Monday, January 22, 2018

Book Review: The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter

I've been reading way more science fiction novels recently than I ever have in the past, and when I saw that The Massacre of Mankind continued where War of the Worlds, the H.G. Wells classic, left off, I had to read it.

*Disclaimer: This book was sent to See, Shop, Love! through Blogging for Books.

The Massacre of Mankind is written by Stephen Baxter and is the sequel to War of the Worlds, authorized by the H.G. Wells estate. Baxter is on of the U.K.'s most acclaimed science fiction writers and War of the Worlds is one of the most well-known classics, so I was very excited to start this book.

I was somewhat familiar with Stephen Baxter prior to reading this, as I had read his book Proxima. The writing style there was a bit different than in The Massacre of Mankind, as he was writing it in a style similar to its predecessor. I think he did a great job of keeping the voice of the original story while simultaneously creating a new tale.

All that being said, unfortunately I did not enjoy this book as much as I was hoping I would. It took me quite some time to read, partially because it is 482 pages long, but mostly because the story just didn't grab me. I kept waiting for that moment where you get completely sucked into a book, but it never happened. It was an entertaining read, but I didn't feel compelled to devour every page and chapter the way I have with some other books.

The story takes place 14 years after the initial invasion in War of the Worlds and follows Julie Elphinstone, a journalist and sister-in-law to Walter Jenkins (the narrator of War of the Worlds), as the martians return to Earth. Although I didn't love this book the way I was hoping I would, I still think anyone who considers themselves a science fiction fan should give it a try. Just because it was not quite to my liking certainly doesn't mean it was by any means bad or boring. You can clearly see the amount of work and passion that Stephen Baxter put into crafting this tale, and I did appreciate the balance between the style of War of the Worlds tied into this new story.

If you'd like to check out The Massacre of Mankind, you can read an excerpt here.

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