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6.00
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Successors

The stage is set for Earth's final destruction

Author:
Victor Milan

Cover Artist:
Cliff Nielsen

First Edition

Release Date:
August, 2005

Cover Price:
$6.50

ISBN-10:
0-373-63847-7


Graphic Audio MP3 CD

Release Date:
April, 2006

Cover Price:
$19.99

ISBN-13:
978-1-599-50073-7


Graphic Audio MP3 Download

Release Date:
April, 2006

Cover Price:
$12.99


Images:

Front Cover - Large Artwork Only Front Cover - Small
Click on a thumbnail to view the full sized image

Teaser:

Plague of Demons

Two centuries after a nuclear holocaust, America continues to resurrect itself, survival being the primary impulse for the hammered masses, while absolute power remains in the hands of the reborn barons and their Magistrate enforcer corps.

Thawed from cryogenic stasis, Gilgamesh Bates is a twentieth-century madman with enough knowledge of preDark secrets to create a new world order. To inherit the earth, he's unleashed an ecological plague in the middle of the Amazon -- a bioengineered contagion from which there is no escape.

Back Cover:

Plague of Demons

Tow centuries after a nuclear holocaust, America continues to resurrect itself, survival being the primary impulse for the hammered masses while absolute power remains in the hands of the reborn barons and their Magistrate enforcer corps. Yet this gradually weakening elite remain an integral part of an unfathomable destiny -- defiantly challenged by those driven to free humanity from ancient, alien domination.

Termination Warrant

Thawed from cryogenic stasis, Gilgamesh Bates is a twentieth-century madman with enough knowledge of pre-Dark secrets to create a new world order. To inherit the earth, he's unleashed an ecological plague in the middle of the Amazon -- a bioengineered contagion from which there is no escape. Bates unfroze a team of crack U.S. Special Forces as shock troops, who quickly went rogue and joined with Kane and the Cerberus rebels. But even their joint offensive may be too late to stop the precision-controlled eradication of all humankind.

Reviews:

6
Successors Is Milan's Best OL, But--
by Daniel
--It's a pretty "blah" book overall.

Even if you can get past the inclusion of Team Phoenix, the story itself just isn't very engaging. After the epic scale of Children of the Serpent, Successors seems a small story, almost inconsequential to the OL Saga.

The main characters ring far more true than in any of Milan's other OL novels (no naked psycho-slut Domi, yay!), but the deal with Kane becoming a hermit because he was depressed about the return of the Overlords was just flat-out dumb. It didn't ring true at all, not one word of it.

If Milan had read the ending of Children of the Serpent, he would've known Kane was anything BUT depressed--he was angry and looking forward to kicking some Annunnaki ass!

The plot itself was okay, but the villains were just too exaggeratedly evil to be believable. They were like cardboard cut-outs...Gilgamesh Bates, the mastermind came off as an imitation of Montgomery Burns, but nowhere near as entertaining.

Bates's henchman, the super-powered giant named Enkidu was more suited to X-Men comics than an OL novel.

Also why does Victor Milan rip-off scenes from earlier OL books by Mark Ellis?

Milan has done this in every OL novel he has written so far and Successors is no exception. We already saw the break-in into the Admin Monolith in Cobaltville and the battle with the Baronial Guard back in Omega Path, didn't we?

Does Milan think he's doing a better job than the original when he presents lame, watered-down versions of the same scenes we saw in books published years ago?

I agree that Successors is Milan's best OL novel so far, but unfortunately it's just not a very good book taken on its own merits. It's slow and plodding in many areas and far too many pages were devoted to the dull as dirt Team Phoenix guys.

I bought it because I'm a collector-geek but I wouldn't have finished it except for the attempt to stack the deck with fake good reviews on Amazon.com.

I give Successors a six out of ten.
 
6
Somewhat of a letdown.
by Agent_Thrush
The first thing I want to say, is that I dislike very much continuity errors. And before the first page, on the preview page, they have Kane giving Grant the one-percenter off the brow. It's the NOSE, people, the NOSE!!! That was established in the first few books. That's what made it so different, was because it wasn't a stiff salute or off the brow, it was the nose. Now how many people do it off their nose? Really.

As for the overall book, it was a let down from the previous one. Like other reviewers have said, Kane going hermit, no continuation from the previous book. This one was just so ... out there.

What really made me angry was the fact that Kane and Brigid did finally kiss, but it was a forced one. I liked the tension in CofS, where they alllllllmost kiss but it's broken up. Here, it was just, let's conceal ourselves so that we can take out these two mags. K and B's relationship, to me in a way, was like that of Mulder and Scully near the end of the series. They have feelings, but they have to bury them. That's what it felt like for me. But the situation that Kand and Brigid were placed in when they did kiss, I dunno, I just didn't like it.
 
5
wrong cover art and disposable characters
by stormryder
1st thing that got me was the cover art is totally misleading. I don't recall any battles with UFO's,
this cover would have been perfect for the previous book,Children of the Serpent, showing the battle over Cerebus.

