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Teaser:In a land steeped in ancient legend, power and destruction, the crumbling ruins of what was once Mexico City are now under siege by a bloodthirsty tribe of aboriginal muties. Emerging from a gateway into the partially submerged ruins of this once great city, Ryan and his group ally themselves with a fair and just baron caught in a treacherous power struggle with a dangerous rival. An internecine war foreshadows ultimate destruction of the valley at a time when unity of command and purpose offers the only hope against a terrible fate....
Much better fit for Milan
I started reading Shaking Earth with some trepidation, given how much I have disliked Victor Milan's work in Outlanders. I have to say, overall I was very pleasantly surprised. Milan is completely in his element writing for Deathlands, and the series could do much worse than to have him as the regular author.
The first few chapters felt like pointless chaos (They're under attack outside the redoubt! They jump into the middle of a volcanic eruption! Theyare being attacked by a giant snake! They are being attacked by two armies!!), once the companions reached the city in the lake the story really did make for a good read. The relationships and characterizations were generally spot on (aside from J.B. talking a bit too much), and plotline really had quite a bit going on in it. Shaking Earth is certainly the best DL title I have read in quite some time.
Missed the mark by
I have been reading DL since the first book hit the shelves and haven't missed one yet, I am only 1/2 way through this one and if I wasn't such a fan I wouldn't bother finishing it.
So far there is way too much BS, makes me wonder if this cowboy has read any of the books or if he has just skimmed the character bio's on the first page of the book.
In the "old DL days" Ryan would have dropped the Eagle knight off his horse from the roof as he moved in on the garage with-out giving him a chance to use his "laser" on the rest of the friends and JB would have sprayed the rest of the troops with his Uzi, Jack hiding down in the garage?? in the old days he would have been out the back door and behind the bad guys ready for when Ryan and JB opened-up, and the bad guy in the back of the truck manning the big machine gun would have been the first with one of Jack's leaf blade knives sticking out of his neck as the blood sprayed out of the severed pulsating artery.
Krysty is the closest to death she has been in forever, and all of the sudden she's on a boat ride with 1/2 a page covering her "miraculous" recovery. Yeah......Right.
J.B. yacked so much he could have talked the ears off my mother-in-law, completely out of character for him, and so many new, never heard words and sayings??? not used since BEFORE SKYDARK!! Please tell me this isn't the new writer for what started out to be a great series.
Like I said, I have been a faithful DL fan since the first book, I have read most of them twice and Pilgrimage to hell 3 or 4 times (that was a great book!) but for the past few years this series has been like a big V-8 missing on 1 or 2 cylinders, every once in a while we get one good book and the rest of the time it runs like cr@p, but as long as they keep writing them I'll keep reading them.
Merry Christmas everyone!!
A good exciting read.
This is the first Deathlands book in quite somtime that is worth reading. Malin has done a good job getting the characters right. As far as getting the weapons right I have no idea. There are no muties that are too far fetched to believe and he does a couple of times makes reference to past LJ books. The plot was well thought out and the action sceens were well written. This book is worth reading IMO and not a waste of time like the Boot books. I liked Zero City so if you hated that book then you may not agree with me. I think for the Deathlands books that Malin in on par with Odem and Poletta.
MILAN SHAKES UP DEATHLANDS!
by One Eye Chills
After 3 consecutive boring Andy Boot tales, this one was a breath of fresh air.
Except for our dark hero Ryan Cawdor and his companions. They had to endure the hardships of a violent landscape in Mexico, of course with its own muties and human tribes.
Victor Milan joins the ranks here in penning his first Deathlands, and after 3 strike outs, it was with great relief that I found this one very enjoyable.
However, it had its faults. But the strengths of the writing far outweighed the weaknesses, that's for sure. So, let me get the weaknesses out of the way.
Storyline? Let me just say that it was by far better than the last 3 put together. This is 100 years before OUTLANDERS SUN LORD, and much better. The scenery, settings, characters, all were very colorful and made for an exciting read.
Characterizations? Milan wrote Ryan well. He actually cared and made mistakes in this story. He acted human. But Milan needs to be extremely careful in what types of mistakes Ryan makes. There was one such that I thought ludicrous. Like letting his guard down on a battlefield, even though the battle is done. He would never get drunk and let his guard down. I knew instantly that something was up.
J. B. was a little too talkative. But Milan gave him more than some writers have, at least.
Krysty was used more here, and I liked her part in the end. Though I wanted her Gaia powers more fully explored here. But at least Milan took advantage of it. Most writers never use her great power as much as they should.
Jak, one of my all-time favorite characters, was written well here. But he wasn't used enough during the battle. And everyone else was written in character. Doc was his 'ol self, in and out of lucidness. I liked that.
Overall plot? I think the story was pretty unique in its own way. The landscape was constantly alive, keeping this readers attention. The baron was not the typical baron here. The companions actually made a friend out of one of the two.
The muties showcased here were written rather well. They didn't seem cheesey at all. There were some surprises within the story.
Even through the several editorial mistakes here, Victor Milan gives us a solid debut DL novel. Shaking Earth was a hardcore, savage, action-packed adventure yarn.
I like the fact that he paid some attnetion to the characters. He showed the love and caring between Ryan and Krysty, and that they were considering making a home in Mexico. They actually got wounded too! Something that writers tend to forget during numerous violent encounters.
Overall, this was a fine debut novel for Milan. The land of Mexico took us out of the Deathlands for awhile, but the volcanos and the upheaval of the landscape made a great canvas and backdrop for this type of post-holocaust series.
I'm looking forward to seeing more DL books written by this solid action/adventure writer.
I just wish the folks at Gold Eagle would allow the characters to grow, change, and die off to pick up new characters like they used to. Allow the weapons vary and change, let the series grow somewhat in terms of chron-jumps and more Trader Wag War Years. More of that, please!
Afterall, those are the things that made this series a cut above the rest.
Enjoyed the action
I enjoyed this book more than some of the other recent DL books.
I liked the beginning, escaping the volcano, then fighting a giant snake. What I really liked was that there was a good baron, a bad baron, and a mindless horde after them both. The only thing I didn't like was Ryan getting drunk during a battle. That just didn't make sense.
I hope we see more DL books by Victor Milan.