Title: Thunder God of Mars: A Superhero Prose Novel
Publisher/Author: John Taloni
Thunder God of Mars: A Superhero Prose Novel is a fun story. I approach any depiction of the Heathen gods with some trepidation, but this book seemed to really get some things about the Norse gods and also the Greek gods. Both sets of gods in this story operate on the system in which the gods’ abilities are belief-powered. That’s not how heathendom sees the actual Heathen gods, but it’s a fine device for a work of fiction. The book is a bit short, but it has a bonus superhero story in the back, which is unrelated to the main story, but both have elements of hard sf related to alien biology and culture as well as a superhero plotline.
The book starts out with Thor and Ares battling. The reasons and the landscape are both intriguing. More Norse and Greek deities show up. The gods seem focused on benefitting humans, as well as their own concerns, which is a pleasant change from a lot of modern fiction. I like how some of the conflicts between the gods are actually setups meant to help the humans.
I loved the plot twist with the Midgard Serpent. I read that chapter while there was a monsoon storm outside and it seemed like the book was telling the story that went with the thunder booms and lightning flashes.
Each chapter is a complete mini-story. I like that. While the book seems aimed at adult readers, the situations and reading level are not too advanced for teenagers to enjoy also. The main story is a rip-roaring good tale. The bonus story unfolds a little slower in keeping with the pace of the slow moving aliens in it, but it’s just as much fun in a quieter way. Readers who enjoy reading about superheroes with disabilities will especially appreciate the bonus story. I recommend this book for any fan of science fiction or of superhero tales.
[Reviewed by Erin Lale.]