I really didn't care for the constant cliff-hangers, and the utter pointlessness of the story, and how everyone couldn't seem to get their act together.

The way the Author threw away Bates' people in the final fight just didn't sit well with me, like sacrificing his loyal bodyguard to escape thru the Gateway. I was kinda curious on what Bates had over him to secure such control and loyalty.

All in all it was a semi-good read, but still disappointing.
 
7
News Bulletin! Successors Doesn't Suck!
by Raboy
Successors, the fourth book in Victor Milan’s painfully long learning curve on the Outlanders series is no question his best one, even though some might not think that’s much of an accomplishment, especially since it follows the monumental events of Children of the Serpent.

But to cut Milan a break any book that followed Children would have a hard row to hoe. Even if it had been one by Mark Ellis it would probably fall a little flat.

I took that into account when I started reading Successors and was plesantly surprised overall. I don’t know if the editor suddenly came back from vacation or if he/she and Milan suddenly started to pay attention to what they’re being paid to do, but much (not all), of the characterization and continuity blunders of Milan’s three previous entries have been reversed.

No previously killed-off characters come back to life, no silly ninja training for Grant, and the Cerberus personnel don't go whining and wailing to Brigid when somebody misbehaves in the cafeteria.

The errors that remain are fairly minor, like still having people call Mohandus Lakesh Singh ‘Dr. Lakesh’ when it’s been established for eight years his last name is SINGH and characterizing Philboyd in a very weird and totally off-the-wall way that bears no relation to the way he’s been portrayed in the past.

The good news is that even though Domi and Lakesh’s relationship isn’t mentioned, she’s not a pyscho slut and she keeps her clothes on through the whole thing. Kane, Brigid and Grant are at long last portrayed pretty much on-model through the whole thing and Brigid isn’t reduced to a walk-on like she was in Awakening and Uluru Destiny.

Even the hated Team Phoenix gets a fresh and shiny new paint job—they’re presented nowhere near as arrogant, redneck and stupid as they were in Awakening and in fact, there’s even an explanation and kind of an apology for their behavior in that book.

Though there’s still a homoerotic vibe going on with them and their big gun fixations and they’re still basically stereotype throwbacks to the post-nuke men's books from the 80s, they’re not as self-righteous and conceited as they were in their first appearance.

Although the events of Children of the Serpent are mentioned there’s no real connection between the events of that book and this one. Successors is more of a stand-alone story which is the best tack to take in my opinion.

The formula I claimed Milan usually had for his OL books (for every one scene you liked, there are two you disliked and one you hated) isn’t present in this book and it made the reading experience a whole lot more enjoyable. Obviously!

Successors isn’t all good, though… there aren’t a lot of wrong steps, but the ones Milan did make are pretty jarring. For example, the opening chapters are very weird, portraying Kane so in despair over the return of the Overlords he’s become a hermit, the exact opposite of his attitude at the end of Children of the Serpent where he showed only steely resolve and vowed to keep the Overlords from regaining their mastery over Earth again.

And he has a gray beard again!!! What's up with that?!

That scene was a complete butt-pull, based on nothing.

Like has happenend with Milan’s other OL books, the plot of Successors is often confusing and seems to get away from him. Also, like before he introduces a whole bunch of new characters who run around, make noise and in the end don’t make that much difference to the story. In fact, a very long section dealing with Kane, Brigid and Grant was pretty much pointless.

Although Team Phoenix isn’t presented as being the superior bad-asses to the Cerberus warriors this time around, definitely not in the totally bogus and butt-pulled way as last time, I think there too many pages were devoted to them. We’ve seen those kind of cliched paramilitary characters many times before.

They’re just not very interesting or unique characters and they’re certainly not the reason the Outlanders series has lasted this long and has such a devoted fan following. I’d say the fact the Outlanders characters aren’t like Team Phoenix/Guardians/Phoenix Force/Able Team is a major reason why it’s lasted so many years.

The basic premise is somewhat similar to the plague plot from Sea of Plague, but in this case it’s a plague of bioengineered monsters that multiply so fast they’ll become the ruling life form on earth in a short time, sort of like the movie Evolution that starred David Duchovny.

Trouble is these monsters are so cornball and so over the top it was hard to buy into them as real threats. They make Nick Pollotta’s scorpion-tailed crabs and multi-muties seem almost reasonable. A lot of them come off as ridiculous, like something out of bad anime’, which I think was the main inspiration.

The villains too, Gilgamesh Bates and his crew are so comic-booky and so uber-evil they would have been more at home in an Austin Powers movie than an OL novel.

Funny how Mark Ellis, who has written many comic book stories, manages to keep his OL stories from seeming like prose comic books, but Milan who apparently has no background writing comics, goes way, way over into that mega-exaggerated territory!

Overall, Successors is a decent entry, not great by any means, but for a fill-in novel that makes no lasting impact on the OL saga, its entertaining enough, a nice bridge between Children of the Serpent and the next one by Mark Ellis, Cerberus Storm.

