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Arabella of Mars

Written by: David D. Levine
Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik
Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
Price: CDN$ 30.00
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Publisher's Summary

Since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, he proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.

Now, one century later, a plantation in a flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother, Michael, with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected. She disguises herself as a boy and joins the crew of the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company, where she meets a mysterious captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations.

Now Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learn how to sail, and deal with a mutinous crew if she hopes to save her family remaining on Mars.

Arabella of Mars, the debut by Hugo-winning author David D. Levine, offers adventure, romance, political intrigue, and Napoleon in space!

©2016 David D. Levine (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

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  • K. Horn
  • 2018-09-18

A delightful adventure!

This novel's unusual setting (Victorian-era space travel with colonies on Mars) drew me in from the start, but it was dauntless Arabella that I loved most. With a resourceful main character, murder plans to thwart, interplanetary travel, and a native uprising, this story was one I raced through, I couldn't stop listening. The narrator does an excellent job (I can't imagine anyone else reading it).

If you like Gail Carriger's novels, this is kind of similar - with a plucky heroine and clockwork technology (just as delightful, though, no werewolves). It's got a bit of a seafaring-adventure sense to it, too. It's a little bit Victorian-era-sci-fi, a little bit steampunk, and a little bit historical-reimagining. I haven't enjoyed a book quite so much in ages.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • gypsyldy
  • 2016-08-11

Delightful!

Airships, Privateers, Martians, and proper English manners... whats not to love? A friend recommended this book to me, and now I'm wholeheartedly recommending it to you!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracey
  • 2016-08-28

Been done before, predictable

Story didn't pull my interest at all. As I said in the headline, it's all been done before. Don't waste a credit. Very disappointing because I love steampunk and strong female characters. This tried to include it all and missed the mark completely.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • GLENNO
  • 2019-03-25

A heroine with talent and pluck. Loved it!

I get weary of reviewers who don't like a book because it has been "done before." So what? West Side Story was done before. It was called Romeo and Juliet. Bottom line: Did you enjoy it? I did. Were you smiling as you read it? I did. Did you like the characters and the action. For me, yes and yes. So what exactly is the problem? End rant.

This is a steampunk novel that takes place in an alternate history of the early 1800s. Mars has been colonized for some time but there were already inhabitants there--the native Martians with a well-defined culture and language.

Arabella is the daughter of an English plantation owner. She was born on Mars but raised to be proper Englishwoman. She was ALSO raised to be a proper Martian by her Martian nanny, who taught her good morals, the Martian language, and how to defend herself.

At the age of 16, her mother does not like Arabella's supposedly unladylike tendencies, like working with automata (i.e., automated machinery), and takes her back to England to be "properly" finished. But 3 years later, things conspire to force Arabella to take desperate measures to get back to Mars, and right away. That is where all of the action begins and, other than a possibly too long section on the daily life of a sailor, it's great fun.

The reader was outstanding, especially in her portrayals of Arabella and Captain Singh.

So I'm going to get and read the sequel right now.

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  • FM
  • 2017-01-01

Weakest most ridiculous story I have ever read

This would have been better as a porno novel.
The lead character is not a heroine she's a twit,and not a very smart one. She basically fails at everything she tries to do,including her main objective. The only reason the ending isn't tragic is because of fate. This was just awful. If your going to write a book about a heroine,you don't make her seem like a big crybaby,and you have to let her win every once in a while.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful