by Victor Gischler
Published by Titan Books on 22nd September 2015
Trained assassin and spy Agent Carter Sloan is brought out of cryogenic stasis 258 years after his last mission. Pissed off at being out of action for so long and with more missions due before he can officially retire and be a free man, he relunctantly takes on a new mission for his government to kill the daughter of the Brass Dragon who’s residing on an island somewhere with her naturalist cult.
When the blurb for Gestapo Mars was first released, I knew I had to read this book. Tongue-in-cheek fiction about Nazis in space certainly reminds me of a lot of exploitation films I’ve watched and enjoyed over the years and I had a feeling that author Victor Gischler would share the same sense of humour that I possess.
Gestapo Mars had me laughing in the opening chapter. When reading a book that is meant to have a humorous streak, this is always a good sign. Introducing the character of Carter Sloan as he awakens from a 258 year ‘sleep’, we have a protagonist who is skilled, sexy and suave. Imagine a badass version of Austin Powers who’s better looking but who retains the same sex appeal, a la James Bond, and you’ll have a good idea on what kind of man Sloan is. When it comes to the opposite sex, whether they’re a cyborg fuckbot emitting pheramones, a 60-odd year old with lots of ‘bodywork’ done or a spritely 25 year old, Sloan is in it to nail it. Ordered by the Nazi Reich to assassinate a dangerous enemy known as the daughter of the Brass Dragon, Sloan must go undercover, befriend the rebels and find a way to the cultists’ island on another planet. And, if lucky, grab a bit of poontang on the way. After all, it has been 258 years – gotta make up for lost time!
Part space adventure, part space war battle and part kick-ass spy thriller, Gestapo Mars is a non-stop thrill ride. It hardly ever stops for a breather and even the character of Sloan notices how events that unfold just seem to be one crazed idea after another. The combat scenes are swift and deadly, described so wonderfully that you can feel every punch and kick strike the enemy. Likewise, the space battles are engrossing to read about and you can imagine them playing out real time with every decision and second vital for the survival of Sloan and his crew. In fact, the way in which author Gischler describes the entire series of events is easy to visualise, including the often rampant sex scenes.
As you can no doubt imagine, this book isn’t for kids. This is purely adult fare but written so casual and informal that it doesn’t feel like a task reading it. I eagerly read the entire book (276 pages) in one day and it felt like a breeze. When it was over, I wanted to read more and the ending does suggest that this maybe the beginning of a series of novels set in this particular world, or should I say galaxy, where aliens and humans live side by side and nothing is ever as straight forward as it seems.
Thrilling, entertaining and downright fun, Gestapo Mars is an utter blast.