Phoenix: Field of Mars
Book Review by Mark Sherfy
Jacqueline Anders, a self-professed fiction addict has provided us with a real jewel. Part science fiction, part historical fiction, part action/adventure and part romance, this book has something for everyone. Ms. Anders has taken all these genres and woven them together in a comfortably ergonomic fashion.
The story begins and runs most of its course in Israel, both modern day and the far past. It introduces us to ancient peoples and customs, including Hebrew, Roman, Phoenician and the Germanic tribes. Keeping within the margins of historical accuracy, the tale unwinds imaginatively in a way that kept me turning pages until I had finished the book. The characters are for the most part likeable and engaging, though a rare few of them border on stereotype. In a story of this type, this is difficult, I understand, to avoid.
Ms. Anders takes a bold tact in this book, touching on matters religious and spiritual. I was impressed with how she did this, avoiding pushing opinions, bias and preachiness. It is heartfelt and refreshing. A strong, yet careful mixing of belief systems is portrayed and beautifully presented.
The story itself is bold, the adventure is well paced and smooth. From modern day Israel to the year 8 ad, our protagonists must adjust their behavior and appearance to stop a very modern, very deadly threat. One that imperils not only those in the time in which they are travelling, but those in the future from which they’ve come.
Reading this book sparked my own imagination to the point I finished it in a single reading. I look forward to the next installment in the series, “Phoenix: …By the Sword.”