A Princess of Mars (Review)

A Princess of Mars (Review)

his one really takes me back to my teens. I’d read a couple of John Carter books. Back then, the game shops (remember those?) all had rulebooks for Mars battles, and Mars lead miniatures. And then you had Frank Frazetta pumping out erotic, exciting art of John Carter and his crazy adventures…

And now what do we have? A movie made by one studio to try to topple the franchise of another (in this case, the juvenile StarWars). Actually, the movie wasn’t all that bad, and they did their best to follow the storyline. But movies are movies and books are… better.

For those who are of a generation that didn’t read these classics pumped out in the earlier part of the last century, John Carter, son of Virginia, gentleman, veteran of the South’s war, drifter, adventurer, he’s in a tough spot. Pursued by Indians in the great West, he hides in a cave which the braves back away from. And only then does the cave work its magic and our John is transported to the red planet, Mars (or Barsoom, as it is known).

The world created b Edgar Rice Burroughs is amazing. This slowly dying planet is populated by fantastic races of unimaginable creatures. With its seas long gone, ruins of wondrous cities line the long-dried sea coasts. The air is thin, the technology lost, and men of different races (including crazed beasts fierce of tooth and claw) fight over the limited resources. John Carter (from his heavier planet) now has amazing strength. He can leap great distances, hew great numbers of warriors, and prove himself to all manner of rulers and despots. Fighting for the love of Dejah Thoris, Princess of the Kingdom of Helium, he fights the good fight, follows the law of civility and chivalry, and rallies the masses with his heroic adventures.

Yes, I liked John Carter. Right is always right, evil is evil, the backdrops are weird and crazy, and the adventures dire yet fun.

If you haven’t read (or even heard of) this old series, do yourself a favor. Find this book. Read it. And thrill as John Carter of Earth does what he does best, which is to be a hero.