Sunday, June 16, 2013

Edi's Spotlight: The Deadalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez

Dear Readers,
with this review I keep two promises. The first one I gave to the author of the book and the second one I gave to you. This is the first sign of life in the review desert of this blog.
I use this opportunity to change the style of my review a bit.

There is a story behind each book I buy/receive and I like to share these stories with you.
For me reading a book is like a travel where I follow the characters like an invisible shadow.
So I thought to write the review in form of a travel diary.
The travel ticket consist of cover, some facts and the blurb.



THE STORY BEHIND
In December 2012 I came in contact with author  Michael J. Martinez. He told me that his debut novel will be published in May 2013. The author has been so kind to add me to his reviewer list. End of March 2013 I received a digital review copy of The Daedalus Incident. As you may know the publisher of the book - Night Shade Books - went down. As a result the publishing date of The Daedalus Incident went down the drain and Michael J. Martinez asked me to postpone the review of the book. Of course I said yes.
On June 13 you could read following post on the author's site:

Buy The Daedalus Incident on Kindle NOW!

With this news in the back I got the GO for my review of The Daedalus Incident. For the release date of the paperback please follow the updates on the author's site.



THE TRAVEL TICKET




The Daedalus Incident 
332 pages (digital 2013)
[Amazon Kindle ASIN: B00B0SBF8W]
"Mars is supposed to be dead.
Bizarre quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.
Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents… and the immense Void between the Known Worlds.
With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl witha remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself." [Source]



 THE TRAVEL DIARY
 A warm welcome to my first travel diary. The ticket promised a two time lines journey which will lead me to the planet Mars in a possible future set in the year 2132 and back to an alternate history of the 18th century set in1779. 
One need to be prepared for such extraordinary voyages. I took countermeasures against the possible suffer from sea, space and time travel. 
On the way to Mars I got a brief introduction before I met Lt. Shaila Jain member of the Joint Space Command for the first time. By the way the JSC is the security force for all EU/US space missions. She is a straightforward woman, who is  neither a friend of military hierarchy nor of conventions.  By first sight I knew should would cause trouble.
Mars in 2132 is a raw-material supplier without atmosphere. Mining on Mars is no walk in the park and the appearance of quakes on the red planet was like the seed for riots.caused . I met some more people but I do not want to bother you with names. All in all there is group of people - miners, scientists, security, administration -  with relationsbetween each other on several levels.

There was nothing extraordinary regarding the place and the people except the quakes.
I decided to continue my travel on the future time line.

A blink of an eye later I switched to the 18th century time line. I looked over the shoulder of Lt. Thomas Weatherby and read a letter to his father. I was on board a sailing vessel named HMS Daedalus
 I don't know if this is a coincidence but when you look back into the history of the Royal Navy, you will easily detect the launch of a 32-gun frigate named HMS Daedalus in 1780
Anyway I missed something. There was no motion of the sea. We went on deck and there I stood agape and dumbfounded. There was no water! The HMS Daedalus sailed through space! What an unforgettable moment. Sailing through space on a 18th century sailing vessel with gravity and oxygen. Unbelievable! A magic word reached my ears: ALCHEMY!!
This alternate version of the 18th century bewitched me every minute again. 
As much as I would like to go into details I can't do that because I will not spoil the party.
But it is not forbidden to lure you. 
I met historical persons like CENSORED, CENSORED and CENSORED.
Imagine everything you know from Treasure Island, Horatio Hornblower, Francis Drake  and move it from Earth to space. Islands turn into planets and space is the equivalent to the seven seas. Be part of a three dimensional sailing vessel battle. Feel the pressure of conventions and hierarchy on a HMS ship. Discover the world of Alchemy with the reluctant Alchemist Dr Finch.
Follow Lt Thomas Weatherby on his adventurous travel to discover mesmerising mysteries and secrets. Accompany the former housekeeper Anne Baker on her way to burst through the 18th century rules and conventions to blossom as an anchor in case of relationship and as an eye-opener for Lt. Weatherby.

I think you can imagine which time line I preferred.
But the contrast between the two story lines is like the salt in the soup.
Like a pendulum the story switches between the two story lines. Wherever you are you can't wait to change the time line in order to follow what is going on in the other century.  The chapter wise change give the story a certain base speed. But Michael J. Martinez delivers a lot of action on both story lines. Sometimes you feel like some waiting for his next adrenalin injection. The time between action is far beyond to be a holiday. All the character development and interaction need some time and is most welcomed.

I see the question on your your forehead: Is there a connection between the two time lines?
The long answer is .... go, grab your copy of The Daedalus Incident and read it.
The short answer is indeed very short and consists of the word YES.
And yes, the The Daedalus Incident has a real end but it should be no problem for the author to write a sequel.


I hope my words reflect that I liked this travel a lot.
Any criticism? I would not say it is criticism. I would call it more a remark. I think it is quite difficult to write a climax for a story which paced along on a high level. From my point of view there is no big difference between the story and the climax. The 18th century story line is excellent, extraordinary and vibrant. That does not mean that the future story line is bad. But two story lines like the 18th century story line would have been the cherry on the cake.

Now the time has come to reveal the last passage of my travel diary.

When I returned home from this extraordinary travel I felt very satisfied. This amazing mix of alternate history, science fiction and mystery is highly entertaining and stands out like a lighthouse in the fog of books.

With The Daedalus Incident author  Michael J. Martinez satisfies an unsaid longing for books delivering an enjoyable and infatuate adventure which takes you on travel which is limited  by the power of your imagination only.

5 comments:

Zoltán Gecse said...

This looks interesting. Great review, Edi!

How can be possible that the paperback version of this book is cheaper than the Kindle edition? I think the pricing a little bit high for me.

ediFanoB said...

Hi Zoltán,

glad you liked my review.
Based on your information I checked prices at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and amazon.de.

Result
Over at amazon.com the Kindle edition is more expensive than the paperback.
Over at amazon.co.uk the price is nearly even.
Over at amazon.de the Kindle edition is a lot cheaper than the paperback.

I understand your anger and sent a mail to the author and asked him about the pricing.

ediFanoB said...

Hi Zoltán,

author Michael J. Martinez replied my mail and told me that he does not control the pricing.

So the only advice I can give to you is to check the price regularly and hopefully it will change. Fingers crossed.


Zoltán Gecse said...

I was sure about not he controls the prices. But it's strange to me a little bit.

Rosalie Skinner said...

Love the format of the review.

Glad you are back to blogging. :)

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