A storyteller steps off a pier and into a world of steampunk oddities, fearsome weapons, and a dangerous man. Promised fame and fortune by the country's largest weapons manufacturer, Cedo gratefully falls into the arms of Erus Veetu. Dark, dangerous and with nothing to lose, Erus shows him that Svenfur isn't all Cedo thought it was. For beneath the streets is a dark, gas lit world of slavery, human sacrifice, and deadly machines. With the machines waging war in the East, can Cedo stop the country's deadliest man from bringing it to the shores of England? Or is he too late to penetrate the cold exterior of his Master and halt the cogs and gears of progress?
Set in a Victorian world of sex, drugs and steampower, Mars on the Rise tells a dark, gritty story of what happens when our dreams come true. Whether we want them to or not.
"I was swept away by the story and brought into a world that's brilliantly depicted in vivid detail." - Jane Davitt, author of 'Spoken from the Heart'.
Reviewer: Red Dragonfly
This steampunk novel tells the tale of what happens when dreams come true, whether we want them to or not.
Erus is a Warlord, Cedo is a storyteller. From the first moment they meet, Cedo feels drawn to Erus like the proverbial moth to the flame. Cedo is spinning tales for a crowd at a pier, making money via the coins people toss at him for the delight of his stories. Erus asks the storyteller to go with him, to entertain him. Curious, Cedo leaves everything behind and follows Erus to his home. There he discovers the truth about Erus. He is Erus Veetu, the owner of Veetu Industries and the Lord of War. Known for his cruelty and feared by one and all, Erus' demons are dark and bloodthirsty. His weapons have killed thousands and Erus is unrepentant when confronted by Cedo who only asks why. Erus replies because he can, because someone has to build the machines of war so why shouldn't it be him? Erus believes the country needs him to keep the wars going that keep all the industries powered. Without it, no one would have jobs, no one would be able to eat and the storyteller would have nowhere to rest his head at night.
Erus awakens a hunger in Cedo with his bruising kisses and takes his breath away. He is unable to leave because of them. He aches for the man. With everything he knows about his master, Cedo’s innocence keeps him looking for the goodness in Erus’s dark personality. He sees glimpses of Erus’ innocence and beneath it, his fear of love and the twisting conflict over his feelings. They go on a journey where Erus at times lets his guard down and shows the storyteller a side that no one has seen before. Then he punishes Cedo for witnessing his own weakness.
Enter Billy, a boy Cedu meets and likes. When Erus gives him to Cedo to be his pet and toy, the feelings inside Cedo to protect Billy grow exponentially. I don’t want to spoil the end but it is a cliffhanger that will leave you aching to know what will happen in the next book.
At the beginning, I did not like the book so much and it felt like a burden to have to continue slogging through it. I am like this; I have to finish what I start and this is an instance where I have no regrets at all. After the first few chapters I felt drawn to the characters. I felt for Erus who is a tortured soul trying to escape his past by lashing out and inflicting pain on others in an effort to avenge his own past. Between all the cruelty, we still are able to see a part of his other side, his light. Cedo’s character was pure, innocent and confused. He wants the fame that Erus promises and shows him but he does not lose his humanity in the process as for Billy, he is a survivor but linked his life with Cedo in order to protect him.
All in all, it was a gripping story and here I venture to say that Gae Ree is a great storyteller himself. For a first book, this is a good one. 4 stars.
Publisher: Torquere Press
Review Courtesy Of: Manic Readers