything. I understand that the beliefs of the day may have allowed for these things to be true, but the book was not written back then. It was written in modern day and written as if it were the ‘true story’ behind Wells’ original work. If this were the case, I feel it would have been much more effective if the characters had attempted to enjoy a stroll on the moon but quickly realize exiting their craft would result in immediate decompression and suffocation. If you can overlook the silly science and enjoy classic science fiction stories…then this is the book for you.
The Martian War was courtesy of Titan books.
Buy this book on Amazon here.