Remnants of America’s past are littered across the
postapocalyptic landscape, but little remains of the preDark
ideals of law and order. Survival is a blood quest, and lethal force
the means to power. Still, a handful retains their humanity among
the cold hearts, and in a world where nothing lasts forever, hope
is a commodity as precious as jack.
Steeped in beauty and mysticism, the canyons of Mesa Verde,
Colorado, survived the blast that altered the American west.
Hired to track a group of missing children, Ryan Cawdor and his
band follow the trail to a legendary city carved in stone, older
and stronger than the nukecaust. The inhabitants of the palaces
of light are more than warriors and survivors; they are masters
of mind games that prey on illusion. And true believers in a
metaphysical end game poised to push the companions over the
edge of reality…into certain death.
OK, unfortunately, this is gonna be a bad review.
Andy Boot has been penning Deathlands for some time now. He has proven that he knows the characters, how the world of DL works, etc, etc...
He has been a hit or miss author for this series. His last one, Lost Gates, was much better than this one. Yes, you guessed it, this one is a major miss.
Whereas Lost Gates had a great premise, and was readable, despite the bland action sequences, Palaces of Light trumps that one, giving fans another solid concept, but that's it.
It took something like over 170 pages until some weapons were drawn and some action FINALLY started to take place. (C'mon, Andy! You couldn't put some mutie battle in between the long snore parts?)
I've been to Colorado on vacation. And know this spot. So it was a very interesting and different plot and foe for the DL companions. But the whole story is wayyyy overwritten, wordy and plodding storyline. This could have been a pretty solid DL if Boot would have inserted interesting characters in the form of the Baron and the weird environs of the Palaces of Light.
After about a 100 pages, I sped-read the rest of it, hoping to glean some great action sequence or something. Alas, it was not to be.
Whereas Pollatta gives us meaningless action, Boot gives us meaningless meanderings in some of his books - like this one.
Maybe, just maybe, if these two authors got together, they could come up with a great plot, great action, character-driven DL. Maybe...?
Note to Andy Boot and other DL authors - it is not cool to turn the companions in to helpless mind controlled puppets. It just doesn't work. We want the heroes to be heroic - all the time.
Readers...this book feels wrong from the first scene (dread, dark, foreboding, hopeless, helpless) and it gets no better as you read on in search of any redeeming qualities. The companions are out of character throughout. If you skim/jump to the end you will not miss anything...and you you feel like you don't understand what happened at the end - but it will not have helped to have read all the pages in between. This is a fantastic (as is not believable) horror story with a totally pointless ending. Not an adventure.
I had thought this series might have died out years ago. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Deathlands/Outlanders books. It's just that I have seen so much repetition of storylines: Good guys show up-everything seems ok-got a bad feeling-stuff goes wrong-they shoot their way out. My interest has been held by the small differences in each book that keep them interesting.
Palaces of Light was absolutely the lowest I have seen this series get. I was very disappointed by about page 10. It was not looking good for a decent story and I had to wait until about page 200+ to finally read some action.
The story was bland. There was nothing to hold my interest. The characters may as well have been weeding a flower garden and sipping tea. The parallel storyline back in the ville didn't add anything to the story either. It was quite painful to read through this book. I skipped, flipped and passed over so many pages.
If this is what Deathlands is to become, please give our friends a more exciting end. I have been reading these books since they first hit the shelves. It's a fantastic concept.
If you want to have a complete collection of the series: buy the book, just don't read it.
Ok, I (like most of you) have been into this series since the beginning. The multiple authors have added some interesting perspectives, and overall, I think have helped keep the series fresh.
This book, however, seemed to have been phoned-in. As one of the other commenter's noted, the action for the first half of the book is stultifyingly slow. In addition, the action is not consistent with basic reality. The bad guys come out of the wasteland, no one seems to notice their lack of food or water....
As Ryan and his merry band set off in pursuit, not once do they a). Stop and eat or b). Drink the first drop of water. Once they get to the Palaces of Light, other than a crude attempt to note a charnel house where they hide at one point, the bad guys don't seem to need to eat or drink either. Ammo? Forgetaboutit....other than to note they 'need the provisions' promised by the baron for the safe return of the kids, they seem to have unlimited bullets. Small things? Yes. But good story lines can hinge on believability.
Very slow paced, too brooding and a painful addition to my shelf. Not recommended.
I kept hoping that this book would get better. I gave up around half-way through.
A one-dimensional story with no complexity at all didn't help.
Andy Boot needs to move on.
Don't bother reading this one.