Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reviews: The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair by Michael J. Martinez

The Enceladus Crisis
Author:  Michael J. Martinez
Series:  Daedalus 2
Publisher:  Night Shade Books, May 6, 2014
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  $15.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781597805049 (print)

Two dimensions collided on the rust-red deserts of Mars—and are destined to become entangled once more in this sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident.

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complications when she arrives aboard the survey ship Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. And back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. But there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.

Trinitytwo’s Point of View

I was truly looking forward to this book’s release because I was heavily invested in the characters, and I absolutely loved the meshing of the two timelines: Historical Fiction meets Science Fiction = Fantastic Fiction. However, I wasn’t prepared for Martinez to immediately blast his readers with a startling and thoroughly exciting opener. Meeting Napoleon, albeit briefly, was so cool and unexpected; it snagged me, hook, line and sinker. Book Two revs up the intensity and action a few notches, and it transformed my perception from a fun read to a book I couldn’t put down. There is so much going on here between the alternate histories, different planets, and four separate plotlines that it should have become confusing, but Martinez, expertly conducts his storylines to create an exciting and brilliant symphony of action.

Definitely put The Enceladus Crisis on your summer reading list, but make sure to read The Daedalus Incident first. (my review here) It lays the foundation and sets the stage for what’s to come. Daedalus puts you in on the ground floor of the story’s technology, and allows readers time to grow fond of its characters. Then for good measure, add the novella, The Gravity of the Affair (see review below) to your list too. The Enceladus Crisis will complete your reading pleasure and packs an astounding wallop of adrenaline. This is a smart, well-written and outstanding series; no sophomore slump here, Book Two is even more exciting than the first one.


The Gravity of the Affair
Author:  Michael J. Martinez
Series:  Daedalus eNovella
Publisher:  NLA Digital LLC, December 6, 2013
Format:  eBook, 61 pages
List Price:  $2.99

Before his victory at the Nile.

Before his scandalous personal life made headlines.

Before he crushed the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar.

Before he died a martyr.

Horatio Nelson, England’s greatest naval hero, assumed his first command, the 12-gun brig HMS Badger, at the tender age of 20. History tells us his first voyages as captain were unremarkable. Yet in the Known Worlds, where sailing ships ply the Void and the mystic science of alchemy works wonders, Nelson’s first command goes quite differently. With his brashness and emotions untempered by experience, Nelson’s rash actions as captain of the Badger threaten his heroic destiny.

The Gravity of the Affair is a novella set in the Known Worlds of The Daedalus Incident, with events that tie into the novel (though both works may be enjoyed independently of one another).

Trinitytwo’s Point of View

The year is 1779 and a young Horatio Nelson is the commander of the HMS Badger, a small sailing brig assigned to patrol the Void in author Michael J. Martinez’s alternate universe, the Known Worlds. A pirate frigate raids a settlement where the Badger is laying over, steals precious goods, and presses into service some of the locals. Nelson decides to pursue and eventually engage the vessel, with disastrous results. The Gravity of the Affair is the account of the Board of Inquiry investigating Nelson’s decision to pursue the larger and more powerful vessel, and his thoughts and motivations behind this fateful act. It’s an excellent companion to Martinez’s series and gives readers a glimpse into events that shaped Nelson’s destiny before he became renowned as Britain’s most heroic sailor. I read this novella in between The Daedalus Incident and The Enceladus Crisis and it happily filled a void for me while waiting for Book Two to be published. I must admit, I didn’t care for Horatio Nelson overmuch; he’s too pompous. But the author’s depiction of this historical figure rings true and I did enjoy learning of the events that shaped the young naval commander. While it isn't required reading to enjoy the rest of the series, this novella gives insight concerning Nelson's cameo in The Enceladus Crisis, and adds yet another layer of back story to the rich alternate universe.


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