Arabella of Mars

Arabella of Mars

Book - 2016
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"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." --
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780765382818
Branch Call Number: Fic Levi
Characteristics: 352 pages ; 22 cm.


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JessicaGma Jul 10, 2018

This is definitely the steampunk lovechild of a Patrick O'Brien tale mixed with Jules Verne. Arabella needs to get to Mars to save her brother from the machinations of her cousin. It's a different type of tale from other steampunk ones, but quite interesting.

KateHillier Jul 19, 2017

This was great fun. I don't tend to go in for steampunk stories, and I still probably wouldn't say this is entirely a steampunk book, but a good story is a good story. Arabella Ashby, a girl born and raised on Mars with all the freedom and without the standard young lady in early 19th century England proprieties, then sent back to Earth with her mother and young sisters is an intriguing idea on its own. Did I mention that in this world space travel happens way sooner? And it's with airships?

That's how we lead but when news of a threat on her brother, who still lives on Mars, reaches her. Arabella ends up disguised as a boy and joins the crew of an airship in order to get passage there.

There are plenty of books out there were a girl disguises herself as a boy to get something done but it's the environment and the world, and how she's treated later that makes this one stand out from the crowd a bit. I'm eager to keep reading.

Aug 03, 2016

Mary Jo Putney’s blurb on the back of the book describes this novel as the “delicious love child of Jane Austen, Patrick O’Brian, and Jules Verne.” The first comparison is perhaps the biggest stretch. The book is set during the Regency period, and an entailed estate does feature prominently in the plot, but in tone and action, there is really no similarity. But the action is reminiscent of Verne, and Levine credits the inspiration for the airship aspects of the novel to O’Brian’s books, and a great deal of attention is lavished on the sailing and navigation parts of the tale. Full review:


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Aug 03, 2016

Born and raised on Mars, Arabella Ashby find herself dragged by to Earth so that her mother can turn her into a proper English lady before it is too late, and she destroys her marriage prospects with her tomboyish behaviour. But when her home and family on Mars are threatened, Arabella disguises herself and takes a job as a captain’s boy aboard the Marsman Diana in order to get herself home as soon as possible. But the journey between Earth and Mars is not without its dangers, and every delay threatens the timeliness of her news, or the revelation of her secret. And there is no time to waste, for the life of a family member hangs in the balance.


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Aug 03, 2016

“Here she could exercise her mind in a way her mother, indeed all of English society, would never tolerate in a girl or even a grown woman. In these moments all shame at her continued deception fell away, replaced by anger at the opportunities denied her by her sex.”


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