When tough-talking biker babe Jane Carver accidentally deals a death blow to the unfortunate guy who gropes her outside a California biker bar, she makes a run for it - and wakes up naked on an alien planet called Waar. Thus begins Nathan Long's Jane Carver of Waar: Waar, Book 1, a hilarious satire on the ribald, retro space fantasies of the 20th century. Soon, Jane's hopelessly wrapped up in bizarre adventures on this planet of sky-pirates and gladiators, including a bid to help a fallen nobleman win back his sexy space princess. Listeners will be bewitched by actress Dina Pearlman's portrayal of Jane, whose Marlboro-cured voice and confident panache makes her swashbuckling space adventures a delightful listen.
Jane Carver is nobody's idea of a space princess. A hard-ridin', hard-lovin' biker chick and ex-Airborne Ranger, Jane is as surprised as anyone else when, on the run from the law, she ducks into the wrong cave at the wrong time - and wakes up butt-naked on an exotic alien planet light-years away from everything she's ever known. Waar is a savage world of four-armed tiger-men, sky-pirates, slaves, gladiators, and purple-skinned warriors in thrall to a bloodthirsty code of honor and chivalry. Caught up in a disgraced nobleman's quest to win back the hand of a sexy alien princess, Jane encounters bizarre wonders and dangers unlike anything she ever ran into back home. Then again, Waar has never seen anyone like Jane before.
Both a loving tribute and scathing parody of the swashbuckling space fantasies of yore, Jane Carver of Waar introduces an unforgettable new science-fiction heroine. Nathan Long is a screen and prose writer with two movies, a Saturday-morning adventure series, and several TV episodes to his name. His official website is: www.sabrepunk.com.
©2012 Nathan Long (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
Ex-Airborne Ranger Jane Carver, a "bad-ass biker chick," has a reform-school past, a two-strike prison record, and a problem with authority. She has sent Hollywood screenwriter Jason Long her true story on cassette tapes, offering to let him publish it and split any profits 50-50. Long tells us that Jane (not her real name) is about 6'2" with broad shoulders and "rugged good looks." Her story begins when she accidentally kills a sexually harassing jerk and, while fleeing the police, hides in a cave, touches a strange artifact, and is teleported to another world, aptly named Waar, populated as it is by fearsome predators and bellicose humanoids. Witnessing a massacre perpetrated by one faction of purple people on another, she befriends the survivor, Sai-Far, whose betrothed Wen-Jhai, daughter of the ruler of Ora, the greatest nation on Waar, has just been bride-napped by a powerful rival, Kedac-Zir. Thus begins Jane's pulpy adventure, involving "savage" four-armed, lizard-tailed, dread-locked tiger-centaurs, "civilized," purple-skinned, hyphen-named people, and a non-stop series of raids, brawls, duels, death matches, battles, disguises, pursuits, captures, incarcerations, enslavements, entertainments, amorous advances, romance counselings, and more as she tries to help the gormless and spineless Sai reunite with his true love so he may marry her so that her father may grant Jane access to another artifact with which to return to earth where she believes she wants to be.
Needless to say, Long is affectionately riffing on Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter. Both A Princess of Mars (1917) and Jane Carver of Waar (2012) begin with the reality-claiming conceit that the heroes have given their first person stories to the authors. Both heroes wake up naked on an alien world where they have super strength and jumping ability due to earth's stronger gravity. Both encounter exotic and dangerous flora and fauna and bad organized religions. Both catalyze Big Events. Both become caught up in page-turning action that devolves into absurdity if you catch your breath and coldly examine it. (The frenetic fun of Long's book is signaled by the one-word exclamation-marked titles of the chapters, like "Hunted!" "Monsters!" and "Captives!")
That said, Long is not rewriting A Princess of Mars with a female lead. For one thing, he avoids what was one of the most interesting parts of John Carter's life on Barsoom (learning the local language) by having the artifact that transports Jane to Waar automatically make her fluent in Sai's tongue. Unlike John Carter, Jane adventures not to win her own true love but to help another person win his. For that matter, while John Carter is heterosexual, Jane is a "switch hitter," and Long explores gender and sexuality more than Burroughs. Although Burroughs seems preoccupied with race (red, black, white, yellow, and green Martians), he elides the vile nature of slavery (John Carter having been on earth the "good" master of white myth beloved by his slaves), while Long explores it. And Jane (at first) has a humane reaction to killing, unlike John Carter.
