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Eerie remnants of preDark times linger a century after the nuclear blowout. But a traveling road show gives new meaning to the word chilling. Ryan and his warrior group have witnessed this carny's handiwork in the ruins and victims of unsuspecting villes. Even facing tremendous odds does nothing to deter the companions from challenging this wandering death merchant and an army of circus freaks. And no one is aware that a steel-eyed monster from the past is preparing a private act that would give Ryan star billing....
In the ruins of a nuke-shattered America, every man, woman and child of the apocalyptic frontier makes a perilous journey to the future. But there is a fork that divides the path toward humanity reborn... and the road deep into the hell that is Deathlands. Ryan Cawdor made his choice long ago, in this barbaric new world that conspires against hope....
Monsters, Muties and Freaks
Eerie remnants of pre-Dark times linger a century after the nuclear blowout. But a traveling road show gives new meaning to the word chilling. Ryan and his warrior group have witnessed this carny's handiwork in the ruins, and victims of unsuspecting villes. Even facing tremendous odds does nothing to deter the companions from challenging this wandering death merchant and an army of circus freaks. And no one is aware that a steel-eyed monster from the past is preparing a private act that would give ryan star billing....In the Deathlands, all you get is a one-way ticket.
Damnation Road Show 12/31/2003
I liked this book. At first I was angry over the talking fish until I realized that it was just a hallucination. I was happy to have The Magus make another appearance, but I was not happy to see how frail he was. I always thought of The Magus as being much stronger. It was nice to see Ryan, and the group have a purpose for a change. I hope we don't have to wait another 30 books to see The Magus again, at the same time I hope this is the last we see of the telepathic Mountain Lion. I give this book an 8.
MONSTERS, MUTIES AND FREAKS, OH MY!!
by One Eye Chills
This latest installment of DEATHLANDS #62 - Damnation Road Show - was a pleasant surprise.
This particular writer gave us a whole new storyline for DEATHLANDS that has never been done before in quite this way. Usually, you have Ryan taking center stage from beginning to end, his companions all taking a close second seating. But in this story, they all seem to have taken a back seat, giving way to extremely interesting new and old characters, all in the guise of bad guys - or coldhearts I should say.
The Magus comes back in a marvelously written way here as the half-human cyborg man that has tickled our imaginations of his being for a long time now.
This creative writer not only touched upon this, but also left me wanting more in the hints of time travel and such. And then there is the infamous Ringmaster! The colorful Crecca and his freakshow muties are done very well here, creating the old DEATHLANDS atmosphere that has been missing since BREAKTHROUGH.
Like BREAKTHROUGH, this writer gives us a very different type of scenario in the form of a pool of water bioweapon that was very imaginative in its sheer scope. It brought Ryan and his companions to their knees in a way that has never been done before. I liked that.
What I didn't like - and missed - was the great action sequences that are usually associated with DEATHLANDS. This particular writer wasn't horrible at it, it just needed that more personal touch in terms of close combat.
But the high point here was the scene setting and the coldhearts characters. They were done in great detail, not the usual cardboard cut-outs that a lot of them sometimes seem to be. They are given detailed backgrounds and rich characterizations, making them take over the story in a way that I've never seen.
The writer portrays the characters of Ryan and his group fair billing. They don't seem the main focus of the story like the norm, but they at the same time are not totally out of character either. Jak and Dean are delved into quite well in this one, and that is always a plus in my book. The love between Ryan and Krysty, as well as J.B. and Mildred is overlooked however, but despite that, I for one would like to see this particular writer come back and give us more.
Just working on their combat writing skills as well as fleshing out Ryan's and Krysty's great love for one another - mixed with great storytelling talent displayed here - and you would have a 10 rating here!
Now I see the Trader is coming back in DEVIL RIDERS. Thank God! I just hope the writer, whomever they are this time - doesn't screw it up. Fans have been waiting a long time for this. Let's hope Gold Eagle does not let us down.
It was OK
I'd have to say that Damnation Roadshow suffers quite a bit from what all the Deathlands books have been lately. Weird pointless sci-fi and cookie-cutter characters. The sci-fi is getting strange. The pool and cloud and fish and spores and globes are a bioweapon right? How? I mean it might make a good prison camp, but what is the point of this thing? It's not mobile, it needs constant food replenishment and is only deadly because the leader brains the other prisoners. I don't get it. Crecca was an interesting character and could have been the next Cort Strasser. But as soon as Krysty showed up he reverted to just another Deathlands thug. Where did the Magus come from? JB and Ryan seem to know a little bit more about him each time they run into him. How are they getting this info? He disappears like smoke at the end of each novel he is in. And who built him? So far the only places that could build a cyborg were at Wizard Island and the Anthill. The Wizard Island cyborgs were restricted to just replacement limbs and the Anthill gang needed deep refrigeration to survive. Deathlands is going downhill, and while still fun to read, needs a little more menacing badguys instead of paper targets for the heroes.
Alan Phillipson is where its at
I see mixed reviews from this book, but I must say, Alan is the best Deathlands author since James' departure. Sure some things are a bit far fetched even for Deathlands, but I like that he stepped away from the sci fi element a bit, as opposed to the parallel universe novels that I think were too scifi for Deathlands, though they still kept me on the edge of my seat. His 1st addition, Skydark was one of my fave Deathlands novels so far. At that point I didn't even know who had written it. Despite the negative reviews, I thought the killer fungi ecosystem was an elaborate and awesome depiction for the story, and quite enthralling. Sure one could question what use whitecoats could have for such a thing, but then, so could one question many of their creations. This really kept me on the edge of my seat once again. And the Carny Chillers were good, and I liked how the book went from that plot, switching to the burning pool. Bring on more novels by Alan.
A carnival you want to miss!
by The Phantom
One thing you can count on with this writer is that you will read something different. I had no idea where this story was going to go, but the strange opening chapter is a clue as to how odd, weird, strange and psychedelic an episode this book is.
Ryan’s gang discover a town left looted and the residents killed, and the culprit is a carnival that moved through, and so begins the group on a quest to infiltrate and take out this evil carnival. The main portion of the story takes place in the town where the carnival has now taken up shop, and the bizarre and the strange ramps up more and more. One interesting figure is the Magus, who is really pulling the strings behind this evil carnival. This added more spice to the other variety of villains sprinkled into this tale. One of my favorite scenes was the carny scout Azimuth, as he was off on his own and discovers the roadblock, and eventually the even crazier town on the other side of the mountain.
The predicted mayhem eventually ensues, sending Ryan and crew off out of there to eventually come across this other place Azimuth had discovered. Here the crazy weirdness ramps up to a whole new level. This book is more like something that would come from the mind of Stephen King. You just have to read it to see for yourself, this is no ordinary Deathlands title to be sure.
Poor Doc seemed to be forgotten in this story, but not to worry, he has a very important role in the ending stages of this adventure. Lots of action, suspense, danger and the creepy abound in this book to make it very entertaining reading. Good show Al.