The Book in 1 Sentence
A demented prince fights magic in a world where our worst weapons are still there, but is covered in metaphors.
This book is interesting, but the amount of narration from the main character is almost confusing and makes it interesting, but damn is he whiny and arrogant. There is a really interesting blend of lost technology and mysticism, but that doesn't replace the overwhelming since of assumed perfection and Deus Ex Machina.
Why I Read this book
So I was stationed in Bahrain a few years back and the internet speeds were abysmal. 0.38 mb/s. That isn't a lie FIND PICTURE. So I went to the mall, yes this middle eastern country and very western and has a mall, and inside was a book store. The book store had a decent size English section and this book, The Martian, and The Eagle, were recommended to me. As it has been almost a decade since I last read this, I was curious if I could pick up more of the modern technology that is referenced in the book than I did back then. Short answer: Nope, didn't miss anything.
I really want to like this series. There are 3 books and I have read all of them. However, the more I read the more confused I remember being. Rereading this book didn't clear up any of that. So the main history of this book is that you follow a prince who ran away from home, but after an event he returns home in an effort to take revenge for the death of his mom and brother. However, there are "magic" users that are attempting to control him and the royalty of the land playing games in the background that he has to fight through. All in all, an interesting story. Where you get confused is this idea that this world sits on top of our current one without much explanation of how it happened, from what I can remember from the series, for sure not the first book.
That is the main reason I came back to this book, I remembered an AI and nuclear bombs and all sorts of modern technology being just rubble in this book and wanted to remember how it go there, but was unable to do some in the first book. The story is interesting for the most part, but I feel the narration is just a ramble. The book is written from the perspective of the Prince and you kinda feel like he is talking over himself as well as everyone else since he is incredibly arrogant. Also, he has a really bad case of Deus Ex Machina and figures everything out as well as is saved all the time. It is frustrating.
The setting and characters I feel are very lively. The banter makes sense until you remember that the prince is 12 or so when he runs away and it makes no sense that he would take over what is basically a biker gang.
The story is entertaining and its decent enough that you want to continue reading, but there are some series flaws in the logic that take you away from the story. I really want to like it, because the idea that something in our history happened and some of our technology survived and how would our decedents view those items. That doesn't carry forward in the writing and is basically overwhelmed by the magic. It is a 7.