Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gods of Mars (Barsoom #2)” as Want to Read:
The Gods of Mars (Barsoom #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

The Gods of Mars

(Barsoom #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  18,015 ratings  ·  927 reviews
After the long exile on Earth, John Carter finally returned to his beloved Mars. But beautiful Dejah Thoris, the woman he loved, had vanished. Now he was trapped in the legendary Eden of Mars -- an Eden from which none ever escaped alive.
Paperback, From Jan-May 1913 10-part serial <i>All-Story Magazine</i>, 190 pages
Published January 1963 by Random House Ballantine Del Rey (first published 1913)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Gods of Mars, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Gods of Mars

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,015 ratings  ·  927 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Gods of Mars (Barsoom #2)
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
After ten years of absence John Carter finally managed to return to Mars. Unfortunately he could not choose where he ended up. Thus instead of familiar territories he arrived at the place where sentient Martians go when they grow tired of life. Very soon our hero realized the place is not exactly Tolkien's Uttermost West; far from it.
Undying Lands
On the positive side he got to meet his friend and a great warrior - the latter was very important for their survival. Survival was what John Carter was busy with
Dirk Grobbelaar
Rolling ochre sea bottom of long dead seas, low surrounding hills, with here and there the grim and silent cities of the dead past; great piles of mighty architecture tenanted only by age-old memories of a once powerful race, and by the great white apes of Barsoom.

If anything, Edgar Rice Burroughs is the founding father of the guilty pleasure. No, these books aren’t literary masterpieces. No, these books are not politically correct. But damn they’re fun to read!

There was a brief and futile effo
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a fun book.

Taking up where A Princess of Mars left off, it is the story of John Carter’s second visit to Barsoom and chronicles his encounter with an ancient religion that has deceived Martian culture.

Entertaining, imaginative and even a little allegorical it also displays Burroughs knack for weaving a cliffhanger, as every other chapter finds the characters in some trouble they cannot get out of. Even the ending is designed to make the reader want to bu
mark monday
the further adventures of John Carter on Barsoom!

 photo trippygif-1_zps82c2a955.gif

John Carter returns to Mars after a mysterious 10-year absence! he appears in the vale of the Plant Men and the White Apes! you better run, John Carter, run! uh oh, John you are running right into the clifftop lair of the dreaded White Men of Mars! and then into the subterranean lair of the dreaded Black Men of Mars! think fast and carry a big sword, John Carter!

John Carter wears an excited yet contemptuous expression while slaughtering his en
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2020-shelf
Believe me, no one is more surprised than I am that I actually LIKE the Barsoom books so far and I'm warming even more to them.

Have no doubts. It's a PURE adventure. If the first book was more cowboy meets indians, the second is lambasting the elites in usual old-school American take-no-shit from anyone.

Of course, the action progresses nicely from exploration to getting entangled with "godlike" "noble" aliens (with plenty of commentaries) to grand escapes, an even grander WAR that was frankly ki
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Fun, a whole lot of heroic, cheesy fun. That is the best way I can think of to describe the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is not great literature and there are some attitudes towards women and minorities that need to be overlooked as a sign of the times. But there is also adventure and thrills on almost every page and John Carter is a larger than life good guy.. I didn't like this quite as much as the first one, in part because they are structured almost the same and so a bit of t ...more
Mar 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of older pulp science fiction; SF fans interested in the genre's history
Although I've reviewed Burroughs' series opener, A Princess of Mars, here on Goodreads, I've never reviewed this sequel; and the recent John Carter movie and resulting uptick of interest in the series suggested to me that I ought to. IMO, it has many of the same strengths (and weaknesses) of the first book, so much of what I wrote in the earlier review ( ) would apply here too. And the first book should definitely be read before this one; you need the gras ...more
Dec 19, 2007 rated it liked it
This is only half of the 2d book in the Barsoom series. Yes, I know the next one is called book 3, but he cliff hanger that this book leaves us on should be a shooting offense. Before starting this book, make certain you have The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom, #3) & you carry it with you when you get close to the end of this book. If not, you will almost certainly die of massive frustration.

