Books Fantasy

Jane Carver of Waar – A mixed joy

Jane Carver of WaarJane Carver of Waar (Jane Carver, #1) by Nathan long
My rating: 5 stars out of 10

Jane Carver is nobody’s idea of a space princess.

A hard-ridin’, hard-lovin’ biker chick and ex-Airborne Ranger, Jane is as surprised as anyone else when, on the run from the law, she ducks into the wrong cave at the wrong time-and wakes up butt-naked on an exotic alien planet light-years away from everything she’s ever known.

Waar is a savage world of four-armed tiger-men, sky-pirates, slaves, gladiators, and purple-skinned warriors in thrall to a bloodthirsty code of honor and chivalry. Caught up in a disgraced nobleman’s quest to win back the hand of a sexy alien princess, Jane encounters bizarre wonders and dangers unlike anything she ever ran into back home.

Then again, Waar has never seen anyone like Jane before…

Generally interesting book which, unfortunately, is a bit of a mixed joy. Female heroine are mystically whisked away to another planet where the low gravity makes her jump like a grasshopper and be stronger than everyone else. Hmmm, where have I read that before? If you would say that this is a rip-off of Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter it would be difficult to argue against you. In many ways it is. However, it is also sufficiently different to not really give the feeling that you are reading a simple rip-off.

Although the situation is similar Jane Carver is very far from Burroughs ‘ gentleman from Virginia. Even though her conscience usually guides her in the right direction she is not exactly the girl you would want you son to bring home one day. Nor is the inhabitants of Waar the warriors that you find in the John Carter stories and who puts honor first. Some of them are actually rather depraved individuals.

This “biker chick” twist sometimes works very well in the book and those passages where very enjoyable to read. Other times, they do not work so well. Often Jane Carver just freezes or goofs up in a critical moment. That’s fine once in a while but not all the time. In this book it is really used as an excuse to continue the story too many times. The author also seems to be somewhat (over)focused on sex. I have nothing against sex in books or movies but everything has its place and it is just a bit overdone here.

The comparison with the John Carter books are of course inevitable and, although I did find this book enjoyable, I do like the honorable gentleman from Virginia better. He was more intelligent, the people surrounding him was, mostly, much more intelligent as well as trustworthy (even his enemies) which I just like better. Of course, this book have the advantage of having a more modern view of science so there is no seventh ray, radium lamps or other gadgets that do not translate so well into this age.

Having said the above, this is an interesting twist of the same basic idea. There is a second book out now and I think it merits a read to see whether the series improve or not. If nothing else so to see where the author goes with the loose ends that he left in the first book and which, if handled properly, could lead to an interesting story.

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