Haydn of Mars Mass Market Paperback – 10 Jan 2005
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I should have seen this coming. Haydn of Mars does the same. In Moonbane, the edning somewhat fit the story, but here it feels more like a betrayal.
But except for that, this was a rather good book. Denied greatness, but good. The story was wildly unique and original. The charachers vibrant and memorable. It clicked along at a very fast, engrossing pace.
Which made the end all the more dissapointing and troublesome. Not only that, but Haydn is the unluckiest girl in the universe. Everywhere she goes, she leaves a wake of death as she is hunted down. Everyone who means something to her meets a terrible fate. After awhile the bad things seem to be just piled on to the point of being just too much.
There was also a maddeningly lack of detail sometimes. Toward the end a massive battle between two armies of thousands of soldiers is summed up in less than two pages. Many times Haydn seems cold and removed from what should be heart wrenching, emotional drama. But at times, this brevity helps keep the story fast paced and exciting. I would have just cared for a lot more dialogue and internal struggle from Haydn.
There's some questionable excessive and unnessecery plot points and a red herring or two thrown in that bugged me. And the only reason I'm being this picky is because this was a great book, marred by one of the worst endings imaginable.
The plan failed and Frane of the F'ror declared herself queen. Haydn fled while the F'ror occupied the planet. The princess in exile spends the next year on the run hiding from her enemies while making new allies who hone her into a warrior worthy of the crown. She leads an army against the mighty F'ror knowing many will die, but that in the end it will be her against Frane.
The key characters seem humanoid so that for long stretches readers will forget they are intelligent cats. Haydn is a sympathetic figure who Frane hates because the princess married the tomcat she loved. She had him killed because she did not want her rival to have him any longer. Just one more bill for Haydn who pays quite a price to become a worthy monarch. Al Sarrantonio writes an enthralling Martian science fiction tale that leaves fans purring in delight as two more cat tales will follow.
It starts when the main character is ousted from her palace. Honestly it reads like you have just switched the channel to a movie that is halfway over and you are stuck trying to figure out what happened before you got there.
Haydn wanders around Mars trying to survive and gaining allies along the way. Unfortunately, everyone she befriends is killed in stupid, quick and exceedingly violent deaths. It's like she has a freakin' death curse or something... but no, it's just an over zealous author.
The most interesting part was when she stumbles across some ruins from what must have been humans long ago. No clear explanation is made, however, and we as the readers are left with more questions than answers.
Anyway, more and more death and hideous things happen both to Haydn and all the people (er- cats) that she loves, and then... well, the end has a rather abrupt ending, if you catch my meaning. I should just put the spoiler here, but if you really want it then read the back of the sequel of the book and you'll get it.
Overall the book was short, and I think it could have been longer with more space between all of the murders of Haydn's friends. You know, just to fill it out a little.