Following the initial Martian invasion of England, President Theodore Roosevelt tries to prepare the United States for the potential of another Martian incursion. As the possibility of a stronger invasion is increasingly clear, the US government tries to mobilize nations to share information and technology to defend humanity. Newly minted ordinance officer Andrew Comstock has been placed in charge of developing new technology that has to be tested on the fly in a race against time if humanity is to survive.
The alternate history is intriguing and rings true
Some years after the Martian invasion of England, President Theodor Roosevelt attempts to convince a reluctant government it must arm the US for the possibility a second attack. The story is a sequel to H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds and the author adjusts history accordingly. England has suffered great damage, but with the aid, the U.S. has repaired much of the destruction. Though the British are helpful, they withhold vital Martian technology, and more importantly military assistance. They are after all, concerned about a second invasion on their own soil.
The Martians, having learned from their first failed attack, have inoculated themselves against Earth’s microbes. Also, rather than land in populated centers have landed in remote sites in North and South America were they are building more machines and the birthing the Martians needed to run them. Travel is maddeningly slow as soldiers and weapons move on horseback, foot and train across the U.S. to attack the invading aliens.
The alternate history is intriguing and rings true. The characters aren’t quite as compelling. There seems to be more running away and disbelief than actual courage, though there are exceptions. Much of the population believes the Martian invasion in England was an elaborate hoax. Somewhat disappointing is also the ease with which the Martians are sometimes destroyed, sometimes with a stick or two of dynamite. Their giant machines are not quite the menacing juggernauts they were in Wells’ story. Though if given enough time, they may get a foothold.
The story is performed by Ray Greenley whose voice is easy to listen to and delivers a generally good performance. Some of the accents are strange and Roosevelt sounds idiotic at times, though Greenley does a pretty good job moving the story along and keeping the bursts of action exciting.
There is great risk in creating a sequel to a classic story like War of the Worlds. The reader will be tempted to continually compare the original its sequel. If one puts that aside, this is an entertaining story with great attention to the historical times with which it is set. Inferior weapons, slow travel and an inadequate military in the face of space-faring aliens. This is book one in a series of unknown length. Though complete as a book, clearly the war is not over. If you enjoy this one, you will want to continue on.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
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