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Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy, #1)
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Semper Mars (Heritage Trilogy #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,563 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The Year is 2040.
The Marines have landed on Mars to guard the unearthed secrets of an ancient and dangerous alien race: Ourselves.

Scientists have discovered something astonishing in the subterranean ruins of a sprawling Martian city: startling evidence of an alternative history that threatens to split humanity into opposing factions and plunge the Earth into chaos and war.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Harper Voyager
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Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonRevelation Space by Alastair ReynoldsOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Excellent Space Opera
94th out of 295 books — 1,744 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinOld Man's War by John ScalziThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Best Military Science Fiction Books
103rd out of 446 books — 559 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,445)
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Mike (the Paladin)
*Another book I really wanted to like. I like military science fiction, I support the military....but this is another on I just couldn't get into.

I think I may reread this. Sometimes things look different given time. I don't know.*

Well, I think this is a first. I read/tried to read this book some time ago and just couldn't get into it (note my original abbreviated review above). I saw that others hadn't been fond of it so figured it was just one of those books.

However I'd read other books by the
A jingo-istic, over simplified version of the future where the US Marines might as well wear capes (I am proudly serving in the US Military as I type this). The characters offer no real depth and only serve to act as a speaker box for the author beliefs. The antagonist are even flatter offering little in the way of humanity or any real clear objectives aside from being in conflict with the main characters. Its like if you directly wrote down a Michael Bay movie.

I gave it 3 stars because it is wa
I read this book because my brother was cleaning out his bookshelves, and asked if I was interested. As someone who likes reading military stories in SF/F settings, I said okay.

I am kinda wishing I hadn't. Semper Mars isn't BAD - in terms of writing it's fairly middle-of-the-road. It's just that the flaws it does have are pretty glaring.

The back cover blurb promises me mysterious finds on Mars and the implications they have about humanity's place in the solar system - but what I get is a breat
Hoo-rah! This is a fun military sci-fi book. Set in a realistic near-future, Semper Mars is about a platoon of jar heads sent to Mars to protect US interests on the Red planet. The face on Mars turns out to be an artifact from an ancient civilization, and there are other mysteries that need to be solved involving alien technology and an unknown piece of human history.

What's more fun in this book is the political situation back on earth: the United States, Russia, and England are at war with the
The author's love of the Corps really shines through in this book, on just about every page... but then again, if you pick up a novel called Semper Mars expecting anything other than the U.S. Marine Corps kicking ass on the Red Planet, then I can't help you.

If, however, you aren't bothered by the portrayal as the Americans as the unequivocal Good Guys and the more-or-less faceless Bad Guys being led by all French commanders, then you will find a highly entertaining story of political intrigue an
Scott Holstad
I like military sci fi, but this book has such a stupid premise, I couldn't finish it. It's 2040 and America is on Mars researching a discovery that the evil UN wants part of. To protect American interests, 30 Marines are sent to Mars. That's right -- 30. Against the UN. What the hell are 30 Marines going to do against thousands of UN soldiers??? It's beyond stupid. Couldn't the author have made it a little more believable by sending a regiment, a battalion, etc.? Just another throw-away book. D ...more
Kevin Dietz
Started out very slow with tons of military speak and politics....I have to admit there were times I wanted to not continue with the book it just wasn't my cup of tea. But it became very interesting the farther into it I got. I definitely want to continue with this series to see where the events in this book lead too.

I think my favorite part was how the author had you liking characters on both sides of the war that starts up. One part has you seeing a battle through the eyes of one such characte
I have bee waiting to read this book for a long time and finally decided to fork over the cash to buy the e-book off Google. What I found met my expectations. You have USMC, you have the US vs. the UN (possible scenario since in the last few years of real universe, the US and the UN have been at odds), and you have alien technology on Mars. Although the "face" is probably natural, for a long time, people argued otherwise as evidence of alien life on Mars. The author uses the latter premise which ...more
Henry Watts
I just re-read book one of a trilogy I really liked when I was liked when I was 13/14ish. It's sort of a mix of a some what grounded not to distant future earth mash up of a space opra/ALIENS/STAR SHIP TROOPERS thing riddled with War (especially WW2) movie cliques. I have to say that for the most part it holds up to how I remember it. I overly military centric aspects of the book that really hooked me now are slightly off putting, at least to the degree they go.....

I am going to have to finish t
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Devil Dogs in Space

I read a little awhile go a blog by an author of science-fiction that called for a return to hard science-fiction. They wanted more stories that took science into account. So, a little more realistic, and less Star Wars. I admit over the years I have found little science-fiction that understands the sciences, let alone the fictional science it creates. Sometimes this presents a problem, but since story is the focus, not the science, a decent story can limp along with bad phys
When I chose this trilogy I was expected a lot of space battles and bodies floating around in the vacuum of space. Instead this first book of the trilogy is a mix of space opera, alien discovery and tactical battle scenes with a lot of political story line. This does not mean I am disappointed - on the contrary - I found the book a fun read and liked a lot of the story elements.

