“When a race’s imagination dies, extinction itself cannot be far behind.”

What if H.G. Welles’ War of the Worlds was true? Except, not really exactly as true as even he wrote the story? What if Lowell and Wells had first-hand experience of the Martian invasion? And if Dr. Moreau was involved?

Kevin Anderson’s The Martian War is subtitled “AThrilling Eyewitness Account of the Recent Alien Invasion,” and that it is. It’s one of these mash-ups that I so enjoy when they work, which this one does. Real historical figures mix with famous fictional figures from the same era, making for a very convincing “true story” version of the War of the Worlds we sci-fi nerds know so well.

Another addition that works nicely is the insertion of an ecological cautionary theme–the martians’ world is collapsing due to them overusing their resources, and they evolved the famous tripods due to their bodies being atrophied from inaction. Lots of sci-fi lessons of our current Earth, that don’t become didactic at all, which speaks to Anderson’s skill.

Bottom Line: The Martian War is highly recommended, especially if you’re a Wells fan, a Victoriana fan, or a War of the Worlds fan. Or any of that.