Informational Note: Much as with the first book in the series, I am reviewing this audiobook as I was directly asked by the author to give the book an honest and genuine review which I fully intend to do.
Hello once again my readers! This time we return to the early 20th century and to the adventures contained within the Martian Diaries series by H.E. Wilburson. How will the story as depicted in Day of the Martians continue and expand? What is next in store for our writer narrator friend and Ogilvy the astronomer? Why don’t I jump straight to it?
The plot is as follows: The year is 1919. While the world is recovering from World War One and the infamous outbreak of Spanish Influenza a new alien menace begins to grow from the long forgotten Martian Red Weed. The Writer will make a potentially nightmarish discovery. A lake…a green lake on the surface of the moon. What could it possibly mean? And are the two connected? And if so…how? On top of that Ogilvy will make a lot of ‘discoveries’ but what could he, The Writer and certain other allies do to counter the new Martian plan?
Once again H.E. Wilburson has succeeded rather well. His new story, born from both his original sequel and Wells’s famous masterwork is a spooky and intimidating tale. A certain scene near the very beginning of the piece caused me to shudder as I tried to imagine the scene in question. I won’t deny I would not be surprised to find the red weed in my nightmares in the near future.
His writing stays consistent in tone with both The War Of The Worlds and The Day Of The Martians. It seems very true to the period of the Edwardian era fiction which it tries and succeeds to emulate. I can easily believe that this story could follow on from its predecessors and appreciate the fact that at points it feels prepared to go darker than Wilburson’s previous effort. I must also comment that Lake On The Moon’s longer length at just under four and three quarter hours allows it to flesh out its narrative in ways that grip the listener. If any reader of mine enjoyed The Day Of The Martians I can safely say that Lake On The Moon will keep them engaged.
The narration is once again performed with the duo of Harry Preston and Terry Thompson. Preston narrates the main piece and does excellently as all the various characters. He manages well to differentiate the voices for the various characters in the piece. My favourite voice is distinctly the Richard Burton inspired Writer voice with a second favourite being the relatively minor character who fulfils the part of an isolated old man at roughly the halfway point of the audio drama. Thompson fulfils narration duties of the prologue and epilogue. The dramatic narration is done well as with the previous instalment and I feel it suits the Wellsian storyline well.
As with the previous audio drama in the series, Lake On The Moon contains a sizeable amount of music – performed by H.E. Wilburson himself – and sound effects. The music and sound effects are both very engagingly done and are clearly inspired by the famous Jeff Wayne version. They managed to make it very easy to lose myself in the story. Just what was going to happen to everyone? What unexpected events were soon to arrive? And how were they going to resolve this most recent Martian plan? Unlike The Day Of The Martians however I feel that in this part of the trilogy the balance between the story, music and sound effects is successfully managed. The music is still consistent throughout the release but the volume levels feel better to listen to. It is also much easier to hear the narration in this release. As such my main critique that I had of the original release in The Martian Diaries has been successfully dealt with in the intervening time frame between the releases of Volume 1 and Volume 2.
I can’t promise that a reader who is not a fan of The War Of The Worlds or of The Martian Diaries would be gripped by Lake On The Moon but in conclusion I can safely say that I found it a very entertaining continuation. Hopefully between both my reviews for both parts (so far) of the planned trilogy I can persuade some of my readers to try the series. It may not be to everyone’s taste but I certainly recommend giving this series a try.
Now…what will my next review be? Perhaps I should keep it a surprise for now?