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Arabella of Mars  By  cover art

Arabella of Mars

By: David D. Levine
Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik
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Publisher's Summary

Since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, he proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.

Now, one century later, a plantation in a flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother, Michael, with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected. She disguises herself as a boy and joins the crew of the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company, where she meets a mysterious captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations.

Now Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learn how to sail, and deal with a mutinous crew if she hopes to save her family remaining on Mars.

Arabella of Mars, the debut by Hugo-winning author David D. Levine, offers adventure, romance, political intrigue, and Napoleon in space!

©2016 David D. Levine (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Arabella of Mars

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    1 out of 5 stars

Been done before, predictable

Story didn't pull my interest at all. As I said in the headline, it's all been done before. Don't waste a credit. Very disappointing because I love steampunk and strong female characters. This tried to include it all and missed the mark completely.

6 people found this helpful

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A delightful adventure!

This novel's unusual setting (Victorian-era space travel with colonies on Mars) drew me in from the start, but it was dauntless Arabella that I loved most. With a resourceful main character, murder plans to thwart, interplanetary travel, and a native uprising, this story was one I raced through, I couldn't stop listening. The narrator does an excellent job (I can't imagine anyone else reading it).

If you like Gail Carriger's novels, this is kind of similar - with a plucky heroine and clockwork technology (just as delightful, though, no werewolves). It's got a bit of a seafaring-adventure sense to it, too. It's a little bit Victorian-era-sci-fi, a little bit steampunk, and a little bit historical-reimagining. I haven't enjoyed a book quite so much in ages.

5 people found this helpful

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Delightful!

Airships, Privateers, Martians, and proper English manners... whats not to love? A friend recommended this book to me, and now I'm wholeheartedly recommending it to you!

5 people found this helpful

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  • 01-01-17

Weakest most ridiculous story I have ever read

This would have been better as a porno novel.
The lead character is not a heroine she's a twit,and not a very smart one. She basically fails at everything she tries to do,including her main objective. The only reason the ending isn't tragic is because of fate. This was just awful. If your going to write a book about a heroine,you don't make her seem like a big crybaby,and you have to let her win every once in a while.

3 people found this helpful

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Juvenile steampunk science fantasy

David D Levine's Arabella of Mars is a preteen adventure tale set in an unusual universe. Basically, atmosphere exists in the space between planets and in analogous fashion to preindustrial sailing vessels traversing the globe, equivalent ships sail the interplanetary divides with colonies established in a mercantile arrangement. A young girl raised on Mars where her family managed a special tree plantation. She is forced to return to England but learns that a cousin plan foul play against her brother. What ensue is a series of adventures as she pawns herself as a young boy to earn a place on a vessel headed for Mars. Her skill with automatons is critical for making the journey that includes pirates and a mutiny. On Mars she finds an uprising with her brother in trouble at the hands of her cousin.

Levine crafts a true swashbuckler with plenty adventures. There's a bit of science infused in terms of planetary motion as well as zero g effects. The relationship between sailing on water versus sailing the interplanetary space is well executed as are the parallel sailing chores.

The narration is well done with good character distinction and smooth pacing.

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Loved it

I found myself surprisingly invested very quickly in the characters and world, looking forward to reading the next in the series!

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Sci-fi steam punk

I really enjoyed the thoroughness of the ideas and realistic descriptions of how things may have been. it seemed like an intro though, so hopefully #2 is better.

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A heroine with talent and pluck. Loved it!

I get weary of reviewers who don't like a book because it has been "done before." So what? West Side Story was done before. It was called Romeo and Juliet. Bottom line: Did you enjoy it? I did. Were you smiling as you read it? I did. Did you like the characters and the action. For me, yes and yes. So what exactly is the problem? End rant.

This is a steampunk novel that takes place in an alternate history of the early 1800s. Mars has been colonized for some time but there were already inhabitants there--the native Martians with a well-defined culture and language.

Arabella is the daughter of an English plantation owner. She was born on Mars but raised to be proper Englishwoman. She was ALSO raised to be a proper Martian by her Martian nanny, who taught her good morals, the Martian language, and how to defend herself.

At the age of 16, her mother does not like Arabella's supposedly unladylike tendencies, like working with automata (i.e., automated machinery), and takes her back to England to be "properly" finished. But 3 years later, things conspire to force Arabella to take desperate measures to get back to Mars, and right away. That is where all of the action begins and, other than a possibly too long section on the daily life of a sailor, it's great fun.

The reader was outstanding, especially in her portrayals of Arabella and Captain Singh.

So I'm going to get and read the sequel right now.