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Posted November 26, 2010
It's the middle of the 22nd century, and humans have been occupying space on Mars for well over a century. For as long as anyone can remember, the war between man and machine has been a integral thread to life on Mars and there is no end in sight. Human birth rates have fallen on Mars, and cloning becomes the most logical option to allow the collective intellect of humans live on. Meanwhile, the Cartesians, or "mechs," are programmed to follow "Mother's" orders to wipe out the human race, and cloners are at the top of the list. Asher is one of those cloners who is part of an underground rebellion. Haunted by his past, he's trying to strive for a future that will allow him some peace and give all humans hope. With the help of Claudia, a local Martian celebrity, Asher comes up with the idea to create the perfect weapon against the machines. No one will be the same when the Martian dust settles on this battle of clones, humans and machines. One way or another, this war will end, but who will be around to see the results?
Joseph Robert Lewis has written a compelling book that follows the lives of 6 sentient beings during the days leading up to the end of the war. Each chapter tells a piece of the adventure from one of those beings' reference points. The chapters are clearly marked, and I found this to be a very effective way to give us a more complete picture of what was going on in the minds of the humans, clones and machines involved in this war. The premise of the story was really intriguing, and brought up some interesting concepts; cloning people minutes before they die to save their knowledge, machines that seem almost human and yet they're not, Mars being a viable habitat for people when Earth is not enough. With the changing viewpoints and the engaging concept, this was an easy book to get into.
In addition to the main theme of hope and redemption, there were several underlying themes. For example, what qualifies one to be a person? Seeing the individual thoughts and feelings of three different types of beings, the question is raised- what makes someone (or something) a person? With their synthetic bodies and brains saturated with the memories and experiences of another, are clones closer to humans or machines? Are machines who make choices independent of their programming more like humans than machines? Is it possible for all three types of beings to coexist, and are their goals really all that different?
I found this to be an interesting read. Although the story moves along at a fairly good pace, I found the ending to be somewhat abrupt. When I saw the epilogue, I wondered if I'd missed something in the story. When I turned the last page of the epilogue, I was expecting more. I had taken the journey through the last part of the war, and I wanted a little something else at the end to give me more closure. I'm honestly not exactly sure what form that would have taken, but I felt a bit letdown by the ending. Some of the transitions and relationships between characters were a little difficult for me to follow at times as well. I'm not sure if that's because we were following so many characters (each of the six characters had at least one or more partners associated with them), or because of a lack of development in the writing of the characters. It wasn't a major flaw of the story, and just a minor complaint on my part.
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Posted March 13, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel-it moved very quickly and I was constantly wanting to find out what happened next. The first few chapters were hard to sort out due to the mass array of characters and events, but by chapter four I really understood the flow of the novel. One of my favorite things about Heirs of Mars is that there are so many plot lines and characters but they work together seamlessly to build one great novel instead of six different stories. Each character had his or her own voice and motives behind their actions. It would have been nice to hear more from each character though. Just when I felt like I was getting to know or understand a character, their plot line ended. I also liked that there was more than one strong female character.
The author also eased us into the Sci-Fi nature of the novel. It is pretty far out there, but I was able to understand what was going on and get a solid feel for life on Mars. The enviornment was well developed and I feel as though there could be a whole series developed using it. The same thing goes with the characters-there could be a lot more. Speaking on the cloning aspect of the novel, I really appreciated that the author did not inject his personal opinion on cloning or use the novel to make a statement, but instead created what would be the Martian debate on cloning. Overall, I thought the book was great. It was enjoyable, fun, and interesting.
Posted October 20, 2011
Heirs of Mars is an interesting science fiction tale. I like authors who take an old idea and put a new spin on it, as I think Joseph Robert Lewis did with digital reincarnation and the colonization of Mars.
I was a little confused at the beginning, couldn't quite figure out what was going on. There were so many characters on so many different sides, it was hard to keep everyone straight. Plus, there were some pacing issues, it would speed up and slow down like a bad driver on a freeway.
All in all, it's a fun science fiction romp that was enjoyable to read.
*Disclaimer: I was given this book by the author through LibraryThing. I was not required to write a positive review.
Posted June 10, 2011
I thought this was a very well written Science Fiction Story, which easily could turn out to become a great series. The characters in the story are good developed and as such the book kept me entertained all the way through. I liked the idea of having virtually three different types of races. Humans, clones and mechanical beings. The last two should not be able to have any kind of emotions as they are artificial, but in this story they are portrait much different to the general idea. I was quite upset about the ending and initially I thought I lost pages during download, but it become apparent that there will be a sequel and I sincerly hope the author picks up, where he left off. This book was a very enjoyable read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2011
Review as giveaway eBook
This was a very good science fiction read.
Mars colony is struggling to survive with a poor birth rate and no new colonists from Earth. Asher is a cloner, using ghosting technology he can save the memories of dying colonists and transfer them into robotic bodies. This helps to preserve vital skills for the colony such as doctors and engineers. This technology is seen as a threat by an AI evolved on a satellite of Venus who sends AI robots to Mars to destroy this technology. The novel is set in this context with colonists accepting but uneasy with the cloned colonists, the cloners working underground to continue their work against a guerrilla war being waged by the AI (Cartesian) warriors fighting from the deserts. Asher decides to clone a girl who reminds him of his murdered daughter, killed in a Cartesian attack on the dome he was working from.
This sets of a cascade of events which will keep you wanting to read more. The plot is pacy, the underlying concepts intriguing, the characters are well drawn and relevant to the overarching themes of the novel. You also have car and bike racing across the valleys of Mars. What more could you ask for.
I look forward to further novels set in this world.
Posted April 11, 2011
Posted March 29, 2011
Books that you cant put down till you finsh at 2:00am.
I enjoyed the world of mars. All the different characters were well arounded. Thier was different debates about cloning,robots and humans all had rights. thier were bigots that thought they were better than anyone else in all groups. A lot of people,clones were heros trying to build a society that would last. I found myself on different sides as the book went. Asher was the main character he was a cloner and got beat up and hurt a few times. the cloners had strict rules and when they were broken you saw the results and why the rules were thier for. It was an action pack book. It was a good read took me away to Mars.
Posted March 22, 2011
I really have to read more Science Fiction! This book only proves that I'm overlooking a simply fantastic genre. This book is chock full of poignantly cruel ethical dilemmas as well as a rich cast with conflicting morals and goals. The setting was internally realistic, with an attention to detail on the science that the engineer in me loves. I am going to read so much more Joseph Lewis.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 2, 2011
A fresh take on the tried and true concept of the social aspects of cloning and robots akin to Asimov or Heinlein. While the main story is told through the eyes of Asher, each character is given an opportunity to show the world through their own eyes. The changes in POV seemed difficult at first, but then melded together to create a story of great depth and span. The Robots almost seemed as alive as the clones and natural humans. This interaction between three forms of being set up a trifecta of story and intrique. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who even remotely enjoys speculative and science fiction.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 27, 2012
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Posted April 23, 2011
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Posted November 1, 2011
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