Books : reviews

Nathan Long.
Jane Carver of Waar.
Night Shade. 2012

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 3 June 2012

Jane Carver, 6 foot tall, red-headed ex-Airborne Ranger, now biker, is on the run form the law. Desperate not to be locked up, she dodges into a cave, and falls over a strange device on the ground. The next thing she knows, she wakes on the alien planet of Waar, in the middle of a violent abduction, uncannily able to speak the language. Soon she is fighting for her life against four-armed alien warriors and purple humanoid gladiators, and is again on the run from the law, as she attempts to find her way home.

This is a marvellous homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars books, from the initial conceit that the author is merely reporting what he has been told by the main character, to the low gravity desert planet of Waar, with its scantily-clad warriors and its airships. But Jane Carver is certainly no John Carter, Virginian officer and old-fashioned gentleman; she is a lusty modern woman, not an officer and definitely not a gentleman, totally horrified by the local culture that includes slavery, subjugation of women, and tyrannical overlords. The action is non-stop, and very varied.

Mind candy, but good mind candy. I'm hoping for a sequel!

Nathan Long.
Swords of Waar.
Night Shade. 2012

rating : 4.5 : passes the time
review : 19 March 2013

Jane Carver needs to get back to Waar, to find her purple lover, Lahn. That's hard, stranded back on Earth, hunted by the law, disbelieved by her friends. But she manages, only to find herself in worse danger than before, up against the Priests of Waar. She must fight her way across the planet to save herself, and her companions.

Another fun, rip-roaring adventure. It feels somewhat bitty to start with (although I love the bit about Norman Prescott Kline's Savages of the Red Planet). But it picks up after a while, and becomes another rollicking adventure, making good-natured jabs at Barsoom. There's a big plot development two-thirds of the way through that I wasn't expecting, and it will be interesting to see the repercussions in follow on books. (There are going to be follow on books, right?)