SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 618 The Forge of Mars, by Bruce Balfour Book Review |

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The Forge of Mars, by Bruce Balfour
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Ace
Published: 2002
Review Posted: 7/6/2005
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 7 out of 10

The Forge of Mars, by Bruce Balfour

Book Review by Michael Lohr

Have you read this book?

Pure science fiction novelist Bruce Balfour ("The Dagger Of Amon Ra, Outpost") has oddly enough, found himself standing along side the likes of Clive Cussler, Stephen Coonts and Michael Crichton with this novel. Yes, it's science fiction, and yes the story is mainly set on Mars, but The Forge Of Mars has ancient artifacts and treasure, government espionage, conspiracies, political intrigue and shadowy international cabals a plenty.

In the not too distant future a reconnaissance team from NASA discovers alien ruins on the surface of Mars, deep within a canyon called Vulcan's Forge. Upon touching one of the artifacts (it's the "astronauts equate squirrels in a power plant" syndrome again) an astronaut dies immediately. NASA, perplexed by this dramatic occurrence, calls in ace researcher Tau Wolfsinger to find out just exactly what happened. But unbeknownst to both NASA and Wolfsinger, these ruins are not the first to be discovered and in fact a shadowy international cartel known as the Davos Group has been locating and hiding such artifacts for decades. The Davos Group has developed a secret, black ops program to backward engineer the artifacts and learn their secrets, all for the less than humanitarian reasons of material exploitation and power. Wolfsinger may be the only human in existence that can unlock the artifacts secrets and this makes him very popular target for the shadowy types. The star cauldron awaits discovery, but who will get there first, corporate suit 'n' tie guys and their armed thugs or our boy wonder? The fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

The Forge of Mars is an excellent near-time sci-fi novel. I love the subgenre of archaeological science fiction. This novel is one of the better archaeological SF novels written in recent memory. But what I think makes The Forge of Mars special is the old fashioned sense of wonder and adventure that it gives the reader. It's a feeling that you got the first time you picked up Robert A. Heinlein's "The Door Into Summer" or "Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey." You not only wanted to finish The Forge of Mars in one sitting, but you could almost feel yourself there with the characters experiencing the wonders of discovery.

And yes Stargate fans, there are Egyptian gods involved as well. Read the book.
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