Victoria A. Jeffrey's authorly doings. . .

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Star Wars: (The Old Republic) Annihilation

I'm working on a space opera series. I'm hoping to have the first book in that series released this summer. The tentative series name is called Mission. In further preparation for this series I've been reading vintage science fiction (Edgar Rice Burroughs) and listening to star Wars EU audio books. Currently I'm listening to Star Wars: Annihilation (The Old Republic) on YouTube. It's a great story. This kind of homework is what I call fun!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Review of The Gods of Mars

After reading A Princess of Mars I read The Gods of Mars - and also Warlord of Mars. The Gods of Mars pretty much picks up where the first book stops. John Carter goes back to Barsoom and finds he has entered not the dry, desert Martian landscape that he'd visited before but what seems a lush, verdant beautiful land - the heavenly paradise of the afterlife on Barsoom that the inhabitants believe in - where the gods reside. But what awaits them is horrible. After his arrival a boat of Green Martians on the River Iss which conducts those who go on the last pilgrimage to their death and afterlife are ambushed by the previously unknown Plant Men and the Great White Apes. The lone survivor of this brutal massacre is his friend Tars Tarkas, the Jeddak of Thark, who has taken the pilgrimage to the Valley Dor to find Carter. Having saved their own lives, Carter and Tars Tarkas discover that the Therns, a white-skinned race of self-proclaimed gods, have for eons deceived the Barsoomians elsewhere by disseminating that the pilgrimage to the Valley Dor is a journey to paradise. Most arrivals are killed by the beasts of the valley, and the survivors enslaved by Therns where other horrors eventually await them.
Carter and Tars Tarkas rescue Thuvia, a slave girl, and attempt to escape, capitalizing on the confusion caused by an attack by the Black Pirates of Barsoom upon the Therns. The black pirates are called the First Born, a black race of Barsoom who are a demi-godlike race and also the mortal enemies of the Therns. Interesting enough, both the black-skinned First Born and the white-skinned Therns worship the black skinned goddess Issus. During the attack, Tars Tarkas and Thuvia hijack a Black Pirate flier, while Carter fights his way aboard another, killing all but one of the Pirates, and rescuing a captive Thern princess. From the captured Pirate Xodar, Carter learns that the Black Pirates, accordingly, prey upon the Therns as they prey upon the Barsoomians outside of the Valley Dor; and additionally identifies the captive Thern as Phaidor, daughter of the "Holy Hekkador" (high priest) of the Therns. When their flier is recaptured by the First Born and taken to their realm of Omean, Carter is taken before Issus, the self-proclaimed goddess of Barsoom, who dictates to the Therns through secret communications which they mistake for divine revelation.
I won't go any further as it will give away too much of the story. Let is suffice to say that The Gods of Mars has even more blood-pumping action than the first book and I liked this story as well. In fact, I liked the entire series. Not only is it lots of rip-roaring good fun and action- adventure as Carter takes on the whole planet, one race at a time, but there is also a message to be made about false beliefs and superstition. While I suspect Burroughs did not like organized religion and had nothing positive to say on the matter and made this point known in his series by his storyline involving the goddess Issus, the Therns and the First Born I do not think his aim was casting aspersions on the idea of God at all. Organized religion, however was another matter and Burroughs did a good job of weaving this idea into a story that remained at its core entertaining, thrilling and an enjoyable read. Do I agree with his assessment of organized religion? No, but it did not get in the way of me enjoying the story. Phillip Pullman? You might want to take some notes on how to get your point across without interrupting someone's lunch with a tract. The Gods of Mars was another great read. I am very glad I chose to go the vintage science fiction route. For those that don't care for lots of action you may find this series tedious after the the first book but if you love action I recommend them. After a hundred years these stories still hold up well in my opinion.
I won't be reviewing the rest of the books in the series but I will be reading the rest. My next review will be of the original Star Wars films.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Poetry Book Release: October Fog

My new and fourth book of poetry is now available for sale at Amazon and Smashwords!
Description: A micro-collection of poems of autumn to winter, (mostly)