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34 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars About time!
This book was great! Really good near term military science fiction is almost unheard of, but this book stands as one of the best I've had the pleasure of reading. The political sitution on earth has definitely changed in 40 years, but the plot is far from implausible. The book was extremely patriotic (OOH -RAH) and deserves to be. With all due respect,...
Published on 15 Dec. 1998

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining in a fantasy/sci-fi way
I've read the comments of most reviewers and it seemed like there is a bit too much flag waving here. Hey, it's a decent book, but it's not a study in patriotism!
I'm not a Marine, but I was US Army Airborne Infantry for the better part of a decade. The tactics, strategies and some of the military details are a bit silly, but that's okay. It's only a fictional...
Published on 17 Mar. 1999


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining in a fantasy/sci-fi way, 17 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
I've read the comments of most reviewers and it seemed like there is a bit too much flag waving here. Hey, it's a decent book, but it's not a study in patriotism!
I'm not a Marine, but I was US Army Airborne Infantry for the better part of a decade. The tactics, strategies and some of the military details are a bit silly, but that's okay. It's only a fictional novel. The characters are fairly interesting. I just wish that Ian Douglas hadn't have to wave the banner a little bit too much. I understand that he wants to portray the Marines as a gung-ho, can-do outfit and all that stuff, but it's even much by USMC standards.
As a weapons enthusiast, I do like the little details like HK Laserkarabiner and SIG-Sauer pistols.
For realistic portrayal of Marines in combat, it's hard to beat Dan Cragg and David Sherman with their 34th FIST series books.
But I'll read the second part and probably the third part of this trilogy. It's entertaining if nothing else. It's not a mental or intellectual exercise.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great, if you're American, 6 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is an average read. It fulfills the basic requirement of a good book - it is entertaining. Unfortunately that is about it. It portrays America against the rest of the world. It tells us how great the good old US of A and especially the US Marine Corps is. It is definately a B - grade book. If you want to read a decent Sci Fi/War book go no further than James P. Hogans Voyage from Yesteryear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pray with me, that the sequels will never come out!, 4 Aug. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
If there was an award for the most stupid characters in sci-fi novels, Ian Douglas's heroes of "Semper Mars" would certainly win it. It's bad enough that the background situation is a bunch of pure humbug: Israelis and Arabs have made peace, Bosnians and Serbs have made peace, Indians and Pakistanis have made peace etc., even the French have given up their independence. All under the heading of the United Nations. Only the US is left, all alone in the world, with no other than Russia as it's only remaining ally. This setting deserves to be called "a strike of genius". It either reveals the author's total ignorance of politics, or a cheap shot at exploiting liquor-store level militia sentiments.
Oh yes, the stupidity of characters: the US and it's Russian ally have a monopoly on space transport. Which NASA general would then be so stupid to ship 25 Marines to Mars, after 50 "hostile" UN troopers have already gone there? Which chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wou! ld allow a transport of hostile forces in the first place ??? Another scene: two Marines sit in a foxhole guarding the US embassy in Mexico City during a crisis situation. Two Mexican armored fighting vehicles appear on the scene and open fire. The Marines don't know how to defend themselves. Of course I don't know the Marine Corps of 2040 (when the story takes place), but in 1982 when I left active duty, all fox holes had at least a bazooka or similar armor piercing equipment. And there wasn't even a crisis situation in 1982. Oh man, this is hard to stand. Best of all: the guard performance of the Marines. USMC are elite troops, right? Picture this: two Marines stand guard, while the rest of their platoon is asleep. The guards come under fire, one of them is wounded. The remaining Marine then "has only two choices - return fire or help his injured friend". (Hey - how 'bout setting off an alarm? What is he on guard for?) Ian Douglas then has the poor fellow help his friend, r! ather than returning fire "certainly, all Marines throughou! t history would have acted this way". What is this? A gang of pussy cats? This must be an attacker's dream: you hit one of the guards, and instead of alarming his sleeping comrades and/or defending himself, the second one stops fighting and tends his (not even seriously) wounded comrade. I haven't been a Marine (just regular Army), but this behavior will get you court-martialed. And rightfully so. Seems, that Douglas has picked up his military education from cheap B-movies or useless paper-back fiction. To top it off, then, despite all literary liberty the author fails to produce a compelling, or even mildly interesting, plot. I fell asleep after the first chapters and had to force my way through the rest of the novel (I was on an intercontinental flight and didn't have anything else to read). Forget this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars About time!, 15 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was great! Really good near term military science fiction is almost unheard of, but this book stands as one of the best I've had the pleasure of reading. The political sitution on earth has definitely changed in 40 years, but the plot is far from implausible. The book was extremely patriotic (OOH -RAH) and deserves to be. With all due respect, international readers probably didn't like it because they were opposite the "good guys" in the story. The Marine culture is presented fairly well here. I can only guess about this since I'm no a Marine, but I am very proud just being from the same country as the USMC. This book just added to that feeling as it showed how timeless Marine values really are. I suggest this book to anyone even remotely interested in the Corps, our future in space (that we'll live to see, rather than 100's of years from now), or military adventure. I just hope I don't pull my hair out waiting for the sequels. Semper Fi!