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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine

Arabella of Mars is clearly an original take on sci-fi. I was blown away by the details of the story, despite the fact that everything about space travel was fictional and unrealistic. David D. Levine was able to merge science fiction, fantasy and steampunk effortlessly in this epic space adventure.

I'm usually a stickler for facts when it comes to space and science in novels, but in this case, because everything was done purposely, I really don't mind the way the author reinvented space travel. The ships that fly between Earth and Mars are very similar to the airships often seen in steampunk. Clearly the author thought long and hard about space travel and I love how much detail was included in the novel. The native inhabitants of Mars, with their insect-like lifeforms, are obviously fictional, but the way they're described and their detailed culture makes them almost believable. The tension between the Mars natives and humans is one of the many conflicts in the book, despite years of a somewhat peaceful co-existance.

Arabella is a wonderful character. In my opinion, she's the perfect new settler of Mars. She adventurous, inquisitive and obviously has tremendous respect for the Mars natives.  She's also a tomboy, and her mother blames this on her being raised on Mars. To make sure Arabella grows up to be a proper Englishwoman, her mother forces Arabella to move to a completely different world: London, England. She clearly isn't cut out for Regency England. As soon as she realizes that her brother, back on Mars, might be in trouble, she leaves everything behind and joins an airship crew under the guise of a boy in order to head back to her home planet. With no experience as an airman she quickly learns her way around the ship.

When the captain of the ship, Captain Singh, discovers her aptitude for automatons and navigation, he takes her under his wing and teaches her how to use the navigation automaton. The relationship that develops between Arabella and Captain Singh, is at first a professional one, but slowly, Arabella starts to develop strong romantic feelings for her Captain, especially while caring for him during a coma. When it comes to romance, the book was clearly written by a man because it felt really awkward and inexperienced. The two of them make a great pair, and despite the clumsy almost non-existant romantic scenes, I still love the direction in which the two characters are heading

This book is a blend of many genres, including steampunk, science-fiction and fantasy. It has pirates, automatons, space battles, a mutinous coup, a siege on Mars, a little bit of romance and so many other great things. Arabella of Mars can definitely be read as a stand-alone but I really hope to see more of Arabella and Captain Singh in the future. They make a great pair and I think their story has only just begun. A must read!

stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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2 People left their mark' :

  1. This sounds interesting/unlike what I'm currently reading... I think I may check it out! Great review dear.

  2. I passed this one up. Looks like I need to go back and give it a try.