I hope that the next few OL novels by Milan continues to show this steady improvement in attention to detail and characterization…but I still don’t care about Team Phoenix! Kill them off or have them go to Thunder Isle and get sent back through the temporal dilator to Deathlands.

I give Successors seven out of ten stars...it would have been eight except for the silliness with Kane becoming a gray-bearded pajama wearing hermit in a cave.
 
9
Milan's Successors is a great success!!
by One Eye Chills
Simply put - Bloody awesome!

Victor Milan's latest Outlanders novel - like his latest Deathlands: Vengeance Trail novel - plainly cements the fact that he is more than able to write for both series.
He firmly establishes himself - moreso than ever - that he belongs in this Axlerverse.

Being ex-military myself, and being a fan of Milan's for years since his Guardian series days, penning as writer Richard Austin, it was pretty easy to come to like the Team Phoenix guys.

I think what he brought to the board was an up-to-date four-man Guardian team, resplendent with boy toys up the wazoo! They bring to the world of the Outlanders a breath of fresh air, since they are castaways in time. I like that aspect of them. They quote today's movie lines, and miss what the old world had to offer, including family. That gives them a richer character. And Milan does it with bloody aplomb!

In his latest and greatest adventure since Awakenings, Victor Milan's Successors gives proper homage to Ellis's world and main characters. I loved reading about how Team Phoenix and the Cerberus Group are now working together in saving the world. Both were written in very well with Milan's deft skills.

The reason I didn't give it a 10 rating is because - like Mark Ellis's latest work - Kane and Brigid still haven't made any new steps towards each other. And Shizuka seems to be gone all too much all of the sudden. Both writers seem to have cast her out of the world-changing-and-saving business. I don't get that.

But with that aside, Successors reads like what I hope the soon-to-be-released movie of DOOM, starring The Rock, will hopefully be like. Fun and likeable characters, armed to the gills, battling muties and creatures of various kinds. Never a dull moment here.

I liked how Kane exiled himself for awhile. Mark Ellis has written that he has done this on occassion, visiting the local Amerindians of Skydog. So, why not take a break from the close confines of Cerberus and the world - Milan style!

He didn't make a big deal out of it, and neither will I. All it did was create a wonderul, creative, and exciting scene of showing the reader just how progressive Milan can be as a writer for this series. I was taken totally by surprise that a new hunter-killer team was out there - and hunting Kane! So, Team Phoenix is not the only freezie military team out there, eh? Very ingenious and utterly interesting...

The plague of mutie demons in this novel are evil, vicious, and cool as hell to read about. I won't ruin it for the potential readers out there, but there is one scene where Kane, Grant and Brigid confront a small girl in the catacombs of a weird redoubt. It is hard to gross me out or give me the shivers, but this whole scene was creepy. Excellent, Mr. Milan.

Readers can expect tons of action and adventure in this one. With Team Phoenix lending a helping hand in a two-pronged battle plan to save the world from Gilgamesh Bate's smart, but evil mind. Actually, the muties are an invention by a woman named Ishtar. An insane whitecoat that read like she was really a whacked-out Domi on crack. Devilishly fun to read about.

Milan leaves a wide opening in this novel, showing it plainly, like in Deathlands, that he is far from over playing in these two writing arenas called the Axlerverse. Team Phoenix deserves their own series. I very much look forward to Victor Milan's next set of novels. An awesome and exciting sci-fi-action/adventure writer of the highest caliber.

Thanks for the thrill ride summer read, Milan!

Now, looking forward to seeing Mark Ellis's next event - Cerberus Storm. I love reading about Indians!
 
5
Decent, Generic Addition to the Series
by migca

Damn if I didn't feel like I had been dropped into one of those alternate Earths that crop up in this series. And I'm reading this book that seems to be the local version of "Outlanders," except it was ass-backwards and upside down. It certainly wasn't a classic, but it wasn't bad at all. Occasionally characters showed up that were clear derivatives of the old Cerberus crew. But they kept saying and doing wacky stuff that the real ones would never consider. Not that they had all that much to do or say. Hey, Team Phoenix are decent characters to build a story/series around, they're just in the wrong book. It was enough to make a guy want to return to his own time/space continuum.

This is starting to sound like a generic review I could use for all of Milan's entries. Since they were all worse than "Successors," I'd have to adjust my opinions accordingly (I wish Gold Eagle would just give Mr. Milan his own "Team Phoenix" series (so I could not read it), and let Mark Ellis finish "Outlanders" at his own pace. I can survive without a new entry every four or six months. I'm not gonna hold my breath...)

Anyway, Mr. Milan at least proved he is capable of writing an "Outlanders" novel that doesn't completely suck. Yeah, the minor and middling continuity errors really grate after a while, but I did enjoy large portions of this book.

We have all been spoiled by Mark Ellis, and I don't see that changing.