New edition of the two novels, "Mahars of Pellucidar" and "Red Axe of Pellucidar," written by John Eric Holmes, are out. These are action-packed adventures set in the Pellucidar universe. These books offer imaginative settings, inspiring heroes, and fast-paced action, accompanied by bonus novelettes by Joe Lansdale and Geary Gravel. Additionally, the attractive dust-jacket art perfectly captures key moments from each story. I spotted this on the ERB Facebook page, and noticed that all versions are available on Amazon, including audio.
Book One: "Mahars of Pellucidar"
Published in 1976, this story is set in a time period with advanced science that enables limited contact between the surface world and Pellucidar. The protagonist, Chris West, a grad student in biology and former Marine, narrates the tale in first person. The story begins with the discovery of an underground cavern through a borehole created by advanced technology. Chris, along with the brave and captivating Varna, faces perilous challenges as they navigate Pellucidar's diverse races and tribes. Eventually, they are captured by the Mahar, an alien race with unique physiology and communication methods. Chris forms an unlikely alliance with a Mahar scientist and discovers the gruesome fate that awaits human captives. With the help of his surface world friends, Chris leads a daring escape from the Mahar city.
Bonus Novelette: "Tarzan and the Land That Time Forgot" by Joe Lansdale
Originally published in the "Worlds of ERB" story collection in 2013, this novelette follows Tarzan and the crew of the O-220 airship, who find themselves stranded in Caspak after a storm. Tarzan, Captain Zuppner, and Zamona, a Pellucidar native, embark on an exciting journey through the evolutionary zones of Caspak, accompanied by a heartwarming romance.
Book Two: "Red Axe of Pellucidar"
The Forward, written by Eric Holmes' son, explains that Book Two remained unpublished for several years due to the poor sales of the first book. However, both novels deserve recognition for their exploration of the rich world of Pellucidar. In "Red Axe of Pellucidar," the protagonist, Red Axe (Chris West's Pellucidar name), and his companion Varna encounter two fascinating tribes: a Polynesian-inspired sea tribe and a stone-age tribe of mammoth hunters. Both tribes are manipulated by "witch doctors" who use a pagan religion to control their followers. The story showcases breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and thrilling life-and-death struggles. The romantic relationships in this book are portrayed differently than in previous ERB novels, emphasizing close bonds and genuine love. The novel also delves deeper into the enigmatic Mahar culture, revealing them as an ancient race with alien perceptions and values.
Bonus Novelette: "Jason Gridley of Earth, Across the Moons of Mars" by Geary Gravel
In this novelette, John Carter's lengthy report, transcribed by Geary Gravel, reveals strange events unfolding across multiple worlds. Carter finds himself transported from one world to another, struggling to gain control over this mysterious force. He encounters captivating characters and witnesses scientifically impossible phenomena, hinting at inconceivable alien technologies. While the story moves at a good pace, readers familiar with companion novels may appreciate it more.
Fans of the Pellucidar universe are highly recommended to dive into these two novels by John Eric Holmes. The adventures in "Mahars of Pellucidar" and "Red Axe of Pellucidar" offer thrilling escapades, captivating characters, and a love for the rich world created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The bonus novelettes by Joe Lans