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PITY THE LIVING
In 2001, the face of the earth changed forever in a nuclear firestorm. Generations after the apocalypse, Ryan Cawdor leads the courageous struggle for survival in a brutal world, striving to make a difference in the battle raging between good and evil.
CAST A COLD SHADOW
On a sacred aboriginal land, Ryan Cawdor and his band of warrior survivalists discover Mount Rushmore still standing, a symbol of long-gone power. Here a charismatic baron and his followers force Ryan to breach the icy fastness of the mountain stronghold, which harbors a cache of twentieth-century technology -- and a chilling surprise from the past.In the Deathlands, the war is over...but the fight has just begun.
I finally finished Stoneface. This book showed a much more sophisticated writing style, and a much more interesting plot than the vast majority of it predecessors. Other than a few weapons inaccuracies, I thought this book was great. Mark Ellis has a fertile imagination, and he could have drastically altered the course of the Deathlands series for the better if he had taken the helm. This is by far one of the best Deathlands in the series. From the opening chapter on the road to the closing battle in the Anthill, it is a must read for any Deathlands fan. I give it a 10.
All Right!! DL goes real sci-fi at last!!
This was the first DL book not by Laurence James but I didn't know it at the time, even though I saw the differences.
First and foremost was the depth of characterization, even with the villain, Lars Hellstrom. A fascinating and revolting individual, intelligent as well. His ville of HelSkel, based on the teachings of Charlie Manson was very creepy and realistic.
But the main thrust of the book was the introduction of the Anthill, the redoubt of redoubts hidden inside Mount Rushmore, full of bionic, cryonic politicians, apparently Republicans--LOL! This book could have been sub-titled "Old Politicians Never Die, They Just Look That Way".
There are revelations aplenty in this book but few were ever expanded upon by other writers, which is a damn shame. But Mark Ellis used this book to introduce some elements of Outlanders, so they're still with the saga to some extent..although the Anthill wasn't the same after Ryan and his companions left!
This was also the most genuinely science-fictional of all the DL novels to date and set a trend, which unfortunately wasn't carried through in the way it could have been.
As another reviewer said, this was a pivotal book in the series but it was also crisply written, fast-moving and the main characters came alive as they hadn't in years. It was great to see Mildred play an important role in this novel, using her background as cryonic scientist.
In my humble opinion Stoneface is one of the top five of the entire DL series.
A DL classic
It took me a while to read this DL novel, even though I'd been hearing great things about it for years.
Stoneface by Mark Ellis is considered a classic by DL enthusiasts because he took that extra step toward real SF and setting up the situation that the nukecaust wasn't quite what Ryan and the other characters had assumed it was.
Although I read OL Armageddon Axis first, a book that features the Cerberus crew in the Anthill installation, it was interesting to see the Anthill before it had fallen into such disrepair.
As other reviewers said, the core DL characters seemed more intelligent in Stoneface compared to most of the other books, particularly Mildred who played a major part in this book.
Combined with the ville of HelSkel and its uber-creepy leader, Lars Hellstrom, Stoneface had a dark, brooding overtone that most of the other DL books I've read didn't have.
Stoneface is very action-packed, very violent and the most overall entertaining DL book I've read.
It's a shame that the other DL writers didn't use Stoneface as the template for the rest of the series, and spared the hardcore fans things like octodogs and rut farms.
Stoneface gives a facelift to DL!
by The Phantom
After reading the first 33 books in the series by one author, reading a book by a new writer took some getting used to.
My first impressions of the characterizations of the crew were that JB, Mildred, Jak, and Krysty were pretty much spot-on. That of Doc and Ryan I found to be different. In the case of Doc, I found LJ's version of the character more preferable, but there wasn't any major differences.
With Ryan we see more of a change. But I would say definitly for the better. He seemed to be more intelligent and displayed more a desire to stand and make right of the situations around him, as well as a curiosity to explore the mysteries of the Anthill complex.
The beginning half of the book was fairly standard as far as pulp action-adventure goes in the DL universe, but what really makes this book shine is the way it kept getting better and better, the last third of the book was awesome as Ryan and Mildred infiltrate the mysterious anthill complex and discover some interesting secrets. The rest of the gang has their own adventures, a good escape from their weird Charlie Manson loving captors and battle it out in the canyons of the Black Hills.
Having already read the Outlander novel Armageddon Axis, I knew about the anthill complex and what Ryan was going to find there, but still reading about Ryan and Mildred's adventures inside the mountain a hundred years before Kane and Grant found it was an excellent adventure to read. This is really the first time that sci-fi has been depicted on any major level in the series. Mark Ellis has woven an exciting action packed tale that stands above any of the previous novels in the series.
Stoneface would be a good example of how bold and intelligent writing should and could be the standard for current novels in the series.
One of the better books in the series. That pretty much sum sit up. The storyline was good, the details were accurate, and the new characters were right inline with the main story line. Only complaint I have is the use of Ryan's catchphrase "Fireblast", at one point he sys "fireballs". I know, it a minor point, but still. details are the key. It is the only time I have ever heard it used though, so maybe it was just a one time thing.
STONEFACE MARKED A HIGH POINT IN THE SERIES!
by One Eye Chills
I'll never forget when I first read this novel and thinking - OH MY GOD! This is awesome!
It took Deathlands where it much-needed to go at this juncture in the series.
I knew instantly that this was a new writer, and even though Laurence James will forever be one of my all-time favorite writers - this writer, (now I know its good 'ol Mark Ellis), took this series to a much higher level with fresh ideas.
The next 2 or 3 novels after this one also blew me away, and I thought to myself - at last! Deathlands is going into a bold and new direction!
But unfortunately, the series has hit some very low points for awhile, but seem to come back somewhat from time to time.
Stoneface was most definately one of those highest points!
This book was a great read, the links to Manson, the whole Mt. Rushmore thing, it was great. definitly one of the best.
Mark Ellis'  first effort in this series is simply... AWSOME!
I hav not read any outlanders but now that I've just finished this, I'm looking for them since M. Ellis wrote em!!
I honestly never thought DL could be this good!!!
First book by Mark Ellis, and its a home run! A community that worships Charles Manson, The Mount Rushmore Redoubt, If only Mark had taken over Deathlands..
As another reviewer posted, its what Deathlands "could" have been if it had been handed over to Mark as its new author.
The Anthill redoubt is awesome!!
First book to have a real sci-fi twist.