Sunday, May 6, 2018

Book Review: Gestapo Mars, by Victor Gischler

As a novel, Gestapo Mars doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. And that’s a probably a good thing, given that it takes place in a distant future of a parallel universe where the Nazis somehow emerged supreme. And that’s also likely a very good thing because such an explanation would likely make your brain hurt. 

I won’t even try to figure out when and where the histories diverged.  For example, there's a city on the moon called St. Armstrong,  plus numerous other historical and pop-cultural references to keep your head happily spinning.

But that's not the point here. Gestapo Mars is one helluva fun read.  It’s got space Nazis, beautiful women, dinosaur Nazis, plots and counterplots, cyborg Nazis, aliens, and did I mention, Nazis? 

The protagonist, one Carter Sloan, is a secret agent/troubleshooter for the Third Reich, which is since spread off-world, across the solar system and beyond.  He has spent the last 258 years in suspended animation. Like some high-priced fire extinguisher, Sloan is only brought out in case of emergency, which in this case, is a biggie. The Reich is threatened not only within by rebels but also without by the Coriandons, who as much resemble giant blobs of protoplasm.  Sloan’s mission is simple: track down the leader of the rebels, the Daughter of the Brass Dragon.  Whether he has to kill her or rescue her remains the big question. 

This book clips along. The author writes at a brisk pace, daring the reader to keep up with him. Gestapo Mars is character-driven with Gischler making Sloan a cynical protagonist we actually can care about.  By turns, Gestapo Mars is broadly satiric and action-packed, with a lot of nice plot twists that keep you glued right to the very end.

Highly recommended.

In the meantime, you can help out a poor unemployed writer by purchasing Elvis Saves JFK! for just 99 cents and War Plan Crimson, A Novel of Alternate History, for $2.99 and now The Key to My Heart, also $2.99 (all are free to preview). All books -- which are already on Smashword's premium distribution list -- are also available through such fine on-line retailers such as Sony, Chapters Indigo, Barnes & Noble and Apple's iTunes Store.  Thanks.