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Arabella of Mars (The Adventures of Arabella Ashby Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 351 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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“Hugo award winning author David D. Levine's first full length novel, Arabella of Mars, is the delicious love child of Jane Austen, Patrick O'Brian, and Jules Verne! Sent back to England from her family's estate on Mars, Arabella despises the life of a staid young Regency lady. Then a shocking threat to her family on Mars forces her to undertake a desperate, impossible journey back to the colony--a journey that will change her forever. Arabella Ashby is a great character, and wonderful worldbuilding, tight plotting, and a breakneck pace make Arabella of Mars a real page turner! I look forward to the next book in the series.” ―New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney, author of Not Always a Saint and Once a Soldier
“This rollicking interplanetary adventure captured my heart. Who could resist a world in which coal-powered ships sail to Mars, borne aloft by balloons of Venusian silk, doing battle en route with French privateers? To protect family and fortune, Arabella Ashby masquerades as a boy and takes a berth as a cabin boy on a fascinating voyage. There’s a mysterious captain, an intriguing automaton, pirates, Martians, a bit of romance, and so much more. I’m grateful Levine has promised a sequel. Arabella Ashby proves herself to be a clever and capable heroine, and I’m looking forward to her next adventure.” ―Nebula, World Fantasy, and Philip K. Dick Award-winning author Pat Murphy
“David Levine has reached back past the Martian romances of Percival Lowell to an even earlier moment, creating a precursor to steampunk that I suppose we should call sailpunk. It’s a delightful addition to the Matter of Mars, bridging the long gap between Kepler and Burroughs with a Regency entry, filled with all the drama of the Napoleonic wars, now here complicated by a drastic Martian intervention, and animated most of all by Arabella, a young woman filled with curiosity and courage. It’s a very clever and entertaining start to a memorable saga.” ―Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Nebula-winning and Hugo-winning Mars trilogy
“Regency space opera in its best form! An intrepid, intelligent heroine, wonderful characters, and a breathtaking conflict. Who could ask for more?” ―Patricia Rice, author of Saturn's Daughter series
“If Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, and Patrick O’Brien had sat down together to compose a tale to amuse Jane Austen, the result might be Arabella of Mars. So. Much. Fun!” ―Madeleine Robins, author of The Stone War, a NYT Notable Book, and the Sarah Tolerance Regency mystery series
“David Levine’s entertaining debut is a delightfully detailed airship adventure, complete with romance, pirates, Martians, automata, and a charming Jules Vernian imagining of the alternate-world science involved in sailing a ship straight through our solar system.” ―Tina Connolly, author of the Ironskin Trilogy and Seriously Wicked
“Interplanetary pirates! Imperiled inheritances! Disguises! Rebellion! Romance! Arabella of Mars is a blast―a smart, resourceful heroine, a non-stop adventure packed with thrills, charm and surprises, and a fascinating world I hope to see a lot more of. A thoroughly engaging debut.” ―Kurt Busiek
“Shades of Jules Verne! Levine delights with genre-bending thrills in this Regency whizzbang.” ―Ellen Klages
About the Author
- File Size : 1085 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B015MP6U7E
- Publication Date : July 12, 2016
- Print Length : 351 pages
- Publisher : Tor Books (July 12, 2016)
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #631,506 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The author puts Arabella through a wild variety of dangerous adventures and demanding tasks. Every reader will have a favorite character. Mine is the navigational automaton of the interplanetary sailing ship Arabella winds up on, Addim. He's a benevolent and wordless clockwork version of HAL 9000.
The seagoing manages to take place in space, on a journey from Earth to Mars, thanks to the interesting if thoroughly improbable notion that an “atmosphere” of sorts, complete with winds and weather, exists in outer space; the characters are weightless for much of the story, yet they have no trouble breathing, and they constantly have to manipulate ropes and sails and other oceanic hardware in order to survive.
If you can manage to swallow that basic idea, though (and it does take a BIG gulp), the story is a lot of fun. Arabella, the dauntless heroine, is everything that a dauntless heroine should be, and her adventures as cabin boy “Arthur” aboard the fast company ship Diana are delightfully exciting. In the later part of the book, too, she puts her knowledge of Mars, where she was born and raised, and its native people (to whom she paid far more attention than most English settlers on the planet) to good use in foiling a Dastardly Plot.
If there is such a thing as a science fiction “beach book,” this would be it. I’m glad to see that a sequel will be coming soon.
