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The Daedalus Incident

(Daedalus #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  961 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Mars is supposed to be dead.…

Bizarre quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering struct
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 13th 2013 by Night Shade (first published May 7th 2013)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  961 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Science-fiction fans
This was a great book, giving science-fiction fans the best of both worlds.

On one hand we have the year 1779. The British Royal Navy is sailing - in big ships with sails - around the solar system. They go from Earth to Venus to Mercury to Saturn. They fly/sail on solar winds. The ships are run on alchemy. Women have no rights. The British colonies are just starting to try and free themselves from British rule. Benjamin Franklin is a powerful alchemist fighting for freedom against the British. Th
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Being a type A personality and stickler for organization, I employ the use of many different shelves to sort my books on Goodreads. Anyway, just to give you an idea of the kind of book we're talking about here, these are just some of the ones I've tagged for The Daedalus Incident: Action-Adventure. Aliens. Alternate History. Fantasy. Magic. Science Fiction. Time Travel. Oh and I almost forgot, Pirates, too.

As you can see,
Katy Stauber
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest. I heard "Mars" and "Female protagonist" and I bought the book. If I had read the back of the book, I might not have bought it because - mixing fantasy and scifi? Not in my house, mister. The book flips between a future Martian mining base and an alternate history steampunky fantasy world. I started reading only the future Martian bit. It was SO GOOD. SO good I went back and read the fantasy bits. This book unreservedly kicked ass. I thought the author did a great job writing wome ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books, 2013-reads
Refreshing mix of fantasy, science fiction, mystery and history.

Two time lines with interesting characters, a kind of time traveland other travels, alchemy, sailing-ships, spaceships, aliens and and and ...

Due to certain circumstances I promised the author to post my review not before end of May 2013.


In December 2012 I came in contact with author Michael J. Martinez. He told me that his debut novel will be published in May 2013. The author has been so kind to add me to
Michael Underwood

"The Daedalus Incident is Master & Commander by way of Spelljammer smashed into a effortlessly believable 22nd century Martian mining project. Tremendous fun."
Beth Cato
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Since the year is wrapping up, I decided it was a good time to read the book since it will likely be up for award nominations. So I started reading. I was hooked. There are two very diverse parallel worlds that intersect in the novel: future Mars where earthquakes and weird things are happening that should not, and an alternate 1779 where the British Navy uses alchemy to fly schooners through space and battles against rebels on Ganymede. Then I reached page 138 of my book. It skipped to page 187 ...more
Fred Hughes
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Martinez has managed to blend the swash buckling ways of 1779 and the hard science and action of working on Mars in 2132 that makes both relavent.

And in fact this great mash up of time lines results in the collision of these two time lines in the exciting conclusion to the story.

In 1779 we have the almost “steampunk” like activity of sailing between the stars with a literal sea going ship. This is accomplished through lodestones that have been treated by an Alchemist to support the gravity and a
Jason Hough
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Michael's debut marries two genres in an exciting and fresh way. I had a great time reading this! ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-read
You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:

Shadowhawk reviews an upcoming debut novel from Night Shade Books.

“In a time of SFF that is often serious and cerebral, The Daedalus Incident takes a step back to focus on the most important reason any reader picks up a book – to read a story that is plain good fun and adventure and that does not get bogged down into complexities of the world. A highly recommended debut.” ~The Founding Fields

Before I
Richard Derus
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Bizarre earthquakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their routine geological survey of a Marti
Jeff Raymond
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-sci-fi
I'm not sure if it's just that I've picked up a lot of books that are going along the "two plots are seemingly unrelated, but end up intertwining in unpredictable and interesting ways" theme, but we can add The Daedalus Incident to that list regardless

On one hand, you have an alternate late-1700s where spacebound pirate/merchant ships exist and there's a lot of political and interstellar strife. On the other, you have the future 400 years later regarding a Mars expedition that has a lot of myste
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez offers two separate and wildly different storylines. The first one takes place in 2132, when a seemingly impossible earthquake on Mars sets off a chain of even stranger events. The second one is set in 1779 on the HMS Daedalus, which is just departing Portsmouth on a course set for Jupiter, where it will assist in the blockade of the Ganymedean city New York.

Guess which one of those two storylines drew my attention, when I saw a plot summary of this n
Robin Riopelle
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dual story lines, when done well, can really drive narrative, and this is what Martinez has done here. Two very different story lines that do, eventually, meet up. Both were populated with interesting characters that I cared about, and the stakes were higher than I at first thought.

Also, I'm ridiculously happy by O'Brien style space.
Feliza Casano
Mars is supposed to be dead.

But in this action-adventure science fantasy by Michael J. Martinez, it most certainly isn’t, and Lt. Shaila Jain (part of the Mars mining base in 2132) soon finds herself in a bit of hot water as quakes rattle the planet, carving unnatural structures on the surface of Mars. Meanwhile, in an alternate 1779, Lt. Thomas Weatherby of the British Royal Navy sails through the solar system in an attempt to recover something stolen – and discovers something more sinister tha
Sep 26, 2015 rated it liked it
A split narrative story with one storyline in an alternative universe analogous to Earth’s eighteenth century (with several notable differences) and the other in the supposed twenty-second century of this Earth. The eighteenth century is easier to believe. The other seems very twenty first century. Both exhibit a high school understanding of physics and politics. Reads as if written ten years ago. Both heroes are pigheaded idiots, and danger to life and mission, and should have been removed from ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book popped up on my library ebook lending page and the title and the cover looked interesting. Then I read the little blurb, Mars and ye olde wooden sailing ships 'sailing' between the planets, and I thought it could be really good or really bad. Turns out it's really good! =)

I guess it could be classified as steampunk, but it's very light on the steampunk. I'd classify it more as magic with a side of steampunk.

