Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez

The Daedalus Incident
Series:  Daedalus 1
Publisher:  Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)
List Price:  $15.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781597804721 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!

The Daedalus Incident opens earth-shatteringly, or more appropriately, mars-shatteringly. The date is August 1, 2132 and Mars, a planet which has been quiet for a million years, erupts in a quake during routine mining operations making it dangerous for activities to continue. Lt. Shaila Jain is part of a military team stationed at the McAuliffe Base to oversee the miners. Tensions rise as erratic seismic activity continues and operations are forcibly put on hold. Jain’s investigation lead her to question whether the miners are digging too deep or if someone is pursuing another agenda; an agenda which could lead to the total instability of the red planet.

Shift gears to 1779. Second Lt. Thomas Weatherby, of his Majesty’s Navy writes a journal entry to his father. Lt. Weatherby is aboard the HMS Daedalus, but the Daedalus is not a traditional seafaring vessel. Through the use of alchemy this vessel can traverse both the sea and space. At the time of the first journal entry, its course is set for Jupiter. However, mid voyage, the Daedalus is involved in an unexpected battle and the ship docks on the planet Mercury for repairs. An unexpected mission is assigned to the Daedalus and its far-reaching effects could change everything.

Trinitytwo’s point of view:

First and foremost, as I turned the last page, I had a smile on my face. There are so many great things about this book, I don’t know where to begin. The Daedalus Incident is a tale of two separate universes, one full of mystery and peril and the other, high adventure aboard a space-faring vessel. Michael J. Martinez strikes a perfect balance between historical science fiction and standard sci fi. It did take me a few chapters to wrap my brain around and visualize the means of travel that the Daedalus was employing. Once it clicked, I was totally on board. The futuristic mining station on Mars was much easier to immerse myself in. Yes, there are two sets of characters and two story lines but it never becomes confusing. Overall, the characters are fleshed out and interesting. I easily identified with both Lt Thomas Weatherby in 1779 and Lt. Shaila Jain in 2132. I grew immensely fond of both characters; for their flaws as well as their strengths. On Mars, someone was causing the quakes and I was slightly disappointed that I figured out who was responsible in advance of the reveal. But other than that, the story kept me spellbound and excited. When the two sets of characters collide, it’s pure, exciting, nonstop action. I thought this book was unique in many ways and I can honestly say it was my pleasure to read. I am looking forward to reading The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair. Michael J. Martinez has created a sci fi adventure that is just too good to miss, so make sure you don’t!


  1. On Mars, someone was causing the quakes and I was slightly disappointed that I figured out who was responsible in advance of the reveal.

    I never thought the mystery was particularly a puzzle. As I have told Mike and said in my own review, the Alchemy universe works far better for me than the one set in the future of our world.

  2. Not really the type of book I would normally read, but I am willing to give it a try. From the looks of the review, I will be pleasantly surprised and I am looking forward to the "ride."

  3. Sounds like an interesting read! Took a look at the author's blog and noticed that your review was mentioned. Nice!