Review by: Hannes Birnbacher on Nov. 11, 2016 : (no rating) (Remove)
So there is a colony on mars longing to be free of earth ruling, and earth has a spaceship which is soooo big and mighty, and Mars has soldiers which are sooo bold and daring. How does the author deal with this age-old topic? An experienced and gifted author would work out the charakters in action and dialoge, in "Ephialtes" the reader fight's his way through long pages of mere descriptions about the acting persons, the good, the bad and the ugly.
But do not give up too early on the author - it is his first novel I see on smashwords, and he is getting better during the work.
First the very good news: there is a meaningful table of contents, no "Chapter 1, chapter 2, ... chapter 47" like in so much other Novels on Smashwords, and there are almost no errors or mistakes, wrong use of words etc. which are so irritating in many other Ebooks.
You will find the story will get exciting in some parts and there are scenes (like the secret agent who is hired when he just wanted to get boozed and make trouble in the bar, or the reporter trying every trick to get her interview) which make you smile if you want or not.
So stay at it. Ephialtes is the first work of the author I found on smashwords and he is improving during writing.
Personally, what is interesting for me is the "Science" part in "Science Fiction".
The SF part presents an uneven picture. The "Deuterium" mentioned in the first version of Part 1 is not what I know as Deuterium, probably a typo throughout the whole book. Maybe the Author had "Deutronium" from Star Wars in mind, or Neuterium, target of some scientific speculation in the 1930s ?
Another key part of the story is how the big carrier spaceships, built for Earth orbit, are enabled to reach mars within a few months. The author is somewhat vague about the atomic motors fitted to it, but remember (or google) the forgotten "project pluto", an atomic ramjet which was built and successfully tested (!) even in the 1950ties by the U.S., so that's realistic.
For me, SF is defined somehow like "projecting the influence of today's science on future social developments". Here at last, the author shows he is indeed mastering the genre, be it war lead by drones and Artificial Intelligences, be it the influence of streams on global networks to politics.
Finally, I was quite glad that I forced myself to read further on than the first 7% the previous reviewer managed to do. The novel improves "on the run". Characters still are somewhat pale but you can see that the author gets better to show their personalities, and the story gets more exciting as it develops. Hope I will be able to download the next part of the trilogy soon.
Remark: I never give ratings with stars in my reviews. "Ephialtes" still is, in my opinion and having re-read it and some short stories of the author, in the upper half of SF, maybe on the way to the best ten percent.
(review of free book)