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An ancient prophecy threatens to turn myth into reality....
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As magistrate-turned-rebel Kane, fellow warrior Grant and archivist Brigid Baptiste face uncertainty in their own ranks, an ancient foe resurfaces in the company of Viking warriors -- harnessing ancient prophecies of Ragnarok, the final conflict of fire and ice, to bring his own mad vision of a new apocalypse. To save what's left of the future, Kane's new battlefield is the kingdom of Antarctica, where legend and lore have taken on mythic and deadly proportions.
In the Outlands, the shocking truth is humanity's last hope.
High energy high adventure!
I don't know if Equinox Zero only seemed so good because I was so disappointed in Skydark Spawn, but reading it after that one was like taking a long drink of clean, ice-cold water after choking down rancid grease. Even the cover is sharp, crisp and clean!
Whatever the reason, Equinox Zero is another full-speed, balls to the wall, pedel to the metal no-holds barred adventure novel. It has all the elements which has made this series so entertaining for so many years. First and foremost there's the return of a villian who last we saw had fallen off a cliff in Asia, way back in Iceblood.
It's Grigori Zakat, the ruthless Russian mystic whose religious cult worshiped the mummified penis of Rasputin. I can''t think of too many bad guys with that kind of bizarre wrinkle in their backgrounds. He's pretty angry at Kane, but his mission isn't just about revenge--he's making a bid to take over Ultima Thule, the lost land of Norse gods and become a version of Odin! Unlike Sindri who is an idealist bent on world conquest as a means to to an end, Zakat's ambition to trigger another ice age is the end to itself. The way he's portrayed makes the reader believe he could really pull off his mad dream.
The lost civilization novels in Outlanders are always my favorite and Equinox Zero might be the best using this theme. The civilization of super-Vikings under the Antarctic is very vivid and colorful. I particularly liked the warrior women, the Valkyries.
I also loved the opening chapters set on the Outlanders version of Jurrasic Park, Thunder Isle. There Kane and Domi are engaged in a dinosaur hunt, trying to end the threat of a tyrannosaur that Kane has nicknamed Monstrodamus. The hunt goes really bad but in the process we see a glimpse of a potential Kane/Domi relationship...particualrly after she falls into what is a dinosaur latrine!!
As usual for Outlanders, it's the three dimensioanal characterizations that make this book so entertaining. Every book is almost like a visit with old friends now, finding out what they've been up to and what's been happening in their lives. All of the characetrs are in fine form, each one contributing a full share even the new ones from the Moon base. We also learn more about how the Imperator restored Lakesh's youth and find out it may not be the miracle he tried to convince himself it was. Grant also has some distressing news for his friends in Cerberus.
For the purient interests, there's sex in it too, a threesome that's a lot more erotic than the creepy S&M bondage stuff and homoerotica that filled Skydark Spawn.
My only complaint with the book is that Shizuka has only a minor role. Her first appearance, way back in Doom Dynasty was a case of love at first sight.
This is a tight, fast-paced adventure story with plenty of action, exciting twists and unexpected turns. The lost land of Ultima Thule is a great concept, too. Equinox Zero is a solid tenner!
Dinosaurs and vikings!
by The Phantom
I loved the beginning of this book. The crew returns to thunder isle for a dinosaur hunt! Kane and Domi against "monstrodamus" in the jungle of the island was a great start to the book, and then things take an interesting turn. This book features a return of Zakat, an enemy last seen in Iceblood. I liked the intro to this character and the scenes with the vikings. The pace of the novel slows down for a while, but the coolness goes into overdrive as Kane and friends venture to Antarctica.
The gateway there is the same one they used in Hell Rising. This time, they discover an amazing underground ancient city. The descriptions of this area, as well as the thunder island intro are excellently portrayed, adding to the many exotic and fascinating locations the author takes the reader in each of these novels. And like many novels, this book has much in myth and legend to add a good back story to the characters and events the Cerberus crew deal with. Overall, a book filled with lots of cool stuff!
Mark has done it again!
Equinox Zero is the latest in the long line of the explosive Sci Fi Outlanders series, this time exploring the depths of Antarctica and the Thulians that have survived there since before the birth of Christ.
The constantly evolving characters deliver to the reader personal subplots that are just as interesting as the overall plot concerning Thule and Zakat, the Russian that was thought to have perished in Agartha several books ago.
While the category of the book reads Science Fiction, it is done in a believable fashion with as many true facts to back up the scenario as possible. The Outlanders have visited such places as Russia, China, the Moon, Mars as well as parallel universes and the plots are as good as they get.As always, I await the next one for it is sure to exciting!
