Just about everyone has heard of the radio broadcast that caused what some called a “mass panic” when aired the night before Halloween in 1938. War of the Worlds helped its author, H.G. Welles, get the contract to write, direct, produce, and star in Citizen Kane, which has been called one of the greatest movies of all time.
So when my friend and fellow writer, Mark Gardner, told me he and John J. Rust were writing a sequel to War of the Worlds, I knew that was a story I had to read.
1898: Martian tripods lay waste to Earth’s cities. The world’s armies are unable to stem the tide of destruction. When all hope appears lost, common bacteria kills the alien invaders. From the ashes, the human race uses the technology left behind by the Martians to build new, advanced weapons.
1924: Armed with their own spaceships, tripods, and jet fighters, the nations of the world are ready to take the fight to Mars. George Patton, Erwin Rommel, Charles de Gaulle, and Georgy Zhukov lead their troops in battle across the red planet to end the alien menace once and for all. But the Martians have one last, desperate plan to try, and if successful, it could mean the end for all humanity.
When I started reading this book, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it.
Don’t get me wrong; I have loved most of Mark Gardner’s other work, and I believe in his storytelling abilities. (And, though I haven’t read anything else John J. Rush has written, I knew that if Mark chose to work with him, he must have had something amazing to give to the production.)
But it was a war story, and I typically don’t read those. They’re just not my thing.
Yet I persisted, because I knew I wanted to at least get through it and leave a review for a fellow indie author, even if it wouldn’t be a glowing one. (After all, a review is a review, and we could all use more of those. Hint, hint.)
As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry. After a chapter or so, I was hooked. The characters were engaging and the characters were interesting. I loved seeing names I knew – like George Patton – alongside others I didn’t in the context of a fictionalized account of a war between humans and Martians.
I give this book five of five stars for being a fast-paced, engaging read that kept me rooting for its many protagonists – and wanting to read the original story again after all these years. I recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction, war fiction, or a damn good story.