Worldviews on Mars – ME Brines’ “The Queen’s Martian Rifles”

Description by the author / blurb:

Does the secret to the origin of Mankind lie within the Great Pyramid of Mars?

In this alternate steampunk adventure, the technical genius, Nicola Tesla, invented an anti-gravity coil that made steam-powered spaceships possible in the last decades of the 19th century. By 1899 the British Empire not only covers much of Africa, North America, Asia and the Pacific but also includes a moon base and a protectorate with the French over the backward civilization native to the planet Mars. But that empire, and those of the other western colonial powers have powerful extraterrestrial enemies no one even suspects exist – enemies that have renewed an age-old secret war against Humanity using all the supernatural powers at their command.

The cast of characters is sprinkled with historical personalities such as Aleister Crowley, the famous occultist history remembers as “the wickedest man who ever lived,” and Viscount Sir James Bryce, British statesman, author, world traveler and mountaineer who claimed to have discovered Noah’s Ark on a mountain in eastern Turkey.

His granddaughter, Lady Rebecca Bryce, is a militant suffragette and unorthodox scholar of antiquities determined to search the Martian pyramids of Cydonia for evidence of her theories on the extraterrestrial origin of human civilization. An educated and intelligent woman in a world that relegates females to insipid garden parties, she yearns to “set the male dominated science of archeology on its head.” She doesn’t believe she needs a man to fulfill her. But will she discover on Mars what she really needs?

Recent college graduate David Mclaughlin wants to make a real difference in the world, not just “host tea parties for old ladies.” So he abandons his parents’ plans for him to become a clergyman and seeks adventure as an officer in the Queen’s Martian Rifle regiment. But snubbed and scorned by his “betters,” can David persevere and save the Earth from destruction?

We also meet little Din, David’s personal servant and a member of the Martian Untouchable caste. His clan has patiently suffered in slavery awaiting a promised savior. But after more than three millennia, has God forgotten them?

Can Aleister bring down Western Civilization? Who are the Ascended Masters? What really happened to Atlantis? The answers lie within The Queen’s Martian Rifles!

Review

The Queen’s Martian Rifles(TQMR) is growing on philosophical ideas – specifically, religious ones. The reader must not share them, nor must the author. As a reader it is just my concern that the author is presenting the philosophy of his tale consistently. As the reader of a novel I also want to be entertained. If I’m instructed alongside it, all the better. Continue reading

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Ambitious steampunk – Martin Kee’s ‘A latent dark’

Description by the author / blurb:

When Skyla looks at your shadow, your shadow stares back.

Skyla has lived secretly within the city walls of Bollingbrook for eleven years, playing among the airship factories and trainyards. As one of the Gutter District’s nameless destitute, it has gone undiscovered that she has a unique talent: when Skyla looks at a person’s shadow she sees through it and into another world. She can see people’s fears, desires, their past sins–all as swimming, living creatures.

Her mother has never told her the real reasons why they must remain hidden, never explained the true dangers that exist outside the city walls. But when her mother’s past catches up with them both, Skyla finds she must flee out of the city and into a world still recovering from a second Dark Age, a world of adults with secrets only she can see.

For a stranger has recently moved into Bollingbrook, a man some call the Pope of the South, a witch hunter to some and a hero to others. When more children begin to disappear, suspicions are raised and an unlikely search party is formed to find Skyla in the hopes that they aren’t already too late.

Review

When I enjoyed reading a novel, I get very critical about it, because I have become interested by it, I got infected by the story. I will end up writing what I didn’t like about the book – precisely because I liked it so well. Now I even want to see it better. This as a line of caution for what is to come. Continue reading