It’s been 14 years since the first invasion by the Martians, targeting Surrey and London in England, they were defeated by bacteria. Now Mars is closest to Earth again and signs from Mars surface of activity indicating a new invasion is readying itself…
Stephen Baxter, accomplished Sci-Fi author has taken the mantle of an HG Wells estate authorised sequel to the literary classic HG Wells War of the Worlds. The novel reads as an account of the second invasion by journalist Julie Elphinstone who travels from the USA back to England to witness the first stages of what turns out to be a Worldwide invasion.
The Earth of this novel is similar but alternative in many ways, France is occupied by Germany and the UK counts Germany as an ally of sorts.
Baxter builds tension as we see the Martians invade with a stronger force than before. The first half of the novel focuses primarily on England and then we see the POV from other countries of the world as they are also invaded by the Martians. It’s this second half of the book that lets it down for me and is the reason I give this book 4 stars. The descriptions of invasions in China, Australia, India, Africa and the United States seems hurried and of lesser significance.
The climax is dramatic and a unseen twist at the end leaves you feeling satisfied even though there seems enough unfinished business to warrant another book….
A good sequel to the War of the Worlds and I think HG Wells would be proud of what Baxter has achieved here.
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (19 Jan. 2017)