Wednesday, August 8, 2012

eBook Review: Lawyers of Mars

Pam Uphoff, Lawyers of Mars

Product Details

  • File Size: 199 KB
  • Print Length: 85 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Naked Reader Press (May 23, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052FG78W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: none (no customer reviews)
  • Price: $1.99

1. Short review:  (Amazon ratings: 3 stars out of 5 -- It's okay.)

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  The line-level writing. Uphoff can write. 
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Kind of a roller coaster.
$1.99 and just worth it.

2.2. What I did not like: I am not a fan of aliens in science fiction, because most writers do not write aliens well. After the first quarter of Lawyers of Mars, I thought Ms Uphoff might prove the exception. Alas, it was not to be. Throughout the rest of the tale, the Martians acted like humans in lizard costumes.
     The cover. (See above.) 

2.3. Who I think is the audience: Science fiction fans.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes. No worries.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book?  Odd, but yes, I will.

2.6. The plot in a nutshell:
     Xaero L'svages defends Blozolli C'dasl in a Martian court on a charge of sabotage. She wins a verdict of 'Not Proven' (shades of Scottish law). 
     Freed, Blozolli goes back to doing whatever it is that Blozolli does. Xaero returns to her law firm, and finds herself encumbered with the appointment as protege  of her cousin-nephew Raelphe (I was never clear on which or if the relationship were both; complex customs these Martians have for begetting child). She sends Raelphe to track Blozolli. Raelphe finds trouble. Xaero runs to his rescue, and begins sleuthing around the less reputable quarters of the city. 
     Xaero stumbles into a plot to replace the Martian crown prince with Blozolli. She frees the prince and together they foil the plotters grand scheme to, I dunno, do something bad to the Martian environment and to the Martian royal family.
 2.7. Other:
     This is in fact a novella (~21,000 words).
     I do not care for aliens in science fiction. A writer who writes aliens well is rare. Ms Uphoff did not succeed. She spent a good portion of the first quarter of the book describing the Martians. They are lizards with tails, frills, and so on; and they have at least four sexes: trumale, pseudomale, trufem, and pseudofem. I wanted the sexes and the physiology of the Martians to be vital to the resolution of the story. Did not happen. The Martians had human motivations, human foibles, human desires. Halfway through the tale, they became humans in lizard suits, and they stayed that way.
     The protagonist, Xero, acted more like a detective than like a lawyer. The story starts in a courtroom and ends in a chase.
     Based on the evidence in this story, I am convinced that Pam Uphoff can write well. Even the best writers swing and miss. I shall look for another work by Ms Uphoff and give her another chance. 

2.8. Links: Pam Uphoff's Planet 

2.9. Buy the book:  Lawyers of Mars

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks!

    The story was written as a send up on lawyers (scaly, cold blooded, sexless) that escaped, not a serious attempt at writing aliens.

    Hope you like the other stuff.

    Pam Uphoff