The UN one world government takeover is a very timely element since a lot of people do think that several decades from
Andrew Perron
It is, at least, amazingly straightforward in its jingoism. The US are the brave, stalwart truthseekers of the world, and the Marines are their Galahad, Gawain, and Lancelot. They must face the corruption and cowardice of the rest of the world, as represented by the United Nations in general and the French in specific, and must teach their little brother, Japan, the right way.

Also aliens interfered with human development or something. It doesn't really matter.
I haven't read many sci-fi books, although I'm a a big fan of the genre; especially TV shows. I was duly impressed with this book, as it seemed to be a natural progression from where we currently are in today's technology and where we could be in the time frame of this book.

The discoveries on Mars might be a little far-fetched as with most Sci-fi but then again that is what it is all about. I thoroughly enjoyed the swash-buckling action of the marines and the intrigue of what was found, as well
I'm going to review the Heritage Trilogy as one whole as I read the three earlier this year in quick succession and really have the same opinions on all three books.

This trilogy spins a very cohesive story and really should be read straight through. It is an exceptional piece of sci-fi with fleshed out characters and a compelling story. The technology is well described and it is believable that the events in this trilogy could happen within the next 10-20 years. There is also political intrigue
The premise of the book is that the UN wants to shut down the Marines, and so they have to go to Mars to fight the Foreign Legion, to uh, raise their profile or something? Yeah, that'll do. It sounds like a fun, if stupid, idea. It is not. And the writing is pretty bad. Stodgy.
horrible. generally a superb author but missed the mark in this series. very shallow character development. Overly simplistic plot. Flash Gordenesque in dialogue.
Concentrate on the author's other series which are superb. i guess nobody is perfect.
Michael Davis
This was a good read for the most part. The author "plays" with the technical aspect of space travel and living/working in space. The military aspect of the story was great. It was/is a pro Marines story, with all the associated flag-waving and hoopla involved. Character development was good as well, although the non-Marines characters were not as fleshed out as the Marines.
I would have like to have seen/read more about the scientific findings (no spoilers here) on Mars, which were in my view, c
Eoghan Odinsson
I absolutely loved the idea behind this story. Advanced alien civilization leaves artifacts on Mars? And might have had a hand in our evolution? Really cool stuff.

I would have given this book 5 stars, but I found the book too slow in several sections, with details that either could have been left out, or greatly summarized.

That said, I still enjoyed the book, I just resulted to skimming in some places.

The second book is even better!

I've read Ian Douglas's Star Carrier series and thoroughly enjoy
I didn't think I'd actually enjoy reading this book so much. I'm about a third into the book ... and I'll just finish this chapter ... turned into three hours later.
Fun quick read. Realistic combat narratives set in space and on Mars.
Military sci-fi. Fun, easy, lots of action and shooting at stuff.
The Heritage Trilogy is the first of three connected trilogies about Marines in space, and consists of:

Semper Mars
Luna Marine
Europa Strike

Three very good near future military SciFi stories, loosely connected at the micro level, with a deeper common background. My only small gripe is that Douglas does not concentrate more on the backstory of alien visitors in ancient times. Still and all, a very good read.

Note: Ian Douglas is a pen name for William H. Keith.
Quite a good read. Handles near future combat in both orbit and martian environs pretty well with good acknowledgment to the logistics of such conflicts , how small scale they would be and just how fragile everything is in a hostile environment.
The martian site with the ancient ruins add an intriguing element to the back story without revealing too much or dragging the story off on wild tangents.
I'm eager to get into the rest of first this trilogy and then the followup trilogies set further in
Randy Smith
Very Good but it overlooked some things.
This book took a LONG time to warm up. The first half of the story felt like it was just setting up for the actual plot, which kicked off in the second half. Fantastic second half though!!

The real problem I have with the book as a whole is it jumps around a lot in the beginning, switching to different characters in different locations and it's difficult to keep track of what's going on.

Overall I'm glad I didn't lose interest and stuck with it! Can't wait to read the other two.
USMC versus the French Foreign Legion . . . on Mars! So if you're a fan of military science fiction that's probably enough for you. It's a pretty good story so far and Douglas has definitely mastered the art of leaving readers hanging. Just enough information about the archeological discoveries on Mars are shared with the reader that it makes you feel a little like the people back on Earth in the story. In other words, wanting more information and wanting to know.
Some of the best military SF ever.

Even though it's a "trilogy", there are actually seven books so far in this series. This is because the Legacy Trilogy and the (incomplete) Inheritance Trilogy are continuations of the same series.

Read them all if you are an SF fan, especially if you like military SF.

I would recommend this entire series for fans of John Ringo, Rick Shelley, or David Sherman and Dan Cragg.
Very well written, exciting and even informative (assuming that the military history given is accurate). It made me even consider enlisting, until I remembered that little thing about not telling.

The trilogy was enjoyable to read. Got me away from those annoying papers.
Tufty McTavish
A fun military SciFi novel with strong US jingoism. Ooo-rah.

Still, I kind of like this stuff. Reminds me of The Giants Trilogy by James Hogan actually, specifically Inherit The Stars. Bit of action, adventure, exploration and a new frontier. Stuff I like.
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