Pirates of Mars, the new Mars adventure story by Chris Gerrib. Lieutenant Peter Grant of the Volunteer Space Rescue Service is taken hostage by pirates, who are holding him for ransom. The Rescue Service can't afford to pay a ransom and is not equipped for an armed rescue. Fellow Rescueman, Jack Williams, unwilling to violate Rescue tradition and leave a person behind, decides to improvise a rescue.
This not-so-far-future scifi story has humans settled on Mars and up to nefarious deeds. The pirates of Mars are quite a mixed crew (which was entertaining) who end up kidnapping a volunteer space rescue man (Peter). But his agency doesn’t have the funds to ransom him. Luckily, he has friends who improvise a rescue. Over all, the book had a Wild West feel to it, kind of a nod to the TV series Firefly.
Once the characters were set, there wasn’t much growth. But that was OK as this was a fast-paced action flick. I really liked that none of the women were wall flowers or simply there for pretty scenery. There was a lesbian sex scene which could be a bonus or a distraction depending on your view on sex in books. For me, the sex scene was OK, bringing a slight heat to my cheeks but nothing beyond that.
There’s plenty of fun tech in ships and weapons and protective gear. I don’t need it all to be true to life functional for me to enjoy the story. I was a bit skeptical of the human race being capable of having Mars settled and infested with pirates by 2074. But that was easy to set aside and simply pretend it was 2274 instead.
The storyline was predictable but for a quick action flick, I wasn’t looking for any deep mystery or great twists and turns. Over all, I would give this book a solid 3 out of 5 stars. My biggest issue was with the narration.
Narration: I hate being negative in my reviews, but I have to be honest and say that this was a pretty rough narration. McKenzie had a limited range in voice, so many of the characters blended together. His feminine voice was almost non-existent (which was an issue as about half the cast were ladies). Also, I could occasionally hear the pages being turned as he narrated. There were some words that were pronounced oddly and I had to stop and puzzle out what he meant. Also, his words were not always clear. For example, one of the characters is named Jack. So several times there is this phrased, ‘Jack asked….’. Well, the ‘asked’ part was not enunciated so it often sounded like ‘jackass’ and I thought the characters were joking with each other or insulting each other, when in fact Jack was being inquisitive. I felt that the story was being announced, like in some sports announcer voice, for much of the book. With such a narration, I have to rate the audiobook lower than 3 stars.
Pirates of Mars by Chris Gerrib was a fast paced sci-fi novel. Life on Mars is what I would picture life in Australia was like in the 1800’s when convicts were sent there to live. Rough, uncivilized and full of the criminal element or those seeking a better life. Life on Mars was similar – rough, uncivilized to a great degree and full of opportunistic seeking people where they even charge for air!
Peter Grant, Lieutenant of the Volunteer Rescue Station, is but one of the latest captured by the Pirates seeking riches in gold, guns and other items. The pirates seek ransom not only for the ship but for Peter Grant. Jack Williams of the Volunteer Space Rescue Corp doesn’t take kindly to leaving Peter Grant behind. The Space Rescue is infamous for paying ransoms, but this time there is no money to be pay out nor is there an arsenal to launch a full scale rescue. As a result, Williams implements a rescue mission to kidnap Peter Grant back with friends at the helm!
The plot was fast paced and easy to follow. Character development lacked with the rescue team but the pirates, there was a bit more. The pirate women were all strong and “do it themselves” type of women where men just weren’t needed to rescue them.
Overall, the book was fun and fast with a few interesting twists. If you love sci-fi fantasy with a futuristic taste, this is a good listen for you.
Gary McKenzie did a good job of reading the book but it was obvious he was reading it and not performing it. There was little to no distinction to the different characters through his voice.
Production was fine; I had no issues with it.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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