26 years after the Martian invasion, the earth has recovered to some extent. The interplanetary war has long since been a thing of the past in people's minds – but there are warners. These, however, are not necessarily very popular.
At the same time, some members of the Martian Council have the same blind spot in their perception. There, some Martians do not want to acknowledge the rapid development of the Terrans. What ended years ago as a disaster, since the Martian armed forces eventually fell victim to earthly viruses, could soon become life-threatening. Because the humans now have spaceships, it would be possible for them to reach Mars. But the Martians have a plan. A very ambitious and perhaps desperate plan, of which the Terrans know nothing.
The denizens of the red planet have one big advantage, however: They are more unanimous than the humans, because those are still struggling with their territorial problems and still do not see themselves as inhabitants of the earth, but continue to be attached to their national and ideological thinking. This increases their difficulties considerably.
But here and there, on Earth and on Mars, there are military men who think more clearly and perceive the constant threat of the sheer existence of each other. And indeed, earthly forces are on their way to Mars to prevent another attack and to retaliate. Not everyone has forgotten the incredible cruelty of the Martian attack. And the casualties.
Very creatively continued story of a hellish war
"War of the Worlds: Retaliation" by the authors John Rust and Mark Gardner continues where H. G. Wells' book ends: The report from a parallel universe tells the story of a brutal war that is not limited to the ground of a single planet. Military figures such as General Patton or Admiral Beatty meet the reader, as do Charles de Gaulle. A certain Mr. Hitler, a troublemaker leading crazed protesters, whom nobody takes seriously, also has a very short appearance.
Wells had not written his story from a single point of view. His Martian creatures were not simply a defined threat, but had depth and a socio-political background. His finely elaborated differences in the way of thinking of the respective opponents are excellently acknowledged and continued very creatively in the present book.
Gardner and Rust continue this tradition and style without copying. Although "War of the Worlds: Retaliation" is based on H. G. Wells novel, it can be read independently. Science fiction fans will definitely get their money's worth here.
© "Excellent war reporting from a parallel universe": a book review from Winfried Brumma (Pressenet) and Frank Dietz, 2017. Picture of the book cover: Severed Press