Sunday, March 19, 2017

Arabella of Mars Review

Here's a review of the fairly recently published Arabella of Mars.


Arabella of Mars Review
I noticed this book at Barnes & Noble last summer when I'd stopped in to pick up the newest Star Wars novel. At the time I was intrigued, but decided to wait and check it out from the library.

I shouldn't have waited.

I loved this book.

In fact, it was the kind of book that I didn't want to read too quickly, because I didn't want it to end any sooner than necessary.

The introduction from inside the book jacket does a good job of explaining the basic premise of the novel; the titular Arabella disguises herself as a boy and goes aboard a company vessel bound for Mars. That's not a very new idea, when it comes to nautical fiction, but David Levine does an excellent job of developing what happens to her once she is on board.

  • I really like the characters in this book especially young miss Arabella Ashby and Captain Prakash Singh.
  • The relationship between Captain Singh and the “captain's boy” takes its time in developing and is very rich.
  • There's lots of great aeronautical detail, creating a fantastic yet believable atmosphere.
  • A focus on gender expectations of the time period (the Napoleonic era) create a lot of entertaining and dramatic tension.
  • The story has plenty of action, too, to keep me reading.

  • My one complaint is that, for me, the point of highest dramatic tension came on page 225 out of 348. While the rest of the story still kept my interest, it seemed a bit anti-climactic after what was one of the most gripping scenes that I've read in a long time.

Additional Notes
  • David Levine introduces numerous elements to the story—Captain Singh's background, the nature of automatons, elements of Martian culture, hints about life on Venus, the war between England and Napoleon's France, etc.—to provide fuel for more volumes in this series.

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