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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the first book of of a trilogy
Plot line and characters well thought out. Very much hoping for a second book soon. At least I didn't see it on on Amazon's kindle list yet. Editing on self published books could use some refinement, but I'm not willing to pay more to have an editor cross all the t's and dot all the i's. Good book, good scifi plot. If you like scifi read this book.
Published 24 months ago by retired1nce

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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous, dreadful, and poorly edited
First of all, I rarely give 1-star reviews. But I found this book a particularly bad entry into the world of self-published sci-fi. I was taken in by all the five-star reviews, so I'm not sure if everyone else read the same book I did. Or maybe it's just the author's friends and relatives, or maybe some inside joke, like all of the 5-star reviews for David...
Published on March 18, 2012 by Robert


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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous, dreadful, and poorly edited, March 18, 2012
By 
Robert (Central Valley of California, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
First of all, I rarely give 1-star reviews. But I found this book a particularly bad entry into the world of self-published sci-fi. I was taken in by all the five-star reviews, so I'm not sure if everyone else read the same book I did. Or maybe it's just the author's friends and relatives, or maybe some inside joke, like all of the 5-star reviews for David Hasselhoff.

The main problem is that the plot is just ridiculous and poorly executed. With sci-fi like this, of course there is suspension of disbelief. That's not the problem here. It's just that the sequence of events doesn't really make sense and isn't that interesting. The writing style is clumsy and difficult to read. This guy takes one page to say what a better author could say in one sentence. Character development is also poorly executed. We get irrelevant backstories about characters who are largely irrelevant to the plot. For example, there's the guy from Texas, Simpson. A minor character. But we spend several pages learning about how he spent time in a traveling circus with a three-eyed, no-armed (or one-armed) guy. And then we get some backstory on the guy with three eyes and no arms. But it doesn't add anything to our understanding of Simpson, or tie any way in with the rest of the plot. In other words, a waste of time. We also have numerous characters that we get some backstory and attempt at development, who are then summarily killed off in completely unceremonious, meaningless fashion. The attempt at character development is wasted here too. Meanwhile, we have a minor character called Edna. All we learn about her is that she's a washed up boozer and complainer. Then, out of nowhere, towards the end, we find out she's a champion rock climber, which is actually significant to the story. Huh? This would have been a logical character to have done a little bit of development of.

As for the plot - it is not very focused, not much suspense. More like a bunch of stuff that happens, which is not logically connected to what came before. The aliens, the Sels, are nasty and threatening and all, but seem like an amalgamation of several of the bad guys from Star Trek and other sci-fi, notably the Borg and the alien from "Alien". The Sels have no sense of honor or honesty, and yet suffer from the classic villain tendency to give the hero a fighting chance.

The book is seriously in need of an editor. Besides the superfluous character development and excessively wordy writing, we also have numerous inconsistencies. For example, the character Ravers is variously a Major or a Colonel, and variously has the first name "Pierce" or "Chase". Mars' 747 had either 400 or 500 passengers. The Sel spaceship is either 2,000 meters or 2,000 kilometers long. The irrelevent backstory guy with three eyes variously has no arms or one arm. And so forth.

I found the choice of the surname "Mars" for the protagonist irritating - just another thing that is irrelevant to the story, adds little to our understanding of the character, but reduces the readability. Try reading a bunch of sentences with the name "Mars" in it; we are so used to this referring to a planet that it is jarring to have to keep reminding yourself that it is a characters' name.

A final annoyance - I don't know if this is just a quirk of my Kindle, or if this is by design. But the entire text is in the Kindle's "Fixed Width" font (similar to Courier), and I found it wasn't possible to override this with the usual Kindle font. The fixed width is much harder to read than the usual Kindle fonts. Compounding this the author's insistence on writing whole sentences, even paragraphs, in italics, on practically every page, to denote the thoughts of the characters, or the voices in Mars' head. If the fixed-width font is hard to read, the fixed-width italics is a nightmare.

Overall - I was very disappointed with this book. The ending seems to set up the possibility of a sequel, but I will most definitely not be putting that on my wish list!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Decent idea, poorly written and edited., June 14, 2012
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
An earlier reviewer, Robert, stated a lot of my problems with the book already, but just in case you think it's one person's opinion, let me add my voice to his. This book had promise at first, but the internal inconsistencies and plot errors make it too hard to enjoy. In addition to Ravers' first name changing throughout the story,the length of the ship changing, and other problems mentioned in Robert's review, we also have Barry, the kid whose last name and age changes from the beginning to the middle of the book. It would have been good for the author to have someone who could point these flaws out, because their really is no excuse for that kind of mistake.

