H.G. Wells’s 1898 classic has long served as fodder for other writers, from Garrett Putman Serviss’s Edison's Conquest of Mars to Alan Moore’s more recent League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2. George H. Smith’s novel is firmly in this tradition, albeit with an interesting twist: having failed in their invasion of Earth, the Martians now set their sights on Earth’s parallel world Annwn, a planet technologically similar to Earth but one in which magic enjoys a presence as well as science. Aided by a group of worshipers, the Martians inoculate themselves against the microorganisms that frustrated their previous attempt and prepare for an assault on a much larger scale. Alerted by a few figures from Earth, a small group of Annwnians mobilize to thwart this new effort, but it’s a race against time with a cool and calculated foe – and one determined to learn from their mistakes the first time around.
Smith’s novel benefits from both the novelty of its premise and the infusion of a number of interesting ideas, particularly his inspired concept of pro-Martian humans working for the destruction of their own species. The chapters describing the battles between the humans and the tripods are also excellent, conveying a sense of tension and excitement in many ways even better than Wells did in the original. Yet before readers can get to them they must wade through a considerable amount of tepid dialogue and poor characterization, particularly of the main female protagonist Clarinda McTague, whose jealousy-driven anger detracts from the story whenever she appears. The addition of the certain English detective and his medically-trained sidekick is even more questionable, especially as the conceit of disguising their identities wears thin quickly. Together these factors drag down this otherwise imaginative novel, one that squanders an otherwise interesting departure from Wells’s famous work.
Blood Rain in Trieste by George Henry made me think of Casblanca and Humphrey Bogart. I wonder…did Bogie ever visit Trieste, Italy?
Sounds like shades of Casablanca and Bogie made a trip to Trieste, Italy and ran into Hawaii Five-O.
Milo Marchetta is a musician, a club owner…in walks a dame, only this one wants to hire him to commit a murder.
Mobsters, hookers, money laundering, murder and bullies. What more could you ask for? Small men acting big. Walking a line between life and death. The characters are not prim and proper. I love flawed characters, but these characters are past flawed. They are desperate, twisted individuals, the dregs of humanity.
Milo has a big mouth and a penchant for putting his foot in it, or should I say someone else’s foot. Flawed…he is twisted, broken. As he gets his ass and a bunch of other things kicked…I can’t help but laugh. Even when he tries to do something good it craps on him. He’s so friggin’ damaged I don’t know how he’s still alive.
Forbidden love…the ultimate price…death.
There is so much going on, double cross, triple cross, revenge, betrayal, murder…don’t look away. You might miss something.
This was heavy, slow reading for me. It felt like work, like I was studying for school. Normally, this would be right up my alley, so I wonder, was I having an off day? You’ll need to judge for yourself.
Given its scope, this book provides the reader with a widely comprehensive view of how both the automobile and the industry surrounding it developed and evolved from the late 19th century to the eve of the First World War. I read "DRIVE! Henry Ford, George Selden, and the Race to Invent the Auto Age" more out of curiosity and also because I hail from Michigan. So I grew up with a keen sense of how the automobile has profoundly influenced and shaped both society and the world economy.
I was also intrigued to learn about the patent battle between the backers of George Selden (who had taken out a patent in the late 1870s on the concept of an internal combustion engine later considered to be essential to the future development of the automobile) --- i.e. ALAM (or the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers) and Henry Ford. This took place between 1903 and 1911. ALAM sought to break Henry Ford the outsider, who after failing twice to establish an auto company, was now on the threshold with his latest company to achieve unrivaled success with the Model T.
The story of the lawsuit between Ford and ALAM is one that the author tells in great detail. The only difficulty I had in reading this book was in trying to fully grasp some of the technical aspects of the various engines vital to the automobile's viability and the related technologies. Yet, on the whole, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about how the automobile and the industry it spawned developed during its formative years - and revolutionized the world. Hence, the five (5) stars.