Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Review: The Outlaws of Mars

Okay back to Mr. Kline's Mars.

This time around our hero is Jerry Morgan, a disgraced army soldier who has turned to his uncle for help. As readers of The Swordsman of Mars knows, Uncle Richard has achieved unlimited abilities to send men to Mars and plans to help Jerry escape his problems. Using a spaceship, Jerry lands on Mars and in hot water when he kills the beloved pet of Junia, the daughter of the ruler of Kalisvar. Fearful that the earth man is a possible spy for the religious leader Sarkis The Torturer, Jerry is forced to fight both the Kalisvar Numin Vil, the power seeking Thoor Movil, the masked Sarkis and the spurned Nisha, sister of Thoor to save his hide and the woman he loves.

Kline's second novel set on Mars, The Outlaws of Mars is a well-written if somewhat formulaic adventure. In fact it has several things lifted not only from Edgar Rice Burroughs-Jerry suddenly develops super jumping abilities and is an expert soldier-but also from Kline's famous client Robert E. Howard. Sarkis with his ability to manipulate others through religious fears brings to mind several of Howard's Conan stories and the hell hath no fury Nisha seems almost lifted from Howard's work.

That said, it still delivers for readers looking for a good pulpy read. Rating: **1/2 out of 4.

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