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The Daedalus Incident: Book One of the Daedalus Series Paperback – August 13, 2013
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"Martinez's debut is a triumph of genre-blending.... With a cast of superbly drawn characters, Martinez's title is a mesmerizing tale of two universes that briefly cross paths, leaving both worlds forever changed." -- Library Journal (starred review, SF/F Debut of the Month
"The HMS Daedalus sails a ballsy, brilliant and at times breathtaking universe and you get to tag along for the ride. I can't speak highly enough of what the author has created here" -- Fantasy Faction
"...a story that is plain good fun and adventure and that does not get bogged down into complexities of the world. A highly recommended debut." -- The Founding Fields
"This is a fast-paced and smooth read from the very beginning, and towards the end Martinez builds up the suspense and urgency like a pro....adventurous, original, and a blast to read." -- Tor.com
"...an ambitious and fun romp...entertaining and fun to read and despite its delays in publication, I hope it reaches its deserved audience, and that the author has the opportunity to explore the universe of the Daedalus, especially, much further." -- SFSignal
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The author braved writing those thoughts down in this book. He created a world of spacefaring 32-gun frigates and wrapped it around a fast-paced adventure story. "The Daedalus Incident" treads the borders of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. It throws in some romance, too, for good measure (it could easily have had a cover featuring a swashbuckler and a damsel in distress but, thankfully, it did not go there). Reading it felt like watching someone juggle knives while riding a unicycle on a tightrope over a flaming pit. There is always the danger of the whole thing falling apart but, incredibly, the act holds well together. I think that's how most of the excitement in "Daedalus" is generated making it so fun to read.
The author has taken great care in crafting the details of his world. He demonstrates respect for every genre he touched in the story so you soon realize he knows what he's doing. You can safely suspend your disbelief while reading this tale and enjoy the sights, sounds, and marvels of the ride knowing you won't be cheated in the end. Don't be surprised if you find yourself asking for more. Thankfully, there is promise of that.
And in fact this great mash up of time lines results in the collision of these two time lines in the exciting conclusion to the story.
In 1779 we have the almost "steampunk" like activity of sailing between the stars with a literal sea going ship. This is accomplished through lodestones that have been treated by an Alchemist to support the gravity and air needed by men. And by men, I mean sailors of the Royal Navy no less. Our hero is Tom Weatherby on her majesties ship Daedalus who is on a routine voyage to rout out any French ships.
Tom and the rest of the men on Daedalus are soon on a trip across the known worlds chasing a mad alchemist who is stealing the essence of the known worlds. Why he is doing this is not known. All that is known is that he must be stopped before he gets all the known worlds essences.
In our 2132 timeline on Mars our main characters are US Air Force personnel and scientists exploring Mars along with a group of rough necks mining for precious materials under the surface of Mars.
But something is wrong as there are injuries involved when several earth quakes (oops mars quakes) occur with no apparent reason. Soon both the military staff and scientists are investigating other strange occurrences.
The author is true to the mannerisms, terminology, attitudes and perspectives of each time line as we go back and forth in time. Which is outstanding as you can see the different perspectives of each group.
As you may have guessed the two time lines collide at the end of the book with an epic battle; and both groups of characters being exposed to the other's perspective.
A wonderful romp that combines both science fiction and fantasy attributes that will please both groups.
Then, suddenly, it’s chronicling the adventures of a young lieutenant in an alternate history where the colonial European powers are seizing territory on different planets in the solar system, instead of portions of North and South America.
The mechanism used to tie these two worlds together is a bit predictable, but the ride is a rollicking adventure that I enjoyed. The novel is weakened by having all the real action on one side of the divide (the future Martian miners are mostly along for the ride in this novel, and their ride is mostly to inspire the confusion and wonder that are a staple of genre sci-fi), but judging by the setup at the end — which contain the only indicators in the book that it’s opening a series; this could have been standalone with only minimal editing and reworking of a couple chapters — the action will be more equitable in the follow-ups. There are a few line editing issues (only a few; but still surprising in a properly-published novel) and the prose gets a bit dull — the price paid for trying to speak in the voice of an 18th-century “officer and gentlemen” character.
Given the opening you obviously can’t take any of the science portions too seriously, but this is a rollicking adventure that won’t leave anybody regretting the time spent on it.
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