Martinez, Michael J. The Daedalus Incident. Night Shade. Jun. 2013. 394p. ISBN 9781597804721. pap. $15.99. SF
In the 22nd century, a geological survey team working with Earth’s second largest mining company encounters a series of freak ground quakes on the surface and in some of the mining caverns of Mars, normally a tectonically stable planet. With increasing frequency, the Martian terrain seems to be redesigning itself. Lt. Sheila Jain, heading the U.S./EU Joint Space Command crew caught up in the initial quake, finds an ancient journal exposed by the tremors that is writing itself. It is the diary of Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy, who records his first voyage aboard the HMS Daedalus across the Void between the known worlds, including Mars. When a series of events sends Daedalus on a quest to track down a rogue mystic whose endeavors are upsetting the balance of the universe, Weatherby’s familiar world begins to change. VERDICT Martinez’s debut is a triumph of genre-blending, as steampunk adventure merges with modern space opera. With a cast of superbly drawn characters, Martinez’s title is a mesmerizing tale of two universes that briefly cross paths, leaving both worlds forever changed.