Suzanne Rooyen's Reviews > The Gods of Mars

The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Feb 21, 2012

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Read from February 21 to 28, 2012

I was a little disappointed by this installment. The plot was one raging battle scene which I could handle/endure but he plausibility issues just got to me.

*Spoilers ahead*

First off, the Martian year is longer than the Earth so less than 6 years have passed since John Carter left Mars, meaning his son is less than six Martian years old, roughly ten human years and yet this boy is described as a youth capable of fighting trained soldiers and fly navy vessels single handedly. This annoyed me as I felt a little lost in terms of ageing on Mars and how it worked exactly - Burroughs seems to gloss over the science he finds inconvenient to his story.

Then, John Carter is imprisoned for some 360 odd days in a pitch black dungeon, chained and fed only gruel. When he eventually breaks out, he goes straight back into fighting as if he hadn't just spent a year chained up. This isn't plausible. Anyone kept in those conditions for a year would be malnourished and incapable of lifting a sword much less waging a war! I know John Carter is meant to be awesome but this just threw me completely and made me question the author's reliability to tell a true tale. And none of the other characters seemed to concerned, they were like "Oh, hi, bout time you showed up" - geez, give the man a sandwich and a BATH for pete's sake!

John Carter is repeatedly injured - several wounds are described in fairly graphic detail and are quite severe, yet at no point are these wounds tended. Despite this, John Carter maintains fighting form and slays a gazillion men single handedly. Again, implausible and makes me question the integrity of the story.

I love the world. I love the characters. I still love John Carter but please Mr Burroughs make him REAL! I want a hero that bleeds and suffers, not one that walks away from every battle super fit and ready to decimate yet another legion. It's hard to relate to a man who no longer seems human despite every effort by the author to convince us of Carter's humanity.

Actually, the amount of bloodshed in this story became too much, to the point of eliciting boredom. I found myself skimming over the battle scenes that seemed to drag on unnecessarily. The best part about this installment was undoubtedly the cliffhanger ending that succeeded in pissing me off so much that I now have to read book 3 just to find out what happens...

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