Also, a little research would have helped with the science of the book. We are told the Sels come from the Andromeda Galaxy, and it takes 8 months or so to get from their to hear at the amazing speed of 1,000 times the speed of light. Well, a minute of research could have told the author that even at that speed, the Andromeda Galaxy is 2,500 years of travel away. Suspend my belief all you want, but at least be accurate. In addition, he frequently refers to the moon as a "zero gravity" environment, although it isn't. And he makes up the word "light parsec" as some sort of distance thing, but that word doesn't even make sense, since a parsec is already a measurement of distance. And no, to me that isn't a little thing that I can just get over. Things like this are very easy for the author to look up and correct, or have someone else do, and show an inherent sloppiness that I just can't forgive.

Plus, one of the major plot twists in the book (which I won't totally reveal, but it has to do with the loyalty of one of the characters), is so far out of left field as to be completely unbelievable. And it doesn't help that this twist completely goes against what the author has told us up to that point, and what we know about the aliens and what they know about us. The author takes great pains to tell us everything the aliens do after first contact, and all of this completely contradicts what happens later. Also, we are told time and time again that these aliens prize fighting and battle, and yet their big test is to make the characters run two miles and avoid some snakes? WTF?

So, terrible editing, inconsistent facts and characters, poor research, and a story that makes no sense. Get this if you want, but be warned.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and painful, May 3, 2012
This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
Please read Roberts 1 star review, as he outlines everything wrong with this book. Overwritten boring and utterly implausible, even for a scifi nut like myself. Thanks all the 5 star reviewers, for wasting my time and money. And it would make a dreadful movie.........
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much what Robert said., April 22, 2012
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
I read a little more than half the book and then deleted it from my Kindle. In his one-star review Robert pretty much sums up what's wrong with this book, so there's no need for me to repeat any of it other than to say I'm in agreement with his assesment.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please Try Again, August 6, 2012
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
The concept of this book was interesting, and the main character(s) were decent. The boozing seems rampant through this book, the editing awful, and back-story built on characters to be suddenly killed off is annoying. Overall, the setting was good, but please don't reward this writer by buying this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay Sci-Fi Tale / A Bit Uneven, October 19, 2012
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
This book was another free offering for the Kindle. I like a good Sci-Fi tale and one with alien invaders can add to the interest. If you read the synopsis of the book on the Amazon website you will get the overall story description so I have little else to add here. It was an entertaining story but it didn't impress me too much. There were a lot of small editing problems and for some reason I couldn't change the font style for this book on my Kindle. The font was an annoying typewriter style that I find uncomfortable when reading book length documents. Maybe I'm thinking too much about the overall storyline but it bothered me that a race of beings that had evolved enough to develop planet-like ships that could travel so far beyond the speed of light that galaxy hopping was easy and mind/body manipulation was a snap, would still find conquering planets and other races something worthwhile. And why would they have any trouble at all fighting mere humans? It just didn't make enough sense to me, even though it is Sci-Fi. Plus, there was a lot of wasted text describing all the wonderful achievements and backgrounds of all the main characters that slowed the pace of the story a lot. And the inner dialogue Irish musings of the main character didn't add anything to the story. One last thing that I found amusing was the rip off (for those of us old enough to remember) of the original Outer Limits TV show episode 'The Invisible Enemy' where the first astronauts to travel to Mars (yeah Mars) encounter sand sharks/dragons in a sea of sand. I give the author three stars for writing a story that is readable and somewhat entertaining, but do not believe the story merits anything higher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the first book of of a trilogy, September 7, 2012
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
Plot line and characters well thought out. Very much hoping for a second book soon. At least I didn't see it on on Amazon's kindle list yet. Editing on self published books could use some refinement, but I'm not willing to pay more to have an editor cross all the t's and dot all the i's. Good book, good scifi plot. If you like scifi read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!, February 3, 2013
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't seem to put it down. Well writen and engrossing. Plot was a fast mover and characters were developed quite soon. Only problem was at the end. The book seemed to end at the middle, at a point where it seemed there should have been more. I was Left me wanting/expecting more. Maybe this is a prelude to a follow-up novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs some polish, October 9, 2012
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
The story has promise and the characters are interesting - no less so than in any other mainstream sci-fi.

There are, however, a few things that this book need. One would be a good editor - the story needs to be streamlined a bit. Second one would be - a critical read-though from a couple of hardcore sci-fi fans. There are small inconsistencies that won't probably bother a casual reader but for a sci-fi reader, they will stand out.

That said, I did actually finish reading the book. I think the author got talent for writing and with some work and perhaps a bit of help, he can go to much better things.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really good book, July 13, 2014
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This review is from: Mars, The Bringer Of War (Kindle Edition)
4 stars is not something this is given by me easily. This was an exceptional story. Fast reading and a page turner. I would recommend this book to everyone even picky scify readers should like this one.
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Mars, The Bringer Of War
Mars, The Bringer Of War by George P. Saunders
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