Joseph's Reviews > Synthetic Men of Mars

Synthetic Men of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Jun 27, 12

Read from June 24 to 27, 2012

Edgar Rice Burroughs had this problem in all of his series: After a while, the quality of the books would start to slip -- maybe he was getting bored or maybe he'd just start repeating himself. Arguably, this is where the Mars series begins its downhill slide (which means that, percentage-wise, John Carter has less dross than the other major series -- Tarzan, Venus and Pellucidar).

This book is again narrated from the perspective of a native Barsoomian, Vor Daj, who accompanies John Carter on one of his adventures. Carter plays a fairly minor role in the book, really, and is off-stage for much of it; otherwise he'd probably overshadow Vor Daj. Ras Thavas, the Master Mind of Mars also returns, so this book again has some science fictional elements -- brain transplants and artificial life and the like. Naturally there's a beautiful woman; naturally Our Hero falls for her; naturally, the Fates conspire to make things as difficult as possible for them until the end.

This isn't so much an actively bad book as it is somewhat tired and occasionally silly. I wouldn't say it should be avoided, but I wouldn't say it needs to be sought out unless you absolutely, positively have to read more Barsoomian adventures. (For which I wouldn't blame you -- I've certainly read the book many times over the years.)

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