America's post-holocaust nightmare continues as Ryan Cawdor returns to the monstrous urban slum that was once New York City...and discovers a piece of the future...
As the roaming band of survivors seek desperately to escape the eerie wastes and mutated life-forms of their nuclear hell, they emerge from a gateway back into the ruins of Manhattan -- the concrete battlefield where Ryan had avenged the death of his father and older brother.
The city is a flooded hellzone ruled by street gangs and hordes of reptilian mutants who inhabit the sewers. Under this urban ruin lives the self-styled King of the Underground, presiding over his subterranean fortress filled with prenuke memorabilia. And here, in this once great metropolis, lives a ten-year-old boy. He is Ryan Cawdor's son....
Ryan's gang emerge from a redoubt in New York City, (Which by the way was excellently described in its horrific way, from snowy destruction to gators in the sewers; it is simply DEATHLANDS at one of its highest peaks) and work their way over to Manhattan Island. By coincidence they meet a woman that has been trying to find Ryan to tell him about his son, which at this point he doesn't know he even has.
Using a building cellar as a hideout, he now quests to find his son. This is the book that is notable for the introduction of Dean, who is still with the series. Many people are on the island, some are hostile, but the main villains are a large military camp of "scalie" muties that for some reason are organized, and wear berets with a symbol on them, but the author never explains the reasoning for this or get to see the leader of these organized muties. They just seem to be thrown in there in stead of the usual baron sec force in other books. Also they do seem to strike a startling resemblance to the mutie that attacked Ryan in homeward bound.
The thing that happened to J.B. with the bug bite I thought was extremely repulsive and intriguing at the same time. Kind of like a train wreck. So very hideous but you still have to look. Also the unexpected appearance of Harry Stanton to help out the crew from who Ryan learns his son is captured by these muties and goes out to rescue him. Also rather interesting to see the large stash of stuff Stanton had kind of like Trader except stationary.
One thing I don’t like about this book is how sloppy the author portrayed Ryan with his G-12; He loses it at three times that I can remember. I enjoyed this book, it had a lot of adventure, and some suspense, the action was plenty, probably one of the better books in the series. The ending was more abrupt than usual, the scene ends just as Ryan meets his son, I was hoping they would meet earlier in the story, I have to read the next book to see what happens.