He Had Me At Mars

Okay, settle down, I’m talking about a book title: HEIRS OF MARS, by Joseph Robert Lewis.

First, I’m a Red-Head–red planet, that is. Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars in his books and short stories are among my home-away-from-home locations. A pied-à-mars, as it were. I read and loved D. B. Grady’s RED PLANET NOIR, a wonderful hard-boiled private eye yarn set on and about Mars. Some people dream of being transported to Middle Earth. I want to go to Mars.

Second, he (I’m talking about Joseph Robert Lewis again) had a map. Oh, am I ever a sucker for maps! As soon as I saw the map, I was like, “Okay, I’m in.”

Third, he started the book immediately AFTER an action scene. I know, right? Everybody tells you to start WITH action, but he started just after. Know what that accomplished? Right away, you know who the point of view character is, you know he’s a survivor, and you aren’t wasting your time wondering how and if he’ll survive the attack, you’re wondering why it happened and how it relates to the story you’re now completely part of.

I don’t have a Kindle or any kind of electronic reading device, so I had to read this ebook on my Kindle for PC. Eyestrain? I’ll tell the world. But I read until my eyes looked like Dracula’s after a big feed. The story just tore me along in its wake.

You know what? I’m not even going to tell you what the story is about. You can find that out when you go buy it.

If you see my review, you’ll see that I only give it four out of five stars. That’s because it wasn’t perfect. Damn near, but not. There were a few editorial oopsies, but I don’t hold those against it. There were a few scenes that bumped me out of the dream and some continuity glitches, but it lost that fifth star at the end. Lewis seemed to decide that the story was over so he should cut bait and go home, but I thought the end was too sudden and distant. I didn’t feel it, as I did the rest of the book.

Still, it’s a brilliant book, a compelling story, well-told. Lewis has two short stories set in the same world, prior to the action in the novel. Guess who downloaded them both? Guess who’s getting eyestrain again?

Here is a link to Joseph Robert Lewis’ blog. Go there and download the PDF of the book FOR FREE or buy it in ebook formats for $0.99 during the month of December. You’ll be SO glad you did.

You’re welcome.

WRITING PROMPT: What fictional setting would you like to visit or move to? How about one of your characters?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “He Had Me At Mars

  1. Joseph Robert Lewis

    December 13, 2010 at 8:40am

    Hi Marian, thanks for all the kind words about my novel! I really appreciate your thoughts and I’m glad you liked the book.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 13, 2010 at 10:45am

      I have a stack of analog books and a file full of digital books to get through, or I would have gone back to the first page and read it through again. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Nancy Williams

    December 13, 2010 at 8:42pm

    Great review. You know Marian, I am going to say the world I created is where I’d like to go. Gil-Lael…totally in love with it and I hope my readers will too.

    I am giving you an award tomorrow.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 14, 2010 at 7:58am

      Nancy, you are too good to me! And I love the idea of creating a world you’d love to live in. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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