on 8 February 2010
If you've read other ERB books several of the plotlines in this one will be familiar - capture, kidnapping of a princess, a rescue mission with seemingly no chance of success etc., but there are enough novelties and twists to make it interesting. The early part takes place in a different city, with the hero acting undercover. The second part is the more fanciful when he takes a trip to one of the moons of Mars. ERBs fervent imagination is revealed in the continued variety of creatures - invisible, colour changing, cat men etc, as well as assassins and mad scientists. Although by itself the book is fine - the pacing is mainly just right - always at an action packed pace but still putting in enough detail to make the locations and people clear and atmospheric. The latter part of the book however, in hindsight, lacks a lot of detail that would have been welcome - the moon is changed from being the tiny satellite that may have been an imaginative new location, and the weird new creatures and adventures over the forests, mountains and rivers are a little rushed, and it all ends conveniently and suddenly. There was probably a good reason involving publishing deadlines and you don't feel shortchanged reading it, but given a few more pages I think he could have developed the ideas into another wonderful land.