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The Skydark Chronicles - Book III
When all is lost, there's always the future...
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The Marshall Islands are now the kingdom of the grotesque Lord Baron Kinnison. Here in this world of slavery and brutality, the companions have fought a fierce war for survival, on land and sea -- yet the crafty baron still conspires to destroy these interlopers. They cunningly escape to the neighboring pirate-ruled Forbidden Island, with the baron's sec men in hot pursuit... and become trapped in a war for total supremacy of this water world.
FORGED FROM THE RUINS
A planet ravaged by the apocalyptic blast of 2001 gave birth to a new world of savagery - and a new breed of hero. In a land where violence rules with absolute authority, Ryan Cawdor and his wayfarer survivalists roam the strange, nascent twenty second century, living by their own creed of honor as they continue their search for a sanctuary they can call home.
In what was once the nuclear testing ground of the predark world, the Marshall Islands are now the kingdom of the grotesque lord Baron Kinnison. Here in this world of slavery and brutality the companions have fought a fierce war for survival, on land and sea - yet the crafty baron still conspires to destroy these interlopers. Activating a twentieth century hot air balloon left untouched by the blast, they escape to the neighboring pirate ruled forbidden island, with the Baron and his sec men in hot pursuit - and become trapped in a war for total supremacy on this water world.Not even the Deathlands can deny the human will to survive.
There is a moment in this book, about two thirds of the way through, where the companions find themselves in a brief respite and are raising a toast to absent friends. Toasting only first names they recall long-gone characters like Michael Brother and Lori Quint and many others. The author was clearly reaching back with fondness to the early years of the series, and the toasts end with a heartfelt toast to Laurence.
To Laurence, indeed. Laurence James was the heart and soul of the series through over thirty novels, stepping in when Jack Adrian was unable to complete the first book and carrying on until his own failing health rendered him unable to continue writing.
I think Laurence would have approved of this trilogy of books which is capped of almost perfectly in this concluding chapter. The variety of action set pieces in this book are awe inspiring, and there are just enough dangling plot threads left to make a return to the Marshall islands an intriguing and welcome possibility. With this trilogy of books I finally felt like the series was no longer floundering, and I only hope that it continues in this direction.
Shadow Fortress 12/07/2003
More potential squandered. The author needs to make an attempt to produce something decent. More of a great stroy ruined by stupidity. There were so many errors in this book they are not even worth mentioning Except 3 1. Doc was trawled from 1896 not the late 1880's page 13, 2. The Marshall Islands have a population of only around 55,000 people yet the author expects us to believe that there are skyscrapers there. 3. again there are only around 55,000 people in the Marshall Islands, yet the author decides to put a subway there. I did like the appearance of the cerberus mist at the end, although I didn't see the point in the author's changes to the way the mist kills. Again it was book that had potential but it was squandered. I give it a 4.
I have to rate all 3 of this trilogy at the same time. The idea of using the Marshall Islands as a backdrop was excellent, but I thought there were too many loose ends. For example, the muties with the forked tongues.....who the hell were they? Unless they were in a book I havent read yet, I was left wondering what thier deal was. Also, Glassman and Mitchum.............apparently Mitchum won thier duel, but not details how that happened. For an author who shoves every microscopic detail down the readers throat, he missed the boat on this one. Also, the Constitution, not the Constellation was the last commissioned sailing ship in the Navy. The truth behind what guided the Firebirds was absolutely ridiculous. Mutant fetuses that live for over a hundred years inside a missile with no food or water?? Please, do you think we are that stupid?
At times, this whole series seems to drag itself down into a quagmire of details that slow the flow of the story. While I enjoy reading about blowing things up and killing muties, I really dont want to read every detail of every step and every drop of blood or body part that the companions remove with high velocity rounds. The story had potential, but was beaten into submission with details.
U Want Blood, U Got It!!!
I didn't catch the "Deathlands" fever till I happened across a copy of "Deep Empire" some three years back. Having said that, I couldn't wait to pick up from the very start of the series. I just finished the "Sky Dark Chronicles" trilogy with the last installment "Shadow Fortress" and was totally blown away.
This one had it all from blood thirsty pirates & killer sec droids to mutant intelligent prey stalking apes and gigantic spiders. Along the way in this realm of the sometimes mystical and often times mayhem filled world of "Deathlands" it's been one wild ride. Some of the books have been a bit lack luster but if your looking for an awesome reading experience, this one delivers the goods---BIG TIME!!!
SHADOW FORTRESS ENDS TRILOGY GREATLY!!
by One Eye Chills
Nick Polatta is a true genious sometimes when it comes to writing. This novel, along with SAVAGE ARMADA, was some of his all-time best stuff ever!
He not only writes superb action/adventure, but he salutes old friends so well here that it nearly brought tears to this 41-year-old's eyes.
It was done with style and panache, giving Nick another notch up in my pistol belt.
Shadow Fortress is one that I look forward to reading again someday.
Could be the BEST book since Laurence James
I've been rather unhappy with most of the writers who've taken over since Laurence James, but Nick did an AMAZING job with this one. He's added a lot to the characters that Mr. James didn't consider bringing into them. This whole book was a page turner action packed fun. Let me put it another way. This is the first book review I've done. I thought THAT highly of the book.