The biggest difference between Burroughs/Carter and Long/Carver lies in their writing styles. The "swamp trash country girl" Jane has a cruder and more colloquial voice than John Carter, one that comically jars with the "elegant" speech of the local nobles. Jane: "I just saved your life, pal. I'll talk to you anyway I damn well please." Sai: "Tease me not, tormentor." Long also inundates Jane's narration with American pop culture references, especially similes, as in "It looked like the inside of Liberace's brain with Elvis doing the catering." Jane similarly alludes to Ty-D-Bol, the Jolly Green Giant (twice!), Angeline Jolie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Bond, Luke Skywalker, Frankenstein, Spider-Man, Porky Pig, Wile E. Coyote, Xena, Hulk Hogan, Justin Beiber, Elton John, Arkansas jail cells, Johnny Cochrane, Andre Agassi, Mark McGwire (twice!), the Packers (twice!), linebackers (thrice!), cheerleaders, CIA cover-ups, Larry Flynt, and more, with the result that Long's novel seems very much of its culture and era, while Burroughs' work, lacking such allusions, feels more universal and timeless. (Surprisingly, she never compares anything to John Carter.)
Some references/similes seem neat: "The silver of the rooftops against the deep black of the alleys made it all look like some huge, cubist black-velvet painting." Some seem lame: "It was as beautiful as a movie." Some seem more Long than Jane, e.g., vintage references to the likes of Steve Reeves, Clark Gable, Mae West, Heckle and Jeckle, and '50s hotrod magazines and coarse and sexist references like, "I was sweating like a whore on dollar day." Jane's language is much raunchier than John Carter's, as with "Where the f*ck have you dumped me now, you f*cking f*cks?" Given her character, that's understandable, but at times I felt that when Long's female characters talk about sex they sound like male fantasies of women rather than like real women. Jane describes light and graphic porno tableaux and often feels horny, and a female pirate captain says, "Right now I need a fat c*ck to fill my c*nt and empty my brain," while a noble woman says, "Oh yes! Harder! Don't stop! By the Seven, don't stop!" Finally, the problem is that the many pop culture references decrease the exotic experience of another world and its alien culture by making them too vividly recall ours.
The reader, Dina Pearlman, does a fine job, modifying her voice slightly for different characters, speaking clearly and convincingly. And she does a great villain-laugh.
Jane Carver of Waar (2012) is a fun, guilty pleasure that I'd only recommend to fans of the John Carter books or of female fantasy/sf characters who kick ass and talk dirty.
I loved this Series. I usually don't read Sci-Fi, but this sucked me in from the beginning.
Mr Long has written the most kick ass heroine. Her voice is so funny and real. Throw me into another world and I would be letting the F bombs go too.
The performance of Ms. Pearlman is is perfect. That rough voice and her sarcastic delivery is right on.
Mr. Long and Ms. Pearlman make a wonderful combination. Funny, funny, funny!
I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books
It started out interesting but fizzled for me. Jane is not someone I am attracted to I guess I did not relate to her and did not find her interesting.
Some might like it I just quit after a while.
Someone who has not read the real thing in the John Carter series by Burroughs
No just this writer
The voices turned me off But mostly the story was lame at best.
Alright, John Carter of Mars was written in the infancy of Science Fiction. I always enjoyed its simplicity and straight forwardness. The characters in it a two dimensional because of that infancy. This book is less than that. For one, I hate swearing in Science fiction. It is a genre that doesn't need it. 2. I TRIED to get into this book with the same excitement that I have for A Princess of Mars but I just couldn't finish it. The author tried too hard to be like ERB and failed in the attempt.
Great performance but story was nothing special. Another present-day heroine with attitude sent to past/primitive society with typical sarcastic remarks at the appropriate situations. Having read a few urban fantasy novels with female leads recently, the typical sarcastic attitude has been getting tiring, despite the great performances of the narrators. Whether it's the performances being similar or the heroine's sassy attitude or the first person perspective, or the combination of all three, which do tend to go together in modern style fantasy these days, I feel like the modern female heroine has consolidated into one personality. I haven't read the John Carter book but saw the movie. This book has such a similar plot that there isn't really any point. The other reviews made me so optimistic that the new take on the story would make it fresh, or extra witty, but it was all just too shallow. If it's trying to be a spoof, it failed dismally.
Fairly good writing
Seems like there are way too many parallels to John Carter of Mars. Similar name. Flip the first letter from M to W. Able to make incredible leaps. Similar humans just different color. Defeats an alien species in hand to hand combat and rescues a princess. Oh and only significant technology is in flight.
Jane Carter after John Carter had no imagination.
It was like eating cardboard after having a fine home made pizza!
I made it to the second chapter and had to stop.
Diana did a good job reading but she didn't have any thing to work with.
It will take a lot for me to look at any other works by Nathan Long.
I have been an avid reader my whole life. I love getting lost in a good story and letting the real world get lost for awhile.
If the author had wanted the main character to be a guy, he should have written her as a guy... Think BIG, Think Butch and Think UGLY. The pretty guys are gay... the big butch girl is a lesbian in the story because no 'man' wants her (because of how big, butch and ugly she is)... I just felt insulted by the stereotypical roles playing out. I liked the John Carter setting.. but if the rest was supposed to be some subtle tongue-in-cheek, I just didn't get it.
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