It's another quick, fun read by one of the masters of the action pulp era. You really should read A Princess
K.M. Weiland
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Burroughs, to our modern eyes, is a mixed bag. On the one hand, his stuff is blatant sensationalism, complete with purple prose, laughable melodrama, and cliched plots and characters. On the other, his work offers an astoundingly fresh creativity - even after all these years. His worldbuilding is beautiful and detailed and just plain fun. This may be pulp, but it's good pulp. ...more
The Gods of Mars is another exciting installment in the John Carter/Barsoom series. This one picks up from the cliffhanger that ended the first book of the series. John Carter returns to Mars after being on Earth for 10 years. Eager to be reunited with his Martian princess (assuming she still lives and moreover hasn't moved on romantically), he unexpectedly finds himself transported to the Martian version of the Garden of Eden... a place from which there is no return. And there Carter immediatel ...more
Michael P.
Feb 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the first three-quarters of this book are one exhausting battle scene after another or the capture of the protagonist and his friends and their escaping. Repeatedly. They battle, they are captured, and escape several times. That is the basic plot. In the last quarter, they really do escape and there is a tiny amount of plot development that results in, yes, their captivity again. The ending is another big battle. There is some relief when protagonist John Carter meets a character who he ...more
C. A. Powell
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
John Carter goes on a further adventure to Barsoom. He is in the land at the end of the River Iss where Barsoom people go to die. A sort of Elephant's graveyard. A place from which no one returns. Land of the dead. A world Barsoom people believe the afterlife continues with renewed splendour. It all sounds wonderful and fine. When the people of Barsoom decide they are too old, the pilgrimage along the River Iss begins. They will never be seen again once entering the Valley Dor.

Edgar Rice Burrou
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
John Carter returns to Mars, and discovers a TERRIBLE SECRET. A terrible secret that will keep you up late reading, and that's on top of the big question of whether or not he and Dejah Thoris will be reunited! Fun stuff! ...more
J.M. Hushour
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
"Go back the way thou camest, to the merciful maws of the children of the Tree of Life or the gleaming fangs of the great white apes, for there lies speedy surcease from suffering; but insist in your rash purpose to thread the mazes of the Golden Cliffs of the Mountains of Otz, past the ramparts of the impregnable fortresses of the Holy Therns, and upon your way Death in its most frightful form will overtake you—a death so horrible that even the Holy Therns themselves, who conceived both Life an ...more
Ten years have passed since the events of A Princess of Mars . John Carter has finally found a way to return to Barsoom, and hopefully to his wife, Princess Dejah Thoris. As with the previous novel the exact method of this transportation is completely ignored - presumably because Burroughs couldn't think of a convincing way to achieve it. Again, the style of narration is unusual - there is an introduction from Carter's nephew that explains that the book is his presentation as a novel of Carte ...more
Dec 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sword-and-planet
You look at the enthusiasm of the writing and the completely uncynical, unironic characters and setting, and you wonder if Burroughs is perhaps channeling his inner hyperactive eight year old, who recites over the dinner table the long, rambling day's adventure that took place mostly inside the imagination.

I mean, think about it. The breathless, relentless pace of the action that is one long adrenalin rush; the unmatched superhero plucked from obscurity and who literally cannot be beaten and who
Mary Catelli
John Carter returns to Mars. Rather more briskly and with less introduction.

He lands in a waste and soon finds himself in a fight -- and in a fight next to his old friend Tars Tarkas, who reveals him that this is the end of the hallowed pilgrimage Martians take at the end of their lives, this horror of a land. Pressing on through forces of white apes and plant men, they find themselves in the city of therns who habitually enslave and maltreat -- and eat -- the pilgrims. And if anyone escapes to
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be my favorite book in the series. Now that Barsoom has been established, ERB can really go to town -- the creatures are scarier, the settings more exotic, the villains more villainous and we get the single biggest engagement between aerial navies in the entire series. Again, coincidence plays rather more of a role than it probably should, but the narrative moves so quickly and so forcefully that you hardly notice the creak of the rails.
Billie Tyrell
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
First book was interesting enough for me to carry on with this, and glad I did as the opening of this one alone is memorable as John Carter ends up teleporting himself into the Barsoom Afterlife... and it's really something, and a shame that the film franchise never kicked off because it's something very great to visualise, and not somewhere you'd want to end up.

A lot of the book following this goes into some generic hacking and slashing through various environments, but then ends in a similarl
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1st, 1875 - March 19, 1950) continues the adventure started in "A Princess of Mars" in the sequel, "The Gods of Mars". This novel was published from January to May of 1913 in "All-Story" as a serial, and then published in book form in September of 1918. John Carter returns to Barsoom, finding if he were in time to save Barsoom at the end of the previous book, and searching for Princess Dejah Thoris who he left behind.

As with the first book, this one opens with a
Jane Wetzel
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I love the way Burroughs wrote--his style and even his polite form of English. It's beautiful. This is a story more suited for men since it is mostly about wars, battles and bloodshed. Certainly not my type of story. But the hero is good, brave, clever and a man of great integrity. A great role model for men. The Martian Series themes have that little bit of Earth with its ordinary daily life which gives the reader more of a connection to the characters and circumstances. The names Burroughs cre ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Something of a cheat. Ends--not just on a cliff-hanger--but basically mid-story. I hate that.

