Out of the ruins of worldwide nuclear devastation emerged Deathlands, a world that conspired against survival. Ryan Cawdor and his roving band of post-holocaust survivors begin their quest for survival in a world gone mad.
On a crisp January day, a Presidential inauguration day, a one-megaton blast ripped through the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C.
Subsequent explosions around the globe changed the face and the shape of the earth forever. Out of the ruins emerged Deathlands, a world that conspired against survival.
In the blasted heart of the new America, a group of men and women plan desperately to escape the eerie wastes and mutated life forms of their nuclear hell.Three warriors - the tough, intelligent Ryan Cawdor, an enigmatic beauty called Krysty Wroth, and the armorer J. B. Dix - set out on a harrowing journey to find a rumored enclave high in the mountains.
Their aim: to unlock the secrets of prewar scientific experiments that could hold the answer to survival in the Deathlands of the future.
I finished PTH last weekend for the third time (last time was 1988 ) . I had forgotten a lot about that book, and as I was reading it I realized that the series seemed to start going in on direction then change and head off in another direction with JL writing it. It was a fast read except the prologue which was so boring that I still can't figure out how (at 15 or 16 years of age the first time I read it) I managed to have the attention span to stick with the book after the first 3 pages. I think this time through it took me almost a day to read the prologue because I kept putting it down. That and I think I was reading during commercial breaks in Enterprise and Sopranos. Anyway I still love the book, but I did notice many errors like the reference to a 454CP. Colt pistol (page 284 for anyone who cares) instead of 45ACP. which is what that pistol fires. Oddly enough that error made it into the Audio book which I also listened to (always staying ahead in the book of where I was in the tape) these last 2 weeks on my drive to and from work. I think I was able to tell where they changed authors, chapter 11 page 294, does anyone know if I am right? Over all I loved the book but would only give it an 8. Thanks Mahal Kita Douglas .
After reading a couple titles in the middle of the series I decided to try and read them in order. So far I am glad I did although I understand after #33 or so it really isn't as meaningful. PTH was great adventure. The descriptions of the characters and landscape was well done. The story had a good tempo to it and was tough to put down. It is easy to see why the books remain so popular. The loss of the Trader's Caravan really turned the main characters into the nomads they are through the series. The introduction of Doc and the Mat-Trans lead a certain intrigue to what may be around the next corner.
NOTE: I am reviewing the GraphicAudio Unabridged CD version.
There is not a lot I can add to this.
I love the mix of the War Wag days with the MatTrans discovery. Having listened to Encounter 1st, there wasn't a lot of surprise for me in the end though....
Although this was not the first Deathlands book that I read, I somewhat understood the story, but now had the chance to find out what really happened on that crisp January day of 2001.  Jack Adrians' prologue was a story unto itself with how it all happens, from the Russian terrorists to what happened to animal life after "skydark."  He then starts off the story with the seer ,Reacher, and the pack leader, McCandless, and the other two goons who are off to find the hidden enclavement buried somewhere in the Darks.  That journey leads to that Scaley leader who was eying the Traders' war wags.  I can see it like this:  the Scaley guy is watching this impressive convoy, and in that convoy, we see a group of determined men and women lead by the Trader while they listened to the KISS song "War Machine".  Of course, another great part of the book was when Doc was introduced while being in the watchful eyes of Cort Strasser.  Towards the end of the book when it said: neither the man in the white feather, nor the Trader was ever seen again, and Deathlands' fans all over screamed nooooooooo!!  Then the epilogue, Ryan opens his eye.  Great start to the greatest book series ever!!!!!!!!