Friday, 28 January 2011

The Martian War

Gabriel Mesta
Pocket Books

But what if the Martian invasion was not entirely the product of H. G. Wells's vivid imagination? What if Wells witnessed something that spurred him to write The War of the Worlds not as a form of entertainment -- but as a warning to the complacent people of Earth?

Mesta, or Kevin J Anderson as he's better known, here takes HG Wells and plunges him into the world of his very own fiction. He is plucked from obscurity and given a new role of utmost responsibility as an agent of a secret department with the British government.

Anderson attempts to weave a complex plot whereby Wells is brought into contact with Griffin (The Invisible Man) and Professor Cavor's miraculous Cavorite and informed of the imminent extraterrestrial invasion before being catapulted to the moon on a mission to liberate the Selenites from the invading martians. Whilst a concurrent story details the adventures of Dr. Moreau, and the non-fictional Percival Lowell, and their search to understand a captive martian.

Having never tried any of Anderson's work before I was intrigued both by the premise and the author but truthfully neither lived up to my expectations. The book was almost entirely lacking in drama or pathos - I ended the novel truly not caring about any of the characters - and Anderson's writing is inconsistent with the pace of the book varying wildly throughout and is intermitently either dragging you along through overlong passages or is leaving you blinking in it's wake as it races along hardly giving you time to appreciate the view.

The main problem for the book however is that it plays the same game as Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neil's League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 2 and comes out of it as very much the loser. If it comes down to a choice then you should always go with Moore but if you're just of a mood for a mildly entertaining spin through Wells' worlds then you may find something of interest here.

No comments:

Post a Comment