On the coast of what used to be Maine, the group's armorer, J. B.Dix, lies dying from a gunshot wound. Having no other choice, Ryan makes a deal with a local baron and his strangely beautiful wife. J.B. will get the surgery he needs when Ryan and crew rescue the couple's daughter, abducted by slavers. But the cold, deep Atlantic waters harbor predark secrets, including the terrifying specter of a U.S.S.R. nuclear submarine...and its descendants.
In post-apocalyptic Deathlands, America the beautiful has been ravaged by two centuries of nuclear fallout. Here, the American dream boils down to one thing: survival. Ryan Cawdor and his fellow warriors seize each day, armed and ready to hold on to the only life they've got. Despite the odds, they believe in something better, someplace they can call home...where peace isn't just a dream.
On the coast of what used to be Maine, the group's armourer, J. B.Dix, lies dying from a gunshot wound. Having no other choice, Ryan makes a deal with a local baron and his strangely beautiful wife. J.B. will get the surgery he needs when Ryan and crew rescue the couple's daughter, abducted by slavers. But the cold, deep Atlantic waters harbor predark secrets, including the terrifying specter of a U.S.S.R. nuclear submarine...and its descendants.
Victor Milan's latest DL is a good one, but not as tightly written as Nemesis was.
Milan has been a long-time action/adventure writer for a few decades, proving he is one of the top-line writers of this genre even before he came aboard the DL train of writers.
Following up with Nick Pollatta's last and final DL entry, Milan has the companions still around the Northeastern part of the US, around Maine. The story begins with a battle with slavers, which is a HUGE part of this story, where Milan seems to be creating a slaver production that may cover a vast area of Deathlands and beyond. Interesting premise for future stories.
During the battle with slavers, J. B. Dix is blasted with a mortal chest wound, and Ryan and the companions are forced to follow a Russian baron and his cadre to his nearby ville. The Russian baron and his wife are interesting characters, and I found myself wanting to learn more about them. (Echoes of Zimyanin here, but actually good instead of evil.)
The Russian baron and his wife make a deal with Ryan: They will operate and try to save J.B.'s life if they embark on a mission to save their stolen daughter from the slavers. Of course Ryan agrees and they set out with an interesting young Russian sec woman to a bloody adventure that was fun and a fast and breezy read.
Although there is nothing here that truly stands out in terms of originality, Milan still manages to prove that he can pen an action/adventure with interesting characters and a plot-line that, even though has been done before, still manages to feel fresh enough and interesting enough with numerous well laid out action sequences. Also, Milan's Ryan is a bit more gruff with his companions than some other writers, especially when it comes to dealing with Mildred and newcomer Ricky - who to me, is essentially a Puerto Rican Dean Cawdor. Ricky interacts with the companions like Dean did in the beginning when he was first reunited with his father. I like that Victor Milan introduced a new character to the group. And I like Ricky.
I just wished it was Dean Cawdor.
Anywho, this particular DL adventure was good, but did have its problems. I found it quite odd that the frog muties in this entry were seen as nothing new to the companions, but this reader doesn't recall these particular types ever being introduced to the series. And whatever happened to the scalies, the ones that looked like walking and talking alligators that had Dean in NY way back in the series, when Ryan first rescued him? I thought these were them, but they were called just plain 'frogs' - not scalies.
I won't ruin the ending, but the ending, albeit pretty good, made me feel a bit cheated. A certain character suddenly comes up with an ailment that was not foreshadowed before, and it just felt thrown in. And there was another character that was strongly introduced at the beginning, that just disappeared at the end. Felt like that should have been covered a bit better, is all.
However, any story that has background stuff and beginnings like this one had, with J.B. reliving his past life as he lay dying on the operating table, showing how he became the armorer for the legendary Trader - is always great fodder for this reader. I thought it pretty brilliant how Victor Milan placed this in the story, but also penned in a way to intertwine it into the current story. Very fresh and ingenious writing there.
I have read every Deathlands books so far, so as you can see I like the story line. Reading Storm Breakers was a real problem for me.
The author has written enough Deathland books to know the story line and it just seems to me that he didn’t do his homework and just put in enough key phrases like “gaudy-house” and “ace for him” but changed everything else. For instance, Dr. Mildred Wyeth is a doctor. She leaves her lover to be cared for by someone else as she goes on another mission. That doesn’t make sense. J. B. Dix is close to death, but she leaves him.
Another problem I have is that J. B. Dix got his eyeglasses later in one of the stories but in this story he has them when he is with trader. That just shows that the person writing the story didn’t do his homework.
I understand that you might want to add new villains. Like the frog people. But there is no story line up to it. Where did they come from ? Why are they under the bridge ?
I used to read Outlanders but the same thing happened, they stories just didn’t make a lot of sense from one to another. All I am saying is just make the stories match. It is not a hard thing to do. I understand what the author wanted to do, tell another Deathland story and also tell a story about Trader. How he did it really needs some rewriting of the story line.
The story line of Deathlands is a good one but you have to keep true to the original stories that have been printed before or you will get questions. You have enough questions and people will stop reading them. Gold Eagle is not in the business to lose money. I started reading this books because the story was interesting to me, post apocalyptic and governmental secrets. Just like any zombie stories, but you have to keep things going or you will lose your readers.