In 2241 the dominant superpower on Earth, the USAN, successfully concludes the fourth world war. The nation breathes a sigh of relief and looks forward to the resumption of elections.
Across the solar system the leading industrialist in the USAN’s small colony on Mars is thinking about independence. When the Martian population votes in favour Mars secedes from the union.
It seems to be a fait accompli until it’s suggested that a massive dropship carrying spacecraft, Ephialtes, built to patrol the Earth, could be refitted for interplanetary spaceflight. Maybe the USAN could use its military might to persuade the colonists to reconsider.
With an enormous instrument of war heading toward them the Martians resolve to defend their independence. Limited resources force them to rely on wit and ingenuity as they prepare their defences. Can they prevail against the mighty Ephialtes?
The story effectively generates suspense for the inevitable confrontation between the two planets . . . An absorbing, inventive introduction to Parker's version of the 23rd century, where politics still reign.
For fans of this kind of military sci-fi, there's every reason to pick this title up. The book is an exceptional example of its genre that does all it sets out for succinctly, but pushes for a full, fleshed-out trilogy as something to look forward to: a trilogy that seems likely to meet expectations. The book oozes quality throughout.
The story is fantastic . . . the book makes for an excellent read. It’s as fun as it’s engrossing, and it belongs on the reading list of Martian revolutionaries everywhere.
The Arc Shaper
The peace delivered in the wake of the Ephialtes incident is more fragile than many suppose. The USAN’s rearmament program continues apace, hindered only by the harsh economic realities imposed by the Martian deuterium embargo.
On Mars, Askel and Bobby have to come to terms with an uncertain future while Foveaux and Kostovich brace themselves for the crisis they dread but know is coming.
When a shocking act of violence sends two planets careening towards conflict there is nowhere left to hide. The cold war between Earth and Mars is about to get hot, and there can only be one winner.
A worthy successor to the first book in the series. Given that this is the second book, less exposition is required, leaving more room for thorough character development and philosophical musings about the purpose of leadership, humanity's destiny, and our species' penchant for war. An impressively complex novel, there is plenty of mystery and existential uncertainty, making this futuristic space thriller a riveting read.
Conflict, both military and ethical, abounds in the mid-23rd century, setting the scene for a swashbuckling military science fiction saga with intricate subplots and more characters and points of view than a Russian novel. Parker writes well, the action riding a high-speed rail through layers of technology, deteriorating chains of command, moral dilemmas, and military insight.
US Review of Books
THE EPHIALTES SHORTS COLLECTION
The stories of The Ephialtes Shorts Collection make up the connective tissue between Ephialtes and Phobos Rising.
The collection comprises all four previously released shorts together with the exclusive Ephialtes Short V: Why Am I So Clever?
Parker's writing is as highly political and war-ready as space wars fans would expect, as well as following its genre's classic touches with a lot of space tech details that sci-fi readers will enjoy. He clearly has a very intimate knowledge of his creations, and has furnished all possible elements of this world thoroughly and with passion. The Ephialtes Shorts Collection is a highly interesting and entertaining addition to the Ephialtes universe.