Review: The Martian War: A Thrilling Eyewitness Account of the Recent Invasion As Reported by Mr. H.G. Wells

Posted: May 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Martian War: A Thrilling Eyewitness Account of the Recent Invasion As Reported by Mr. H.G. Wells
The Martian War: A Thrilling Eyewitness Account of the Recent Invasion As Reported by Mr. H.G. Wells by Gabriel Mesta (Kevin Anderson)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The prolific Kevin Anderson turns his hand to reimagining HG Wells’ life in this tale, which has the thinker and novelist living out the “real” events that “inspired” his books.
It’s the late 19th Century, and Wells is invited by his mentor TH Huxley (one of several historical figures present) to a secret science symposium. The event is gate-crashed by Dr Moreau, who sensationally reveals a Martian invasion plan. Wells, his girlfriend Jane and Huxley are subsequently sent on an odyssey around the Solar system in Dr Cavor’s sphere, ultimately coming face to face with the terrible Martians themselves.

Wells fans will recognise Moreau and Cavor from the great man’s works. There are plenty more nods to his books and short stories throughout. Anderson obviously loves Wells’ work, and sends him on a rollicking adventure, but in some respects The Martian War is simply a pale imitation of Alan Moore’s far more intelligent The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Anderson’s writing is energetic, but full of adjectival clutter and anachronism, while the book’s depiction of Victorian England is paper-thin, sub-steampunk silliness peppered with clunkily delivered shots of biographical and historical data.

On the Moon and Mars, where he’s riffing off Wells’ own imagery, Anderson does a far better job, and the segments of the story taken from Dr Moreau’s journal are the story’s most convincing and entertaining elements. In fact, The Martian War is probably the best Anderson novel we’ve yet read.

View all my reviews

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Comments
  1. Matt Keefe says:

    Presumably there was a ‘Did You Know?’ running alongside this to explain that Gabriel Mesta is actually Kevin J. Anderson.

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