Title: Edward Maret: A Novel of the Future
Author: Robert I. Katz
Source: bought on amazon
Review Summary: Although this re-telling lacked the complexity of the original, it was a well written, believable story and the world building was fantastic.
In this futuristic retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, Edward Maret is a happy man. He is engaged to a women he loves and destined to inherit a bountiful estate. Little does he know that he has enemies who are prepared to betray him because they covet what he has. Denounced as a revolutionary and condemned by a corrupt judge, Edward is turned into a mindless cyborg and sent to kill any who threaten his world. When he is eventually freed from the mind control, his first thought is of revenge…
At the heart of the original novel is the story of how betrayal and an obsession with revenge can make even the nicest of people become cruel. I think this book did a great job preserving that message and even brought it to the forefront by sharing with us Edward’s introspection after he is betrayed. This deeper understanding of Edward made it a little easier to empathize with him, as did the fact that what happens to him in this book seems far more terrible than what happened to him in the original. He still becomes an unlikeable, cruel person but it’s easier to understand where that’s coming from.
The plot was a bit disappointing. A book could easily be as complex as the original without being as long by writing more concisely and eliminating the many digressions. This book does both of those things, but also loses the complexity. It seems like Edward’s enemies largely self-destruct. His plots are far less elegantly intricate and even when he does do something interesting, it’s often mentioned in passing. On the other hand, the world building was very good. A fascinating and believable universe was created and every detail of that universe enhanced the story. Over all, I thought this was a very unique and well executed modernization of this classic.
6 responses to “Edward Maret – Classics Retold”
I started reading the original a while back but set it aside due to the length. Reading your review that was one of the things I was looking out for, and I like that it’s shorter, even if losing complexity isn’t good. Perhaps the author relies on the reader knowing the original well enough? In general it sounds really good and I like the change in setting and so forth.
I don’t think knowing the original saves this from the lost of complexity because there were enough changes in characters that the details that were left out had to be different. However, this really does keep the spirit of the original and it was an enjoyable read, so if you had a hard time getting through the first one, this could be something you’d enjoy more 🙂
Does sound interesting Katie – might make for an interesting comparison with Alfred Bester’s rather fabulous The Stars My Destination (aka Tiger! Tiger!), which I highly recommend and that also riffs on the Dumas story.
How interesting! This one was a very direct re-telling of the classic, but it sounds as though The Stars My Destination really just “riffs on” it, as you aptly put it. I wonder if Bester was inspired by the original or if the similarity is simply because betrayal and revenge are universal themes that will crop up from time to time. Next time I’m in the mood for sci fi, I’ll definitely keep this one in mind 🙂
This one sounds like an interesting take on the original, the main character is a cyborg! Too bad the plot wasn’t as compelling though, but I’m glad you enjoyed it!
It was certainly a unique way to take this! I didn’t love that the plot lost complexity, but I really liked the idea of Edmond as a cyborg. I felt like it gave him more of an excuse for being kind of a jerk later and that was something that bothered me in the original