This latest OL novel features the return of a character that has not been seen for almost five years and was presumed dead. I enjoyed this novel for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that the characters right now are in the midsts of an avalanche of emotional and phsyical changes, that are not going to be easily solved or solved in the near future, which is great. This particular novel in typical OL fashion took of like a cannon shot, on the fourth or fifth page, and didn't seem to slow down at all, until the last three or four pages when the story was wrapping itself up. With a trip to the South pole and a dino hunt that is one of the best written scenes in the entire OL series in my opinion, Equinox Zero has something for everyone. Starting off with Dino hunt that was like something out of Jurassic park only better, and ending in a climatic battle in the middle of the South Pole, this novel couldn't have been better. More of the secrets surrounding Thunder Island are revealed, as well and we learn a bit more about the Cube (the redoubt on Thunder Island.) Secondly this novel returns us to one of my favorite settings, the Artic redoubt on the South Pole which was first introduced in Hell Rising. With the discovery of an old enemy lurking in the shadows, sightings of Vikings raiding all up and down the west coast, and information that the artic ice sheet that makes up most of the south pole threatening to break away and slip into the ocean as cause a new ice age, this novel accelerates to a break neck pace that leaves the reader breathless and somehow feeling satisfied but with the nagging doubt that they missed something in all the excitement. There is bit of rehashed material in this book, but it is information that is essential to the plot, and a bit of a refresher about past novels that have an impact on this latest plot. All in all this book was a great read, which is what most of us have come to associate with Mark Ellis. This one gets a 10 out of 10 from me
EQUINOX ZERO BATS A HUNDRED!!
by One Eye Chills
Only in Mark Ellis's Outlander novels can you find dinosaurs and Vikings in one book!
An old foe resurfaces and makes a bid for power beyond sheer belief - and it of course takes Kane and Company to restore order and save the day.
Equinox Zero is truly a remarkable novel of the continuing saga of the Outlander's constant strive to fight for lost humanity.
Beginning in the awesome Thunder Isle, Kane and Domi are on the hunt of their lives as they hunt the dinosaur they name - Monstrodamus!
After an exciting romp in the steamy jungle swamps, our reluctant heroes find themselves embroiled in yet another strange and bizarre situation - Fighting off invading viking forces!
What more can you want? Throw in lost empires of nordic mythology mixed with nazi Germany, and you have one hellava thrill ride.
Lots of bloody action/adventure with Kane fighting one-on-one with a valkyrie makes EQUINOX ZERO A MUST READ!!
Awesome and truly the best in sci-fi/fantasy action/adventure out there today...
A nice, relaxing change from the epics we've been reading
Equinox Zero is a nice filler novel, one where there really isn’t anything as drastic as we had with The Dragon Kings and previous novels.
Sure the novel revolves around another world-threatening event, but it’s resolved quickly and quite memorably at the end.
We need the occasional –breather- novel as we have had with this one. There is plenty of action, to be sure, but at the same time, there is even more character development, which compliments the action quite beautifully.
The novel begins with Kane and Domi hunting for a prehistoric monster on Thunder Isle, to make the violent and primordial island just a little bit safer for the Cerberus exiles, while they explore the ruins of the Operation Chronos facility.
Mark gives even more depth to the outlander girl, Domi, and adds a little tension between her and Kane, as she makes it quite clear that she is interested in him, despite the relationship that has blossomed between her and Lakesh, after Grant rejected her.
Speaking of the ebony giant, he has decided to leave Cerberus, as he is tired of all the fighting and the near endless stress that he’s been subjected to. He really doesn’t believe that it’s his fight, and he just wants to retire, to settle down with Shizuka and the Tigers of Heaven on new Edo.
Another old enemy has apparently arisen from the grave, a man we haven’t seen since Iceblood. He managed to find his way to Utlima Thule, a haven of Vikings that has remained essentially untouched for thousands of years. Using his influence, he is trying to take over the isolated civilization, and to bring about another great Deluge, not quite of biblical proportions, but one that would destroy the emerging civilization, plunging the already fragile planet back into another dark age, of which it might not ever recover.
Zakat and a ship of the people from Ultima Thule raid a ship belonging to the Tigers of Heaven, all the while being witnessed by Grant and his new love. That prompts him to return to Cerberus to ask for Kane’s help in tracking down the criminal and putting an end to him and his plans once and for all.
Bringing Philboyd with them, they jump to the gateway that was first discovered in Hell Rising. They find the entrance to Ultima Thule and make their way to the underground city. It is very much a lost civilization, even though the Nazi’s tried to take it over nearly 250 years previously. Tried, but failed miserably, and paid for their efforts with their lives.
Here, Kane is forced to fight Zakat’s lover, a Valkyrie named Sif. It is truly a memorable battle, one which Kane nearly loses his life, but as is the case, the hero triumphs, and not only defeats the woman, but spares her life. Zakat meets his end in a very appropriate manner, and the threat to the world is neatly dealt with.
Keep them coming!