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Champion of Mars by [Haley, Guy]
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Champion of Mars Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

'A novel with an ambition on the scale of Olympus Mons itself, and it delivers. Recommended.' --Stephen Baxter, SFX Magazine

'A very good writer, with an infectious love for sci-fi that shines off every page... If there is one author who might write a Game of Thrones-scale hit in the future, it's Haley.' --The Guardian

About the Author

Guy Haley is an experienced science-fiction journalist, writer and magazine editor. He has been editor of White Dwarf and Death Ray, among other magazines, and deputy editor of SFX. He is the author of the Richards and Klein series from Angry Robot, and two novels - Crash and Champion of Mars - for Solaris, and writes for Games Workshop's Black Library. He lives in Bath. You can find him at guyhaley.wordpress.com.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1003 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (30 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ZB9XEG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #152,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is set on Mars, with an interlinked series of stories ranging through time from the near future to tens of thousands of years from now. The parts set in the near future are great - well written, interesting characters, interesting plot. If Mr Haley wants to write more novels which are akin to these chunks of this one, I will be happy to read them.

There are also a few completely stand-alone chapters (The Silver Locusts, A Young Boy Comes of Age), which are delightful and could live happily in a collection of short stories. As could the not quite so stand-alone chapter The Last War of Tsu Keng. Again, good writing and engaging characters.

However, the literary devices and writing style that the author has picked for the far future chunks of the novel (Yoechakenon and Kaibeli's story) were a complete turn-off for me. Yoechakenon's actions are all told in first person, present tense, through the viewpoint of Kaibeli - a disembodied Artificial Intelligence. So instead of Yoechakenon as viewpoint character with sentences like "Yoechakenon thought the coffee tasted fantastic", you instead get "I watch Yoechakenon drink his coffee. From his reaction he appears to find the coffee fantastic". Their tale is supposed to be a love story across space, time, death and reality, but the style means that Yoechakenon comes across as about as lovable and loving as Judge Dredd or the Terminator (please note: I am not a romance fan. Rom-coms send me screaming from the room. That's not what I'm asking for here.). As Kaibeli herself has no discernible personality until about halfway through the book, it is impossible to engage with either of the pair of them and that makes those chapters a real slog to wade through.
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By Jason on 13 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can see this book has had mixed reviews, I veer more to the side of liking this book.

Champion of Mars is a good update on the old Sword-and-Planet tales on Mars, blending in high technology with quantum mechanics and even some hints of the Cthulhu Mythos with the Stone Kin.

I wasn't expecting the near future sections, but they were very good, and with some other excepts through the timeline of Mars, effectively showed how the society of the far future Mars was established, and how the far future reaches back to effect the near future of Mars.

The main story is about Yoechakanon Val Mora and his AI/spirit lover Kaibeli who are released from being executed to find the long-lost Librarian of Mars, who can help mankind defeat the final invasion of Stone Kin, creatures from the higher 7 dimensions intruding into our own.

There are some great ideas here. AIs have progressed so far that in the far future they are treated as spirits, and the digital world they and enhanced humans inhabit is known as the Second World.

There is also an intriguing philosophy revolving around free will and fate, which seems to be an interpretation of the Uncertain Principle and the Many Worlds theory of quantum mechanics.

There are 2 main criticisms about this book. I would have preferred more set in the far future, after setting up an interesting scenario Guy Haley didn't really do much with it.

And the ending felt very rushed and convenient. The Librarian of Mars was found very easily, and the resolution was dealt with all too soon.

So, not a perfect book by any means. But for those who like Sword-and-Planet stories, it's a clever update, preserving the spirit of those stories while overhauling the science and characters.

I would love to see more of this universe. Time for a jaunt to Venus perhaps?
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Format: Paperback
Bought this in the sci-fi store just to have some summer reading. The premise looked interesting and in fact the book is reasonably well written, although with a lot of small proof reading errors, such as a major character switching from being Swedish, to Norwegian to Danish through the book. But then there is this entire chapter which is not part of the bigger story and which is never followed up. But the main problem with the book is that the author is not able to create a satisfying ending to all the subplots and concepts built up in the book. You have 50 pages left and the plot keeps on thickening Damon Lindelof style.

A real disappointment even though I didn't have any expectations to begin with.
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Format: Paperback
I'm surprised to see the negative reviews for this book. It's one of the best sci fi books I've read in a long time: 60s style adventure combined with modern hard SF. Nicely written too - despite the story jumping through many millennia it all ties together neatly. This is the first thing I've read by Guy Haley but based on this I'll definitely check out his other books.
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