Burying the past in a nuclear cull, Deathlands spares no one from its punishing assault. In this grim new reality, there's little to live-or die-for, except the possibility of unlocking the mysteries of the past. Ryan Cawdor and his group of fellow survivors scour the perilous land for sanctuary in a world where nothing is guaranteed but death.
Hiring on as crew to a merchant's wag-train, Ryan and his companions anticipate trouble as they head west toward what was once Montana. The terrain is treacherous, but the company is worse as anger, jealousy and male rivalry erupt into chaos and death. But as they get closer to their destination, the true nature of the journey unfolds. There's a map to a mysterious valley rich with predark stockpiles. But is it the promised land they've been seeking...or the dead end they never saw coming?
Victor Milan's 4th-in-a-row and first 2013 installment of Deathlands and fires on all cylinders. Wow! What a book!
Nemesis begins a little differently than the norm, and for the first time also has the story split up in several 'Parts,' ie, Part I: The Ville, etc... This has never been done before. No biggie, but interesting.
The story sounds - and is - a familiar one - but that is OK. Because this familiar 'hiring on as bodyguards for a war wag train' storyline comes off as being a lot different than the others, with a myriad of interesting and a couple of mysterious characters and a mystery destination.
Long-time author Victor Milan must've saved his best for last in his 4th-in-a-row string of books. Nemesis is BY FAR better in all ways than the previous 3. The newcomer kid, Ricky Morales, comes off much better and is fleshed-out much better in this one. I liked him OK before, but after this book, he really is the Puerto Rickan Dean. I miss Dean, and so Milan creates and gives us fans someone alot like him to fill the bill.
The story really takes off and never lets up after Ryan and the group meet up with the rich baron Bass Croom. It is then that the tensions betwixt colorful characters really engage the reader into a non-stop adventure ride to a secret destination from a map that Baron Croom killed and stole from an innocent man years before. Croom has the money to purchase and produce armored wags stuffed with weapons and food, along with a cadre of sec and mechanics. This rather large cast are interesting, unlike the last book.
The journey to Montana is epic, in terms of what we fans like and expect: bloody carnage coming from muties and even more dangerous men. FINALLY an author creates dangerous weather which has gone largely to the wayside from this series for much too long! I miss acid rain and chem tornadoes and hurricanes. Victor delivers.
Mr. Milan also delivers on giving some of the most exciting action sequences ever written for the series. Not only does he do the intelligent thing of placing superior firepower into the companion's hands, but also showcases Ryan Cawdor's fighting prowess to their fullest extent: from blaster to blades and hand-to-hand fighting, Ryan simply kicks serious ass in this one like no other book before it. More of this please!!
I always loved how the original author, Laurence James, placed Native Americans trying to reclaim some parts of the Deathlands for their own. They have always gave the books that 'western' flavor, plus their savagery just always seemed to fit within the post-holocaust scenario. Milan gives us the Stone Nation, led by the likeable and colorful Speaker. Both memorable and colorful. I hope to see more of this tribe in future books.
Victor Milan proves - yet again - that he is one of the best and 1st-rated authors of this series. Nemesis gives us fans everything and more that we fans wish for: characters acting in-character. Placing better firepower within their hands. Memorable and fantastic action sequences of ALL varieties. SEX! (Even though there are no actual sex scene descriptions, at least Ryan, Krysty, J. B., and Mildred THINK about it. And it is assumed they act it out later.)
There is so much I want to write here to give Victor Milan major kudos, and to let the fans out there know that this one is a surefire winner, but I don't want to write an overlong review that will make fan's eyes cross.
So, simply put, thank you so much Victor Milan for penning one of the all-time best Deathlands books ever!