Burroughs does correct errors fromA Princess of Mars.
Timothy Boyd
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
To me these are as awesome as the Tarzan books. Another great series by an early adventure and SiFi master. Here is a man of our earth transported to another world. Highly recommended
David B
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ten years after his exile back to Earth, John Carter returns to Mars, finding himself in the land where Martians go to die after a long life. Instead of the heavenly land of legend, it is a world of deadly beasts and cannibalistic slavers who exploit the pilgrims for their own purposes.

This sequel improves on the first novel, presenting not only terrific adventure and action but also some interesting themes. The swashbuckling is impressive even for a pro like Burroughs, culminating in a fantast
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book, #2 of 11 in Burroughs' John Carter series, is a direct sequel to the classic "A Princess of Mars," and a reading of that earlier volume is fairly essential before going into this one. "Gods..." was first published in serial form in "All-Story Magazine" in 1913, and comprises one of Burroughs' earliest works. It is amazing how much action the author manages to cram into the book's 190 pages; on just about EVERY page there is some kind of incredible happening or colorful bit. The book r ...more
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Man, what an adventure! This book resumes the story of John Carter ten years later, as he is once again magically (not really) transported to Mars. After that, this book is one of the fastest-paced reads I've ever had! Carter returns only to discover the terrible secret that has lain at the heart of Martian religion for thousands of years, and that his wife, Dejah Thoris, has disappeared. He is reunited with his friend, the Jeddak Tars Tarkas. This is an exciting story and for anyone who likes t ...more
Jared Millet
2012 John Carter re-read, part II:

Unlike A Princess of Mars, I'd pretty much forgotten the entire plot of the sequel, which is odd since it actually has a plot, whereas Princess didn't. It's a daring one too, with some pretty nasty things to say about the nature of religion. Carter gets zapped back to Mars after a 10-year absence, only to find himself trapped in Barsoom's version of paradise - a blissful garden of Eden from which no Martian ever returns, because they're torn to shreds by carnivo
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit brainless and manic in parts but still a fun and interesting story. Not only does the story build up the mythology of Mars it then proceeds to tear it back down again in over the top masculine ways.
Carter is as arrogant and alpha male as the previous book and is all about killing thousands to save one or two. Its all gung ho with the action turned up to eleven.
The one big difference to A Princess of Mars is that the racism u=is toned right down. Its still highly sexist with any female st
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
After a 10 year absence, John Carter is once again miraculously transported to Mars. Arriving in what is believed to be "heaven" according to Barsoomian religion, Carter instead finds a land inhabited by hellish beasts and a race of white Martians calling themselves "Therns", who fancy themselves gods and promote said religion for their own greedy interests.

To complicate matters further, the Therns are in turn deceived by a race of black Martians called the "First Born", who hallow the wicked Is
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, library, sci-fi, series
Felt like a transitional short story more than a stand alone novel. I noticed that frequently all the Barsoom novels are packaged together, so maybe others felt the same. Lots of new characters and action, but not as smooth of a narrative as The Princess of Mars.

Heck of a cliffhanger at the end, though!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: "Gods of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs 1 3 Apr 29, 2013 09:02AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Mercy (Mercy, #1)
  • Cordelia's Honor (Vorkosigan Omnibus, #1)
  • Safe Word
  • Fugly (Fugly, #1)
  • A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12)
  • Breathe into Me (Breathe into Me, #1)
  • Somebody's Angel (Rescue Me Saga, #4)
  • Aberrant (Aberrant, #1)
  • Skylark Three (Skylark, #2)
  • Testing Fate (Mystic Wolves, #3)
  • Love, Lex (The Undergrad Years, #1)
  • Forever Fae (Forever Fae, #1)
  • John Carter: The Gods of Mars
  • The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)
  • Worm Holes (Quantum Roots, #2)
  • Dark Summer (The Witchling, #1)
  • Restore Me (Wrecked, #2)
  • The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (The World As Myth)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.

Other books in the series

Barsoom (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • A Princess of Mars (Barsoom, #1)
  • The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom, #3)
  • Thuvia, Maid of Mars (Barsoom, #4)
  • The Chessmen of Mars (Barsoom #5)
  • The Master Mind of Mars (Barsoom #6)
  • A Fighting Man of Mars (Barsoom, #7)
  • Swords of Mars (Barsoom, #8)
  • Synthetic Men of Mars (Barsoom, #9)
  • Llana of Gathol (Barsoom, #10)
  • John Carter of Mars (Barsoom #11)

News & Interviews

Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
100 likes · 79 comments
“We are between the wild thoat of certainty and the mad zitidar of fact - we can escape neither.” 10 likes
“There was but a single forlorn hope, and I took it.” 8 likes
More quotes…