But enough of that. We're here for the book review of Lord of Mars.
The epic scale of the narrative is brought to the fore as entire star systems are created, reborn and reshaped by the miraculous technology known as the Breath of Gods. In the face of such wonder, the fleet had to deal with threats both within and without - I already mentioned the Titans annihilating the threats on Katen Venia, but Hypatia presented geological dangers instead of enemy soldiers. Aboard the Speranza, the tech-priests have to deal with an uprising as well as the insidious Eldar who have snuck upon the ship.
Abrehem Locke's circumstances are compelling and sympathetic, and even the Acro-flagellant Rasselas X-42 gets character development. A traitor who was a former Eccelesiarchy cadinal known as the Impaler Cardinal, Lukasz Krol. That was nicely done, as was the agonizing process of transforming a man into an Acro-flagellant. Abrehem himself was fleshed out even more, growing into a reluctant savior who finally accepts his role as the Machine-touched.
It's pretty funny because in the same week I was reading this book, the module in which I'm a teaching assistant in is teaching on worker strikes, labor unions and employment in Japan. And then I go and read about the menials and servitors go on strike aboard the Speranza, demanding better working conditions, food and treatment. They eventually get it, but I was amused by the similarity between what I read in Warhammer 40K fiction and the readings I do for college. Who says fiction and reading leisure cannot be applied to academia?
The Eldar, I'm beginning to really hate. I particularly detest that bitch Bielanna Farelle, and I hope she dies horribly. That arrogance, that cold disregard for humanity, that condescending manner, and her reason for killing good citizens of the Imperium...damn her. I hope Roboute Surcouf will not be forced to do anything stupid, but what she casted on him doesn't bode well for him.
Predictably, the Explorator fleet finally meet Archmagos Vettius Telok face to face at the very end, thus opening for a conclusive third book in the trilogy. That's not a spoiler, it's already revealed in the synopsis of Gods of Mars. Anyway, given how impressive the tale is, to the extent I just couldn't put the book down, I would definitely recommend this book. The whole Mars series must be read as a trilogy, however, so readers jumping straight into Lords of Mars without first reading Priest of Mars would get lost. But I highly encourage fans of Warhammer 40K to read all three books, or at least the first 2 books - as of now, I have yet to read the final book in the trilogy but I'm looking forward to it.
As a side note, in addition to buying Mechanicum: Taghmata Army List from Forge World, I managed to get myself a copy of Cybernetica, a direct sequel to Mechanicum in the Horus Heresy series! It's a limited edition book and there are less than 400 copies left, so please head over to Black Library and buy the book before it's sold out! I'll write a review for it once I get my hands on and read it, so look forward to it! Don't worry, I'll make sure to finish Gods of Mars, The Emperor's Finest, Baneblade and Commissar Yarrick: The Pyres of Armaggedon before then.
The description for the limited edition of Cybernetica reads as follows:
"Contained in a full colour wrap around dust jacket, over a clockwork hardcover, this new limited edition is every centimetre a Horus Heresy collectors item. On the first page of your book, you'll find a signature from author Rob Sanders, as well as the unique number of your copy. Also included is a fold-out colour section, featuring new artwork and background, as well as a full four-page spread of the Cybernetica cover art. Every page is gilt-edged and a bronze marker ribbon completes the package."
So yeah, I think it's worth the 30 pounds. Additionally, Rob Sanders is the writer of the awesome books Skitarius and Tech-priest, both of which I have already written book reviews for (just search under book reviews in my blog). You can order Cybernetica from the Black Library website, and hurry! There are fewer than 400 copies left!