Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Release Date: January 30th, 2007 (originally 1912)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 186 (Paperback)
Genre: Sci-fi | Fantasy | Classic
Series: Barsoom #1
Read: from June 13 to July 5, 2012
Source & Shelf: Burrowed
ISBN: 9780143104889 (Paperback)
The first published book by the creator of Tarzan of the Apes that introduced the world to intergalactic Civil War soldier, John Carter.
Two years before Edgar Rice Burroughs became a worldwide celebrity with the publication of Tarzan of the Apes and its twenty-two sequels, which together have sold more than 30 million copies, he published the futuristic sci-fi romance, A Princess of Mars. A Princess of Mars tells the story of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who inexplicably finds himself held prisoner on the planet Mars by the Green Men of Thark. With Dejah Thoris, the princess of another clan on Mars, John Carter must fight for their freedom and save the entire planet from destruction as the life-sustaining Atmosphere Factory slowly grinds to a halt.
A Princess of Mars is the first in Burroughs’ eleven book Barsoon series, following the continued adventures of John Carter.
*This review might contain spoilers*
Oh my… I sort of disliked it!
I know… I know… How can I give 2 stars and dislike a book that is considered to be a classic sci-fi masterpiece?! Shame on me really but I am going to be utterly honest with you – the movie is to blame!
John Carter is the reason this book was not the work of art I was expecting. I’ve seen the movie and kind of enjoyed it. It had its flaws, that’s for certain, and it didn’t turned into my favourite movie but it was a very entertaining (and eye candy as well :D) movie. Despite the obvious clichés it had, the movie made me want to read the book and so I’ve decided to try it.
I was so disappointed I’ve spent all this time after reading the book without knowing what to write in the review. Nevertheless, I felt the urge to justify myself.
The beginning of the book was going fine. I was – believe it or not – enjoying it. It was “faithful” in a way to what I’ve seen in the cinema with some small changes needed to make the movie more appealing. So far, so good. But it came all tumbling down (for me) with the appearance of the Princess of Helium; Dejah Thoris. It was as if John stepped into a pool of lameless. His speech turned into incoherent and dull sentences about how much he loved her already and would do everything in his power to protect her and stuff…
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE romance but this one made me slightly sick and made me roll my eyes till they hurt.
In the movie – and there I go comparing it with the movie (I know, I shouldn’t do it) – there is romance and very lame indeed but it’s more controlled.
Other thing I didn’t particularly liked about the book was when John would go astray and started explaining the Barsoomian costumes and traditions. Some were interesting and needed for us to understand the mind of the Marsians. But some of them weren’t that interesting and they would turn out to be boring.
I feel, as a person who is admitting to have been influenced by the movie, that the cinematographic version of the story was more solid, with more plot to it.
Okay, shoot me, I deserve it. I do admit to have been waiting for a story very similar to the movie. I do believe my opinion would be completely different if I had read the book first.
However, there is still hope. I will give the second volume a chance. I’ve read somewhere that the Therns (who we were introduced in the movie) appear in the second one and I want to know more about them.