Today's book review is A Princess of Mars
by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
This book is nearly a hundred years old, and back then there was very little of what would come to be called SF to compare with. It's certainly interesting to see where the field came from; Burroughs is one of the writers who ultimately inspired the genre I enjoy today. And there's certainly good action in here, and some ideas that were fresh and new at the time. But to my jaded 21st century taste, the writing is bad enough that it takes some effort to appreciate the good. The language is terribly pretentious and the dialog worse. I just can't picture, even a hundred years ago, someone stringing together such complex sentences with so many polysyllables in the middle of a fight. But ultimately, what really really hurts the book is the shallowness and absurdity of the characters' motivations and interactions. I have to consider this book as of historical interest only, because the characters are more believable in fan fiction.
5 out of 10.( plot summaryCollapse )