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Rah-rah-USA Read!, 28 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
I picked this one up as a "why not?" read and was pleased with what I found. I liked the book. I thought the future portrayed was a little too bleak to be factual (running out of ALL resources, etc.,) but it did set the stage well. Mr. Douglas's characterizations of his Marines were a bit above the usual stereotypes. Sometimes not by much though. The political situation he portrayed however, was very interesting. I liked the inteligence he showed in both putting it together very plausibly and in how he depicted his characters reacting to it. Although the tale is nationalistic (I liked that) it was not jingoistic so his characters were not mindless in their actions. That made it much more readable for me.
All in all however, the book was well done, interesting and exciting to read, and has indeed left me waiting for the next installment. It has also left me looking to see what else, if anything Mr. Douglas has written!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Semper Mars, 9 April 2006
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This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Purchased the book on a whim and have been pleasantly surprised with it. While Douglas does lay it on a mite thick with the "Good Old US of A" flag waving it doesn't ruin what is otherwise a very entertaining read. I'd certainly recommend it
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cynic Suprised, 29 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
On a lark I purchased the book. I am a military historian, my youngest brother is a marine and the movie Aliens being a favorite, I had hopes that this book might be a fun read. At least it would be worth a trade in at a local paperback store. I usually HATE Sci-Fi and can count two books in my library that are Sci-Fi: Statrship Troopers and now Semper Mars. Mr. Woods knows his history, know his Corps, and makes a plausible if somewhat bleak future. I simply could not put this book down. Which is usually only the case with a history book. Pick it up you will not be disappointed!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent . . . and thought provoking!, 29 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Mr. Douglas has the gift for combining good, believable characters, a very interesting story, and a commentary on current political trends. The result: one wild ride of a story. Not only does he present a very good sci-fi story, but he also provides a warning about what could occur if the trend towards giving up national sovereignty continues. Perhaps that's the reason why some European readers (who have already sacrificed economic sovereignty with political soon to follow) really don't like this book.
As for the commentary about the supposed inaccurate description of the Marines, all I can say is that the characters reminded me of every Marine I've ever known and/or studied. These guys and gals would fit in well with every fire team in the USMC. Also, for those who claim that every foxhole has a "bazooka" (not used since the 1960s), please remember that the scene in question took place at an embassy! Plus, remember Beirut, 1983, when Marines in a known combat zone were ordered to patrol with their weapons unloaded? The Mexico City scene was perfectly plausible for anyone who remembers how badly politicians have screwed the USMC in the past, present and future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun like all his other books!, 21 Aug. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Pay no attention to the sour grapes from the Japanese and Belguim reviews. The Eurpoeans and Japanese didn't shine in this book. If you look inside at the publishing information, you will note that the book is by William H. Keith Jr. of the 5th Foreigh Legion and Warstrider series. Why he chose to publish under another name is a mystery to me because I gobbled up all his other books. This book has lots of action and credible technological settings, great characters (including the Japanese), and is a great read. I look forward to the next installment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down, but it gets a little far-fetched., 23 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Overall, I liked this book very much. The plot was action-packed and kept me wanting to read more. The military scenes were usually very realistic. The characters were well-developed and you wanted to get to know them.
My only complaint is the very basis of the book, the Face on Mars, is somewhat far-fetched, barely explained and strange. I understand that there are more books coming explaining the Face of Mars, but I found this blatent twist of reality annoying in a book that otherwise went so far to be realistic and accurate.
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Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy)
Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy) by Ian Douglas (Mass Market Paperback - 3 Feb. 2007)
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