The planet Mars has become an epic battleground where mighty armies clash in a seemingly endless struggle. Pride, politics, and greed have ignited the spark of war, drawing a vast web of alliances into a bitter conflict. Artillery fire and dropships fill the skies while combat marines endure the savage grind of futuristic trench warfare.
The propaganda media machine has painted the conflict as one in which fortune and glory await the daring. Young men everywhere flock to the various banners, unprepared for the grim reality of war on the distant planet. Harlo, one such young man, never wanted to be a deep sea diver, and decides that signing up to be a contract soldier is a better alternative to life as a low-wage algae scraper.
Mars is blood red for a reason.
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"The savage beasts of prey."
After hundreds of years of peace, the savagery of war had been forgotten until an assassination of the ex president of one of the three power blocks on Mars restarts hostilities. Fighting is intense, new recruits are needed so the offer of a three month enlistment for a large sum of money is made. On earth, Harlow Tarkis, citizen of Olympia, is tempted. Everyone is born into a syndicate, following the family occupation. He is a diver, harvesting food from the ocean, almost qualified. Then,his diving buddy Nea is killed by a believed mythical Kraken and Harlow enlists to escape the terror of the sea.
To go to a greater terror on Mars.
This quirky story has it's faults: the package from Earth Prime at the beginning, for example, is used to provide an historical background explanation but really was unnecessary. But the vision of a futuristic Earth and colonies was interesting, with the political and social divisions lightly touched upon but easily sufficient to provide thoughtful ideas. Although not written in the first person, the action is seen almost entirely from Harlow's point of view and, as main protagonist, his is the only one to be given a full characterisation. But it is enough for the purposes of this story - the tale of his thoughts and experiences as a pawn on the battlefield of war. Some nice touches, too, as this futuristic battleground is more reminiscent of World War 11 and the Great War (our non fictional past) than of the fabulously imagined science fiction weapons more usually depicted.
The narration by Persephone Rose was, like the story itself, good and just a little bit quirky. His voice is clear and strong, warm and quite deep, but with slightly odd intonations at times which seemed to fit with the nature of the book, almost observational. In dialogue, too, the voices given to each character were distinctive and, sometimes, unexpected. Overall, a good performance.
I very much enjoyed this unusual take on the fate of a foot soldier in the future as well as the glimpse of the society he inhabits and I would like to thank the rights holder who freely gifted me a copy of World War Mars, at my request, via Audiobook Boom.Science fiction fans who are looking for military fiction with a difference will not be disappointed.
- Norma Miles
World War Mars is a fast paced and enjoyable
World War Mars is a fast paced and enjoyable Sci-Fi war story with an interesting political background where earth has been split into 3 superpowers fighting over Mars. Whilst very enjoyable I would have liked a little more character interaction as you only got to know the main character and I can’t help but feel that more could have been made of the training to aid with this. The action was gripping giving an image of a futuristic World War 1 with trench warfare, artillery bombardments and hand to hand combat, yet it did not explore any of the emotions the characters were feeling during action scenes which is a shame.
The narrator did a good job, each character’s voice was distinctive enough to know who was speaking without any sounding odd.
Please note that I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.