The cover of Stephen Baxter’s The Massacre of Mankind does such a good job telling you what the book is about that I don’t think I really need to describe the premise.
The aliens are back two decades after their original invasion attempt was foiled by Earth’s bacteria. Honestly I’m not that surprised that a species capable of decent spaceflight could find a way around germs. Mankind has also changed. The British have reverse-engineered Martian tech and tested it on Russian soldiers during a very different 1914 war. This time round, strange beings on Jupiter take an interest in the Martians’ war , and events escalate in a direction neither side could anticipate.
Baxter has form on fiction inspired by H.G. Wells. He wrote a sequel to The Time Machine, The Time Ships, which honestly I enjoyed more than this book, although admittedly time travel has more potential to be mind-blowing than alien invasions. I’m trying to think of another Wells novel that he could do a sequel for, to form a complete trilogy. Maybe Baxter could take on Island of Doctor Moreau next.
This was a fun book. The global military conflict against an otherworldly foe reminded me of World War Z, and you don’t need to be familiar with the source material to enjoy it.