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

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,161 Ratings  ·  69 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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Geargrinder The US is the home of the brave, of the truth. F*ck the rest of the world!
The author is a US Marine fetishist. There's even crying when they raise a…more
The US is the home of the brave, of the truth. F*ck the rest of the world!
The author is a US Marine fetishist. There's even crying when they raise a US flag...
Yes it's very American. It almost killed it for me. But even worse are the unexplained acronyms. Unless you're a military nut, be prepared to use google every few minutes.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Miloș Dumbraci
din păcate nu m-a prins și am abandonat-o. Probabil problema e că nu începe cu ceva military, ci mai degrabă politic, iar scriitura/dialogurile nu m-au impresionat.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Good, solid escapist sci-fi.
Henry Watts
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eli-recommends
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
Mar 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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
Gary Morgenstein
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is outstanding military science fiction with interesting characters and fast-paced, entertaining action with a strong point of view. It makes you really ponder, which is what science fiction is all about. I just ordered Book Two in The Heritage Trilogy - I can't wait to read it.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was an okay-ish book until the neckbeard fascination with the Japanese culture started. Sayanora, trilogy.
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: military-sf
un sentiment très ambivalent sur cette trilogie car hélas, je n'ai pas cru un moment aux motivations exposées par l'auteur sur le conflit US vs UN
Dommage !
Le rythme est à la fois lent (les découvertes) et rapide (beaucoup d'actions et de personnages dispersés à la fois sur Terre et sur Mars) avec des passages consacrés à des rappels semi-historiques ou des extrapolations actuelles sur les thèmes chers à la SF (sommes nous seuls dans l'univers, l'homme s'est il construit seul, y a t-il danger p
Dec 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
James Murphy
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Semper Mars" is the first book of a military science fiction trilogy that came highly recommended in a Flipboard Magazine article. Since I enjoy reading military science fiction, I decided to check it out. I found it to be an enjoyable read and plan to read the rest of the trilogy. In a somewhat dystopian near future, the United Nations is trying to establish a world government; only Russia, Great Britain, and the United States remain independent. The United States is conducting a joint U.S. - ...more
Walter Underwood
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
If you read this, do yourself a favor and start on page 49 with the Marines guarding the embassy. Trust me, you won't miss anything important.

Currently, I'm on page 116, and you wouldn't miss much if you started there. You'd miss the firefight in chapters 4 and 5, but that grinds to a halt every time a new bit of military hardware needs to be described in detail. Which is why I'm not reading the rest of the book.

Still only the barest hint of a plot. There is more plot in the back cover copy than
Apr 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Kevin Dietz
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in the Heritage Trilogy by Ian Douglas. In this one it is the year 2040 and the United States is at odds with most of the world. Our only ally is Russia. The US, England and Russia have all left the United Nations because it is trying to force a world government on all countries. Meanwhile the US has landed on Mars and at the "Face" at Cydonia they have discovered the remains of an alien civilization. Among the ancient alien ruins the remains of early humans are also found ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scif-fi
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
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
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
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
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dead-tree, sci-fi
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.
Drew Perron
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
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Ian Douglas is a pseudonym used by William H. Keith Jr..
More about Ian Douglas

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Heritage Trilogy (3 books)
  • Luna Marine (The Heritage Trilogy, #2)
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