Arabella, our protagonist, is well drawn, starting as a young girl happy to be able to beat her brother, to a mature woman capable of making difficult decisions even when the consequences are not totally to her liking. The odd universe she inhabits is drawn in considerable detail, especially the airship she travels on from Earth to Mars. Those who like those old sailing adventure stories will certainly find much that is both familiar and engaging. The England of the day is straight out of the 19th century, with all that implies about the acceptable roles for women, and how Arabella works her way around these will make modern day feminists fairly happy, although they may not be too happy with her final decision about how to solve her problems.
I did have one quibble, finding it a fair stretch to believe that Arabella could pass herself off as a man for an extended period of time in the close confines of a wooden sailing ship. And other than Arabella and the ship's captain, characterization is pretty thin. But overall, this is an excellent read, especially as a first novel by Mr. Levine. I will certainly be looking for more from him.
---Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
In order to stave off a threat to her beloved older brother's life, Arabella Ashby, a young Englishwoman born and raised on a colonized Mars, must return to Mars from Earth as swiftly as possible. In this universe where the planets whirl in an interstellar atmosphere that can be traversed by airborne sailing ships, her best bet is a merchant ship belonging to the Honorable Mars Company. This book has everything: Crossdressing, naval battles in space, delightfully alien Martians, and thorny problems with inheritance law, along with an intelligent, resourceful heroine and an understated romance. I can't wait to read the sequel and subsequent adventures of Miss Ashby.
Top reviews from other countries
The characters are interesting and the dialogue and world building is very consistent so you are free to concentrate on the story. The action is quick and the main character appealing.
My only complaint is that it ended rather abruptly. Perhaps it was intended as a longer story and got divided into 2 books?
I will definitely buy a sequel.
What this book is about:
We are back in 1812 and Arabella aged 16 is playing with her brother a game of shorosh khe kushura. She is determined that this time she will be able to beat him. Life is simple and beautiful for Arabella who lives on Mars with her family. But when a small accident sends her mother reeling, she is forced to return back to England on Earth with her two younger sisters. Because Mars is not a proper place for a young lady and Arabella needs to learn how to behave like a British young woman of her age. A year later Arabella and her family receive the devastating news of her beloved father’s passing on and of her brother’s new right to the family’s plantation on Mars. But Arabella also learns that her brother is in danger and the only way she can help him is by boarding on a ship back home to Mars.
Arabella of Mars is written by the Hugo Award winner of 2006, David D. Levine. David D. Levine is a science fiction author of more than 50 stories and has been short-listed for numerous prestigious awards, among them the Nebula award. His first full length novel, Arabella of Mars is 348 pages long, reads from a third person perspective and follows 17-year-old Arabella Ashby on her adventures to save her beloved brother Michael.
What is quite amazing about this book, first of all, is the wonderful conception to marry between interplanetary travel and Georgian England. If you think about it, there aren’t many stories out there that take place between 1812 and 1813 on both Earth and Mars. Here we have an alternate history novel with a female protagonist going on a great adventure disguised as a boy on a ship that can fly. That’s how people are moving from Earth to Mars, on flying ships. If it sounds cool that’s because it is!
Arabella of Mars is a better science fiction story than Cinder. Is it wrong to compare? Maybe..But the reason why I chose to do so is because I’d like to urge young adult readers to go ahead and check this book out. It’s written in the YA way, and follows an adolescent protagonist in an epic adventure. The swear words are crossed out like so: f–k or d–n and there are very few (one or two) bloody scenes. There is no heavy scientific terminology and the premise is quite the opposite of overwhelming. The story is rather simple and straight forward and the book is light and fun to read.
Which brings me to my next point: this novel didn’t amaze me. Throughout the novel I was thinking: “okay, now it’s going to get better. Alright, now we are getting to the good part. This is it right here, things will go off now.” But this never happened. The story, to me, was quite predictable and the fact that it revolved solely or on such a huge degree around Arabella (the name Arabella must have appeared 50 times more than any other name) made the novel quite monotonous. I could have cared about more characters but they were in an overly obvious manner just background noise. Everything that annoyed me in this story is pretty much what annoys me in most YA novels, so one could deduct that I have outgrown young adult books or I simply don’t like them anymore. One thing I’m quite sure about though, is that this book will appeal to a great YA reading population.
Even though I was very excited to receive this book, my feelings throughout the novel can be summarised as “meh, it’s alright”. Arabella of Mars is saved by the fact that it is a very fast-paced book with rapidly changing scenes so it’s quite difficult for the reader to feel bored. As I said, it really reads like something that would be loved by YA readers and is also a wonderful introduction into the science fiction genre. But, although YA readers will enjoy it, I’m not so sure about science fiction and fantasy fans. I do recommend you check this book out if you think that the issues I had with it would not discourage you from picking it up.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tor Books, to review.