John Carter is a classic, and this first book has been published for over 100 years. When I saw the movie, which wasn’t that great, it made me want to read the books because I could see what it might be. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Title: A Princess of Mars
Series: Barsoom; Book 1
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
ROTS Setting: CU/AU, Mars, Aliens
Synopsis: Her oval face was beautiful in the extreme, her every feature finely chisled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Similar in face and figure to women of Earth, she was nevertheless a true Martian–and prisoner of the fierce green giants who held me captive, as well!
Recommendation: Highly recommended!
My one and only point of friction was with the prose and writing style. It’s very much written in the language of the time so it took some effort to understand what was being said. Also it’s written in a first-person past tense as John writes about his own experience on Mars (Barsoom). Neither point is poorly done, but it did take some time for me to adjust and it’s not the style I would seek out on my own.
As main characters go, I quite enjoyed John Carter. He was a man’s man but not so rigid that he couldn’t adjust to the bizarre cultures and customs he encounters. He frequently worked within the local society before asserting one or the other of his own personal beliefs in which he wouldn’t compromise.
The plot was good and paced well. There were a couple of times when things worked out a bit too conveniently but those were usually minor plot points. All the major aspects were very well done and I loved the interactions between the characters.
Finally we get to Mars, or Barsoom, and the life we find there. I absolutely loved how consistent the life on Mars was. The many limbs and tusks really made me feel this was a living world on the continual brink of destruction. It’s a brutal world where war is a normal state of things. And I love it all!
Lastly, I’m uncertain whether this is Science Fiction or Fantasy. The science isn’t really there but there are some clear fantastical elements. Sooooo…… Science Fantasy?
In summary, it’s a very well done and I will definitely be finishing this series, eventually. It’s as good as I was hoping it to be and now I’m curious where things will go from here. I also purchased the ebook for the first 7 books from Amazon for a buck so I should be good for a while. (NOTE: Some of the earlier books are out of copyright, but the latter ones are not. Please make your purchases carefully.)