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In the relatively untouched area of what was once Niagara Falls, Ryan and his fellow wayfarers find the pastoral farmland under the despotic control of a twisted baron and his slave-breeding farm. Ryan, Mildred and Krysty are captured by the baron's sec men and pawned into the cruel frenzy of their leader's grotesque desires. JB, Jak and Doc enlist the aid of outlanders to organize a counterstrike -- but rescue may come too late for them all.
Survival in America's nuke-blasted frontier is both a curse and a salvation for Ryan Cawdor and his warrior companions. Though the basic needs of existence must be fought for and won with blood -- each day alive means another chance to seek refuge and a better way of life in a hostile and brutal world, where hope still fires the human heart.
In the relatively untouched area of what was once Niagara Falls, Ryan and his fellow wayfarers find the pastoral farmland under the despotic control of a twisted baron and his slave-breeding farm. Ryan, Mildred and Krysty are captured by the baron's sec men and pawned into the cruel frenzy of their leader's grotesque desires. JB, Jak and Doc enlist the aid of outlanders to organize a counter strike - but rescue may come too late for them all.In the Deathlands, you are senteneced to your destiny from the moment of birth....
Skydark Spawn 12/30/2003
The sexual depravity of this book was extremely annoying to put it mildly. The muties were a joke. Spider people ? what was the author smoking when he came up with them ? I had 4 problems with this book 1) A Hugh Hefner knockoff for a Baron, 2) Way too much pointless sex, 3) The over use of the terms rut and rutting, and 4) The spider people muties. Other than that I actually liked this book, and I would be interested in reading another Deathlands book from this author. I give it a 6.
Wretched--for fetishists and completists only
A while back I took advantage of a free offer from Gold Eagle's reader service and over the weekend I recieved my first complimentary shipment. Skydark Spawn was in the shipment and that was the one I was the most interested in since it's the first one by a new writer, Edo Belkom. I hoped he might give the DL series a badly needed boost of new energy and new concepts.
After reading it I've despaired of this series ever being rescued from the "Dumbening" pattern which its been trapped in for the last few years, where everything is reduced to the lowest common denominator. But Skydark Spawn goes even lower than just dumb.
It's almost like the writer looked over the main crticisms about DL that have been discussed on various forums and embraced them totally. This book has every tiresome cliche that has ever wore out its welcome even before Laurence James left the series.
The book is so obviously geared for an audience of 14 year old boys GE should have packaged Stridex pads with it.
Here's the plot--Baron Fox runs a farm where he forces men and women to "rut" to produce offspring to sell to other villes. Ryan, Krysty and Mildred are captured by him. JB, Doc, Dean and Jak rescue them.
That's it. No twists, no wrinkles, no unexpected turns, just that point A to point B plot. About the only science-fiction element in it is a group of generic "muties" who crawl around eating everything.
The villain, Baron Fox is obviously meant to parody Hugh Hefner, since just about every time he shows up his bathrobe and pipe are described, as if we didn't get it the first three times. His clothes are always described but not the man wearing them--except for his penis. Okay.
In the best DL tradition,he's also sexually depraved. He has a collection of predark porn magazines in his office that he looks at whenever he needs to relax. Okay.
The sexual aspects of this story are not very erotic, except maybe to adoloscent boys. They're designed to fit in with the wet dreams of sexually frustrated 14 year olds--women penned up like animals behind an electric fence and forced to "rut" on command...you have no idea how sick I got of that word long before I finished this book.
For the boys in readership who aren't quite sure of their sexual orientation yet, there are scenes of sweaty muscular male characters fondling and admiring each others genitalia. Okay.
How do Ryan, Mildred and Krysty react to their captivity by Baron Fox? Sort of like if they were tourists and their car broke down and they were forced to wait for the repiars at a low quality truck stop. They cooperate with the baron most of the time and their strongest emotional reaction to their forced servitude seems to be mild annoyance.
How were they captured in the first place? Glad you asked. The baron's sec men simply stroll in and put them in custody because they ate drugged fruit that made them sleepy. Not unconscious, just sleepy. But to be fair, Ryan does kill one of them.
Once at Fox's farm, Krysty is forced to parade around in lingerie and high heels and a dog collar. She's led around by a chain and forced to watch Ryan engage in yet another moldy old DL cliche--the gladitorial contest. During it, chained to the baron's throne, ala Princess Leia and Jabba the Hut, Krysty seems about as worried as if she were watching a fashion show.
Krysty is full brainless sex-pot mode in this book, with no personality, fire or energy. She's just a simpering centerfold for the most part. The lame explanation for why she didn't call on the Gaia power showed a basic misunderstanding on the part of the writer about this ability. But, if she had called on it when she was being captured I guess there wouldn't have been a book.
Whatever, Krysty's role in this book is that of a prize, a sex object.
Also, Skydark Spawn is yet another DL book mistakenly descibed as being set 200 years after the nukecaust, which would make it happen at the time of Outlanders.
Good thing it isn't--Brigid and Domi alone could take care of Baron Fox and his "rut" farm in the prologue of an OL.
In my opinion, this book was hacked out, featuring sexual fetishes over and above anything else, including characters--all of them are complete zeros, they could be anybody. The only thing that distinguishes them from one another is the hokey catch-phrases. Dean says "Hot pipe" and JB says "Dark night". Other than that, they're interchangable.
Worse, they're also presented as incompetant and stupid, buffoons who have never learned from dozens of prior incidents with barons and sec men.
I have no idea what GE thinks they're doing with this series by narrowing its audience in such a way. Judging by this book, I guess they don't know either.
Unless you're a fetishist (and even then you'll be disappointed) or a completist, I recommend this book be avoided.
A breeder farm, interesting idea...
Enjoyed the dark sexual undertone of the book which kept up the tension. The Sec men were not up to their usual bullying standard as previous DL books I have read but that did not dectract from the enjoyment.
Storyline developed well and liked the triple storyline of Ryans group, JB's and the Reichel Ville group. A book will normally make me fall asleep after 10 pages but couldn't put this one down! Thoroughly recommended.
SKYDARK SPAWN IS AN IMPROVEMENT...SOMEWHAT.
by One Eye Chills
This latest installment in the Deathlands saga is an improvement over the last 3 books.
This particular writer at least untilized, to some effect at least, the savagery and sexual perversity that has apparently went out the back door somewhere along the line of differing writers.
Though this particular storyline wasn't done before, it at least was a very good attempt at getting back on track.
The areas that this writer missed, as it seems the last few books did, was the usage of Deathlands badly damaged weather patterns. And the use of Krysty's mutie powers, the Earth Mother could have again, been used greatly to enhance this story, but again, was dismissed.
Also, again Krysty is not used at all in her normal warrior way. She was born and bred in Deathlands and has been fighting alongside the chilling machine Ryan for quite awhile now - so why is she taking orders from Mildred?
Ryan is shown to ask just about everybody he chills if they want to die first!
Ryan Cawdor is a chilling machine - first and foremost - please don't start writing him as a humanitarian!!
The best part of this story was the fact that Ryan and Krysty are tested in their relationship. Plus I'm always a sucker for gladitorial combat! Those two things were the saving grace here. At least this particular author has potential for this series. They need to look out for characterization though, as well as story screw-ups, such as when Ryan all the sudden has both his coat and looking glass when he couldn't possibly had it at that particular time.
Overall, besides Ryan and Krysty, the other companions were well written. Please writers, use Krysty in her fullness in character and let her unleash those powers and kick ass!!