January 12, 2017

Gods of Mars

Michael Whelan's John Carter Cover

It's 8:25 am on my birthday, I haven't slept for the night and I'm going to try and write about Gods of Mars. Now, when the first book finished and it was nothing like the movie, I first questioned how they intended to start the next movie that they were planning on making but then nixed when the first movie didn't take off like they hoped and they didn't make back the money they had spent to make it. I believe. I'm not going to look it up because I'm still peeved over the cancellation of a number of shows I like. 

So the cover and painting above shows what happens within 15 mins of John Cater coming back to Mars. In my head, I saw more of the hair/ears than what I saw here after I had finished the book. BTW, I think this is my fave cover out of all the ones I've seen so far for all the books. So, how much of this do I talk about? 

This whole book dives into things that were hidden from the world we were introduced to in the first book. This is the moment that we are thrown behind a number of curtains that we didn't even know were there. So if I say anything it could be a spoiler for the book. So let's see how long I can skirt that until I really have to tell you something. 

Their time count is wonky. I'm not even talking about having to understand and keep in mind that a Marshan year is just over twice as long as an Earth year. 600+ days. In fact, John Carter forgot that himself near the end of the book and we beyond happy he was wrong. No, my time issue concerns someone he meets up with later. 

What I don't think is a spoiler is that the green man fighting with him is his friend from the first book. The Jeddak of the Tharks. Oh, I have missed saying this before, but Jeddak is on the level of a king and Jed is on the level of a prince. But for some reason, they just called princesses, princess. Go figure. 

So we meet those lovely blue things up there. We are reintroduced to the White Apes of Mars and John is once again knee deep in another fight. John even remarks how he loves to fight. Something you can't put in movies it seems if you want your hero to be a hero. But from one of the movie reviews I watched that other night, having him be so resistant to being the hero and fighting in general, was a big turn off to some people. Mostly because it had been done. So much. Now  I can see how they said, "No, we can't have our hero enjoying fighting, what kind of message would that send?" and then they did a full 180. Another thing I wonder how they would have resolved if the follow-up movies saw the light of day. I think he should have been good at fighting but showed him not bragging about it, not denying it all outright. 

And there is fighting for the whole first chapter. The next chapter and the chapter after that I'm sure. Oh, and the next two chapters. Then we have an escape from some people that stopped their first escape from the other people. At one point John is cooling his heels in a jail for twoish days. By the time they were caught I was starting to think that he shouldn't be standing anymore. Due to a number of events (injuries) and not eating for what seemed like days. 

I don't even really recall reading that he was feed, but I'm sure he was and he got to rest up and sleep too. Now by the time he's been locked up, he has a new friend and is about to find another new friend. I got who this was since they introduced him, but some may not, so I won't say anything. 

Why am I being all "Spoiler Alert" with this book? It's over 100 years old. Forget that. 

Back in book one, I told you how they made up those bald men with the powers? Well, this is where the real Therns come into the story. At the start of the book, John wakes up and wonders where he is. He doesn't know how he got to Mars the first time and he doesn't know why he left. And he could only hope that he was sent back there, but he acknowledges the fact that he could have easily been sent to any other planet. Because what he sees when he wakes up doesn't match anything he had seen on Mars the first time around. That certainly includes those blue skinned things with one eye and hair for ears. 

Things happen, and he finds and comes to the aid of his friend. The green skinned guy. Eventually, they get a little time on their hands, and it seems they are in the place that was considered to be the restful end for anyone who went down the River Iss. They very quickly realize that all of Mars has been lied to and know that when they get back, they most likely will be killed for making it out alive. It's a rule the people behind the invisible curtain came up with to keep people from trying too hard to leave and to keep anyone on the outside from hearing or believing anyone that did. 

Now around chapter 9 and also in a small part of chapter 2 I think, we are introduced to the practice of cannibalism. Some people may not agree with me because they see themselves as different races if not Gods or servants of Gods,

By the 9th chapter, we have two major reveals left and we just had two major ones handed to us. It was around chapter 13-15 we get the next one, but this was one I knew and was falsely lead to believe that it was about to be revealed on at least 2 earlier moments. Then depending on which chapter that is said, we get another bombshell 1 to 3 chapters later. 

This is a hint of what book three, Warlord of Mars is going to be about, but just a hint. First, we have to get back home to Helium. You remember that bit about how people of Mars were told to kill anyone that came back from going down the River of Iss? Well, John has enough good and very loyal friends that he gets to have his day in court. There is a guy there who is holding a grudge from the first book and is in a position to make it all go badly for John. It didn't work out the way he would have liked, for clearly John lives, but even I was questioning it at the time since this whole thing was new to me. 

Maybe I should say that I didn't know how he was going to get out of it because he had something to do, to live for, by this time so he wasn't going down this way. But the man tired. Oh, how he tried. He tried so hard that John almost killed his own son. Yep, he has a son. I'm leaving that for you to read on your own. It's during this event that he forgets how long a Marshan year is. We were all happy he was wrong. 

Now after this long moment of time, he gets ready for another big fight. He now has to go back, to where he came from and fight the people he bearly got away from. He takes his new friends and old ones with him. He has the fighting force of Helium behind him and any hoards of Thraks his green friend could get. But it's not that hard since they live to loot, and the are promised temples to raid. 

Oh, that guy who wanted John dead is still around to cause issues too. But he gets sorted and there are some close calls during this battle that more or less spans two cities and the air. 

Normally I can tell how a story is going, what will happen next and so on, but this book didn't know about all these things when it was written and not enough people has done what he has done since. I didn't know how most of this book was going to go down. So for a few seconds, I may think John is going to not make it in some way, while somehow believing that he should survive this and then when he does it's not how I expected at all. I'm not saying that every single thing in this book is a blind side, I'm just saying about 90% of it was. 😆

Which is why I'm being very loose on details here. 

So, battles, fighting, new skin colours, an actual ocean or sea really. I don't think it's actually as big as an ocean or we didn't get to see half the place and we saw a lot. 

Two races are overthrown and a lot of people find out how much they have been lied too for eons. And then he's within reach of what he came to do, and he watches his wife as she gets sealed up in a stone prison for a year, along with someone else he was trying to rescue and an enemy that he saw charging at his wife with a dagger just as they were being sealed inside.

And that is how it ends. On a cliff hanger. I'll be more kind with the next one. Anything I say there will most likely make you want to read this one to understand how that all happened.😊 

Here is another audiobook link for you. Gods Of Mars from LibriVox


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