I found the start of this book is actually more disorienting than its predecessor but it passes once a familiar face turns up. The book gives you the impression that the author wasn’t into organized religion, though that’s maybe reading too much into it. We discover that Mars is in fact layered like an onion with hidden races of cannibals and false religions. We encounter the white Therns and the black First Born and their relationship to each other and the rest of Barsoom.
John Carter spends the novel either trying to escape one or other faction, or trying to rescue his princess from them. Dejah Thoris appears but hardly even speaks a word. Though John Carter only has eyes for her, nearly every woman he comes across falls for our hero. The exception is the villain Issus who is actually the strongest female character.
John Carter has a viking’s love of fighting and fortunately there is plenty of that. There are aerial battles aplenty. Whole armies are slaughtered.
If A Princess of Mars has a somewhat ambiguous ending, The Gods of Mars ends on quite a cliffhanger.