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Vengeance Trail

In post-nuclear America, the end has a new beginning...

Victor Milan

Cover Artist:
Michael Herring

First Edition

Release Date:
June, 2005

Cover Price:


Graphic Audio MP3 CD

Release Date:
September, 2005

Cover Price:


Graphic Audio MP3 Download

Release Date:
September, 2005

Cover Price:


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Ryan Cawdor is gunned down and left for dead by the new Provisional U.S. Army, commanded by a brilliant general with a propensity for casual mass murder and a vision to rebuild America. Waging war from his pre-Dark, fusion-powered, armored locomotive, he's poised to unlock the secrets of the Gateways -- as the rest of Ryan's group stand powerless. All except one. Hope may be lost for Krysty Wroth, but revenge is enough.

In the Deathlands, vengeance is the only justice.

Back Cover:

Dawn after Dark

As megalomaniac barons and savage anarchy compete to lay claim to postnuclear America, perseverance and a will to live are what keep Ryan Cawdor and his band of warrior survivalists roving through the worst and best of a new world. Armed with secrets of preDark tech, they possess what few in Deathlands can imagine: hope for a better tomorrow.

End of the Line

Ryan Cawdor is gunned down and left for dead by the new Provisional U.S. Army, commanded by a brilliant general with a propensity for casual mass murder and a vision to rebuild America. Waging war from his preDark, fusion-powered armored locomotive, he's poised to unlock the secrets of the Gateways- as the rest of Ryan's group stand powerless. All except one. Hope may be lost for Krysty Wroth. But revenge is enough.

In the Deathlands, vengeance is the only justice.


The Best Deathlands Title in Years
by Lokheed
Vengeance Trail starts off with a bang and runs full blast right to the end. First of all the book scored big points with me for actually being an original story idea instead of the usual rehashed "group enters ville, defeats evil baron" storyline. Ryan's apparent death in the opening chapter is done well, and splitting up the group for the majority of the book allows for each person to have their own key solo moments throughout the story. Everyone, including the bad guys, are played with at least some complexity and nuance, which is a very nice change from the previous book (which was absolutely wretched). If Milan were to become the full-time writer for Deathlands I would be very pleased. Unfortunately that just isn't going to happen.
Great Potential for story growth
by captainbasil
I really enjoyed Vengeance Trail. Some of the recent books have left me kind of cold. I think the addition of the Tech Nomads is a nice idea. Future writers can use them or not. If they used them too much it would kill the idea. This book had it all. You cared about the characters and it wasn't the same old "go to the Ville. Kill everybody. Leave" scenario. The whole MAGOG thing was a great idea. My wife just thinks I like redheads with guns. My answer is "I married you,didn't I? Good book. 4 Stars.
Catch the Train
by EagleOps
An amazing story that intertwines trains, the west and individual tenacity that answers the question, can the group function without Ryan? I truly enjoyed this tale set in New Mexico. I loved the train and at times felt I was onboard manning a weapons pod. The General is genuinely mad, and his aide hides a secret that is perfectly sprung. By far my favorite Deathlands read. Vengeance Trail was hard to put down!
Best in Quite a While
by Phlogiston_Warrior
Finally, a decently written and well thought out DL novel. The tech nomads are a nice add to the background. The only real weak spot is Krysty and 'Paul's' pedaling across half the country - a bit of a stretch. The fuzzy wuzzies were shaky, too. But, all in all, one of the best in too long a time.
Milan brings back Deathlands with a Vengeance!!
by One Eye Chills
Victor Milan's newest and greatest piece of writing - Deathland's Vengeance Trail - takes the reader on a cinematic event reading experience.

Where obviously his Shaking Earth was just a warm-up, Vengeance Trail knocks this series right out of the ball park for a sure-fire home run.

If I could give this one an A+ or a 100 + - I would. Its just that great.
Not only is the storyline totally awesome in scope, but Milan delivers the goods in a myriad of ways.

From fleshing-out and furthering our DL companions, to showing us the Deathlands in illustrious - if not bloody - color. Not in a long time have i read the Deathlands being this well drawn in a long, long, time.

And what is even more wonderful, is the fact that the bad guys are plentiful enough for several books all rolled into one. And even they are far from cookie cut-outs. Well fleshed-out with very interesting and intriguing characterizations all of their own.

The muties are bloody awesome as well. Plentiful and wonderfully written. With fresh new ones introduced that will leave an impression on the readers.

This is a writer who obviously listens to his reading audience. Well, insofar as DL goes.
Not only does he stay true to Laurence Jame's versions of the past Deathlands companions, but he furthers it to show their loyalty and love for one another. Something that has been ignored for far too long.

I loved the way in which Milan shows how the surviving companions show their differing kinds of grief over Ryan's supposed death. It was wonderful and refreshing, to say the least.