There are two timelines and the author does a good job of switching between the
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I gave up after 120 pages. The concept is good; however, the colonial-era space fantasy, which would probably have been brilliant 50 years ago, feels a little too sad-puppy nostalgia for my taste, and the rest plods.

I may try the author's other series, if he can pick up the pace a little and avoid normalizing the slave trade.
Daniel Shellenbarger
Martinez has put together a neat little parallel worlds sci/fi story, stitching together two seemingly unrelated stories across time, space, and actual universes. Half of the book is the story of 2Lt Weatherby, serving in the Royal Navy in 1779 in an alternate universe where alchemy works and the solar system is much more amicable to life, where the great empires traverse the void between worlds on sailing ships. In an interesting parallel, he is actually being sent (aboard the HMS Daedalus) to ...more
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it
One might ask, when picking up science fiction, whether one wants a steely-hard realistic near-future novel about a techy mining base on Mars -- or an extravagant planetary romance where alchemical galleons swan around the Solar system, firing cannons at each other.

Or, as the author of this book, one might say "Ha ha! I will do *both at the same time*! Mua ha ha ha!"

(The "mua ha ha" is not attested, but I am morally certain that's how he said it.)

The chapters flip back and forth between 2132 and
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Solid, fun spec fic adventure - the cross between historical fantasy and sci-fi is great, it's like getting two books in one. ...more
Jay Bolling
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
A stunningly s-l-o-w mash-up of steam punk/space opera/alternate history/pirate adventure, with lots of extraneous exposition. Oh - and the "surprise ending" is obvious by the middle of the book. Predictable. Meh. ...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Two Earths – Two Different Times. That is the premise of The Daedalus Incident.

I loved the world building. While one Earth is set in 2132 with science that matches ours the other is set in 1779 and the science is nothing like ours. In fact it allows sailing ships to travel in space used alchemy to keep gravity and air as they sail the Void. The first two chapters introduce both worlds and as the story progresses those worlds begin to interact and not in a good way.

The two main characters for ea
A somewhat fun futuristic space opera connected with a gunpowder fantasy. Or vv.

One story is set on 2132 Mars, where unusual tectonic activity is messing with commercial mining operations. The other story this set in an alternate 1779, where the British Royal Navy flies the void between the planets in wooden tall ships powered by alchemy. The two stories alternate chapter by chapter for most of the book. (The alternate-1779 story has an odd structure: each entry begins as a journal entry in 1st
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Pretty good, considering there's two competing narratives that don't really tie into each other until a good way into the book. One world is much more fleshed out than the other, so I'm hoping we'll get a better look at Jain's universe in the sequels. ...more
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Science and alternative history combine to give us a story that echoes classic Science Fiction literature. The reader bounces back and forth from the years 2132 and 1779, and even though these stories are separated by 353 years, the characters will need to combine their efforts to save the universe. In 2132 we follow Lt. Jain and her JSC team as they realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. Mars-quakes and rocks that roll up hill are just a hint of t ...more
Two books shoved together in alternating chapters: a story of miners on Mars dealing with bizarre phenomena, and a steampunk pulp SF Age of Sail thing about tall ships swooping around the solar system via the power of alchemy. Naturally, these universes end up colliding eventually.

The Age of Sail stuff was honestly the only reason I kept reading, because there the worldbuilding and characters were at least marginally interesting; no one on the Martian side of the story was, at all, and by the en
Joe Frazier
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Daedalus Incident is Michael Martinez's masterful alternate history SciFi thriller. It's a brilliant story that is predominately told from two perspectives: Second Lt. Thomas Weatherby of HMS Daedalus in 1779 (typically from his journal) and Lt. Shaila Jain, Joint Space Command (JSC) in 2132 assigned to Mars. Both are dedicated Royal Navy officers who handle themselves well (overall). A nice synopsis is given on Amazon. The book drew me into The Zone, that place where I simply find myself im ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Super fun historical fiction/fantasy mixed with science fiction.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I really liked the concept and really wanted to like the actual story itself. Unfortunately, I think the main structural conceit of the book wound up dooming it in the end. I'll try to keep it as vague and unspoilery as I can while still being useful.

Basically, the primary story revolves around two separate timelines that, for most of the book, operate in apparently disconnected and parallel ways. One timeline is an alternate version of what we know as the American Revolutionary period, which i
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I’m a father and writer living the dream in the Golden State. I’ve spent nearly 20 years as a professional writer and journalist, including stints at The Associated Press and After telling other people’s stories for the bulk of my career, I’m happy that I can now be telling a few of my own creation.

When not being a parent or writer, I enjoy beer and homebrewing, cooking and eating, th

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