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Maybe too much of a good thing


This could have been a fine pastiche of ERB's Barsoom novels; instead, it reads more like a Martian version of ERB's late novel Land of Terror. Far too many subplots are thrown into the story with little time to develop them. The whole idea of why Kane thinks he's in another time than the one where he met Shizala is never fully explained, then completely jettisoned with no further comment. There's no cohesiveness to the novel. Even the most intriguing part of the story--the spider city sequence--is quickly wrapped up with only the vaguest hint of the wonder and danger of the western continent revealed. Overall, I think the book would have been better broken into three novellas a la ERB's Moon Maid and Land That Time Forgot rather than presented as one continuous narrative that stumbles and mills about with seemingly no direction. The first book was much better. Maybe the next will give a better presentation than this did.