- Series: The Pirates Series
- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Cincinnatus Press (June 14, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1632021617
- ISBN-13: 978-1632021618
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,245,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pirates of Mars (The Pirates Series) (Volume 2) Paperback – June 14, 2016
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While the plot and characters are all well known from other works of fiction, Gerrib still puts his own unique stamp it all so that it feels comfortable rather than repetitive. That said, his characters are not one dimensional. The good guys are not all so good and the bad guys, for the most part, are also people with depth. We don't have time to necessarily explore them fully but we get sympathetic glimpses of almost everyone on all sides. The author is playing with well explored themes, but he does a good job of keeping it interesting.
This one is not for the kiddies. Rough language and violence abound. There is some sexual content also. The course language was a bit much for me, but I'm pretty conservative in that regard. That language combined with the heavy use of Naval terminology had me thinking back to my days with the USN quite a bit. Gerrib uses the nautical setting to great effect in describing life in space and on Mars. I thought it worked very well.
My only other reservation with the story itself was the heavy use of current terminology. I doubt that by the time we have numerous settlements on Mars that people will still be "googling" things. Though anything is possible. The multiple nods to sci-fi stories and authors was not all that authentic either, in my mind, yet they made me smile and I enjoyed them. One can't too hung up on realism in a story about pirates on Mars.
I bought and read the Kindle version. There seems to be a formatting issue. Often after the second paragraph or so on a page, the text would all be indented. Hopefully that will get fixed (one of the nice things about e-books is that it can be). I'm not sure where the issue falls - with Amazon or the publisher so I didn't count that against the book.
I'm giving it 4 out of 5. I don't think it's earth shattering, timeless sci-fi. I do think it's a fun ride and worth the price of admission. (Especially the kindle version, which at least when I bought it was considerably lower than the dead tree price)
The cover art, evocative of pulp sci-fi of the sixties and seventies, is a nice touch. The story has a feel evocative of a lot of classic science fiction. In short--a sparsely settled Mars, dotted with small settlements, some of which have a wild-west feel, is base to pirate outfits, which have been hijacking incoming spacecraft, then extorting ransom from the companies and insurers.
Gerrib makes an interesting choice by opening the story from the point of view of one of the pirates, Rachel Storey, a former art-history major who also happens to be a skilled pilot. The story almost lost me in the first chapter because I didn't have a lot of sympathy for pirates who are willingly killing people for profit. That said, very shortly we are introduced to the Volunteer Space Rescue Service, an outfit which initially specialized in assisting survivors on troubled spacecraft, but more recently has been more and more involved in dealing with the results of increasing piracy.
With solid pacing, interesting and sympathetic characters and a fascinating premise, Pirates of Mars is a winning story. I'll be looking for more titles from Chris Gerrib.
I have a few quibbles with the timeline - I'm not convinced 2074 is far enough away to have the level of development we see on Mars, and there are technological extrapolations that the author has missed. But in terms of the realities of space based operations a lot of thought has gone into this and I'm interested to see how the story develops in future sequels.