Especially when it came to Jak and Krysty.

Some new hints of new storylines and characters are shown in this novel, and I hope they are further explored in future editions of this series.
What is so wonderful about this latest DL novel is the fact that Milan pays attention to detail. He utilizes and brings out the sheer beauty and danger that the Deathlands has to offer.

Something most writers seem to ignore. From acid rain to mutie plants and animals, to how to survive in the hottest hot spots.
Another thing that is usually ignored by other writers.

I also loved the new group introduced here called the Tech-Nomads. They were cool and very interesting.

I'm not the kind of reviewer that will give key points away in any novel, but suffice it to say, this one will most definately please the masses.
And not even the 'Outlanders Only Club' can deny that this one was extremely well written in a number of ways.

Way to go, Victor!

Thanks for cementing the fact that you are tailored made for this thing we call - the Axlerverse.

I for one cannot wait for your next Outlander novel. But the way he writes Deathlands is by far superior. Please, keep 'em comin' Mr. Milan!
Simply Outstanding
by Trash
Wow! What a great story. It had the right combination of story-line, guts, gore, glory, and greatness. The book is truly outstanding.

Great lines:
"...through his heart and, as an added bonus, knocked a ..."

"That is something one does not see every day." When the train goes over the edge.

And, "Lookit, Krysty! I really did catch the last train for the coast!"

I hope this author writes all the rest of the books. He's really got it together. YEA!!!!
Had me cringing
by random

I think the other reviewers were blinded by the train and the tech nomads.&#160; I wish I was.&#160; This book was painful for me to read.&#160; I read for the characters mainly.&#160; The post-Apocalypse setting appeals to my inner 80s child also.&#160; Milan hosed the characters badly here.

This is another title where the author breaks with a LOT of character traits in the various characters.&#160; JB Dix "why use 3 words when you can use 2?"&#160; Oh, except in this book where I think he has more idle chatter than any other 10 previous books added together.&#160; JB is also rather unimpressive with his weapon knowledge here which is the major defining skill his character has.&#160; He knew about the&#160;test but was far too impressed by the other armorer and his attitude and comments just didn't add up with his normal personality.

Mildred appears to have gained crazy amounts of weight.&#160; Repeatedly she is mentioned as fat throughout this book (our star Author Andy Boot apparently read this one because he makes the same mistake in the next book).&#160; Mildred is described as being very much in shape having spent a lot of time hiking.&#160; (Milan - take note that not all black women look like Aunt Jemima you twit).

Kristy was OK as were Jak and Doc.&#160; Something actually bugged me about Doc but I can't put my finger on it.&#160; Maybe it was just the general miasma of crappy story line around him.

Ryan had a number of things that were out of character for him also.&#160; Mainly around his attitude and perception of right and wrong.&#160; He tries to do right where he can but puts his friends before moral issues.&#160; He would kill someone based on what they might do and wouldn't think twice about it if the situation called for it.&#160; Here he all of a sudden has some moral qualms in situations where he has never had them before.&#160; (Again, Andy .... read more than one book back if you start writing a series...or at least Andy's editors... you made the same mistakes in Ritual Chill that were in this book).

Lastly.... Ewoks?&#160; Seriously?&#160; Star Wars fans thought they were a cop out exceeded only by Jar-Jar and yet you had to go down that route huh?&#160;&#160;Not only that but you gave them en exceptionally cutsie name.&#160; Maybe you could have pulled it off without the other screw ups.&#160; It was a bit excessive to introduce ewoks and the tech nomads group in the same book though.&#160; Whats next?&#160; Stickies that talk like Jar-Jar?

The tech nomads have some good but semi-limited potential.&#160; (Remember that outlands happens in the future so things can't occur that would change that setting).&#160;&#160; Big points for them.&#160; I would like to see them more and from the other reviews other people would too.&#160; The train setting was also very good but unfortunately it blew another howitzer sized hole in the ratings.&#160; This general finds this pristine train in a redoubt and takes it out and builds an empire.&#160; Not a single one of the companions ever thought to consider finding the redoubt where it came from??? Even if the train was the primary treasure there, the repair facilities, armory, etc etc would have been a wet dream for the group.

I'm going with a 3.&#160; You can't gut core components of the characters - the sole constant from book to book and expect to get good ratings.&#160;

You guys should take 4 volunteers from the forum each time a new title comes out.&#160; Have them read it as a prize and submit feedback - then edit it.&#160; Hell you wouldn't even have to pay them and you'd get people that love the characters and the setting.&#160; Clearly all you do on some of these books is a spellcheck and grammar check in Word or whatever.&#160; It is a shame when a book like this one with some good potential can be fixed so easily but isn't because of bad editing.