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Mad God's Wrath
A forbidden door to the secrets of the red planet opens...
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The survivors of the oldest moon colony have been revived from cryostasis and brought to Cerberus Redoubt, leaving behind an enemy in deep, frozen sleep. But betrayal and treachery bring the rebel stronghold under siege by the resurrected demon king of a lost world. With a prize hostage in tow to lure Kane and his fellow warriors, he retreats to the uncharted planet of mystery and impossibility for a final act of madness.
Two centuries after the nuclear conflagration, humanity has endured the fallout of a power struggle reaching far beyond mankind's mistakes to a battle as old as time. The failure of the nine human-hybrid barons to fulfill a new blueprint for earth's domination is a partial victory for those dedicated to halting the tide of extinction engulfing the human race. But the battle is far from over.
The survivors of the oldest moon colony have been revived from cryostasis and brought to Cerberus Redoubt, leaving behind an enemy in a deep, frozen sleep. But betrayal and treachery brings the rebel stronghold under siege by the resurrected demon king of a lost world. With a prize hostage in tow to lure Kane and his fellow warriors, he retreats to the uncharted planet of mystery and impossibility for a final act of madness. From the great pyramids of Mars, earth's destiny will come full circle....
I'll get the inevitible comparision to Awakening out of the way first--I think Victor Milan is a good writer but Mark Ellis writes with a vivid flourish, an edge-of-your seat pace that's rare in this genre.
His character development is second-to-none, and it's easy to believe that he cares for each one of the cast. A lot of writers fall back on giving their characters hokey catch-phrases to define them but the OL cast isn't treated that cheaply or superficially.
There are a few humorous references throughout the book. I had to laugh when Kane, ordered to lie to Brigid and Grant by Pit Boss Breeze Castigelone objected on the grounds his pants would catch on fire.
Unlike Awakening, the focus here is on the heroic triad of Kane, Brigid and Grant. But Lakesh and Domi are given their chance to shine, in some ways brighter than they ever have. It's great to see the "new and improved" Lakesh handling a major crisis in Cerberus, a violent incursion, something that has never happened before. It was almost painful to read.
It's no spoiler to state that Maccan, the insane prince of the Tuatha De Danaan makes his savage return and he doesn’t come alone. He also brings an ancient, legendary weapon of his people, the Silver Hand of Nuadhu.
He is a vicious and ruthless enemy but majestic almost. He's like a combination of Khan from Wrath of Khan and Magneto from X-Men United.
Team Phoenix would last maybe twenty seconds against Maccan. He would have either fried them while they were checking their loads of they would've dropped to their knees and begged to join him. Sky Dog's Indian band he and his group are NOT.
There is a lot of different kinds of action in Mad God's Wrath from a chase through a marina full of half-sunken ships to a really wild running gun-battle on the plains of Mars. And of course, the assault on Cerberus is described so vividly you can almost smell the burnt flesh and hear the ricochets.
All the main characters are firmly back the way they should b--caring about each other, dealing with each other in a mature fashion (no foot-stomping temper tantrums ) and respect for one another's abilities.
The plot with Maccan stealing the interphaser so he can "walk through the looking glass" is very interesting and original. The origin of his people was unexpected.
I don't want to give away too much except to say that this is Outlanders is the "classic" mode as set up by Mark Ellis.
There is none of that cliched macho postnuke crap, no posturing, no paragraphs on paragraphs wasted on describing muzzle velocties, all the female characters particularly Domi are back to acting the way they're supposed to.
The heroes show off their intelligence as well as their expertise in good old fashioned hell raising!
Mad God's Wrath is a great Outlanders adventure showcasing everything that has made this series so popular for so long--three-dimensional heroes, intelligent plots, colorful bad guys with major schemes, a connection to ancient mythology and vivid action! Action! Action!
This book would make a fabulous movie epic! So don't miss it when it comes to a bookstore near you!
Oh yeah--the cover is Kew-EL!!
If nothing else Mad God's Wrath proves conclusively that the descriptive prose and scene-setting of other contributors to the Outlanders series can't hold a candle to those penned by Mark Ellis.
Since the main characters are the heroes of an action-adventure series it goes without saying they're larger than life but they are developed well enough to be believable, especially in the subtle personality growth they have all undergone over the course of the series. They seem to come alive on the page as you read about them.
The touches of satirical humor give Outlanders an individuality that can't be easily imitated by other writers and gives it a unique status.
Like the best of past Outlanders adventures, Mr. Ellis uses his vivid characterizations masterfully to build you up, then unexpectedly cut you brutally down as with the graphic assault on Cerberus.
This novel concerns Maccan, the last prince of the Tuatha De Danaan, the "mad god" of the title. Colorful and even a little over the top, he is a strangely sympathetic villain, despite his allegiance to no one but himself. His desire to walk "through the looking glass" is not just a mad delusion but based on a very interesting scientific principle about the mirror matter theory(which I only pretend to really understand!).
The scenes set on Mars are very interesting and exciting, particularly the wild train chase across the plains. I could picture every moment of it as if I were watching a movie. What a great film epic this book-most of them in fact-would make!
The best thing about the whole book for me was that the characters I have come to know and love over the last five or so years are back in fine form, and not the travesties of the previous book, Awakening.
Brigid, Kane, Grant, Domi, Lakesh, et. al-welcome back! A lot of us missed you!
At any rate, even though Mad God's Wrath contains plenty of action, violence and even sex , I don't think this is the sort of book that will appeal to young Deathlands only fans (or old Deathlands only fans for that matter) for whom quality of prose or characterization takes a backseat to descriptions of guns, blood-letting and rape. This is high adventure, pulpish even, but presented maturely and intelligently.
For anyone who likes their action heroes resourceful and witty and plots a bit more highbrow than shooting the straw man bad guy, this is the kind of book you're likely to appreciate.
The real deal!!!
All I can say after finishing Mad God’s Wrath is—THE REAL DEAL IS BACK!!!
I enjoyed this book immensely. The Cerberus warriors are back, out there on the line just like they're supposed to be.
Unlike the “Team Phonix” scumbags from Awakening, Kane, Grant and Brigid don’t need to travel around in a tank with an arsenal to get the job done and they go up against enemies a lot more powerful and hi-tech than a bunch of Indians! Mr. Victor Milan, take note!
All of the heroic characters created by Mark Ellis are back and even the unheroic characters are fascinating like Maccan. I was really surprised by the return of nasty little David from Parallax Red and I sort of hoped Sindri might show up too but I wasn’t disappointed. I'm sure he'll return soon!
The return of Maccan more than made up for it. He is one scary dude and a very original villain!Mad God’s Wrath takes us back to what made the OL series great and why I love it so much!
It’s the real deal!
A return to Mars!
by The Phantom
Wow, whenever I think the best books in this series must already have been written, Mark Ellis manages to once again come up with an awesome science fiction adventure blockbuster that blows me away. Here in Mad God's Wrath, we see what is a sequel of sorts to the novel Dragoneye. After Kane's battle with Maccan on the moon base, leaving the crazed alien in stasis in a coffin, we get to see what happens from that point of the story.
This book begins with the prologue showing Maccan's release from his prison. But his involvement in the book happens later. First there is a very exciting series of events on the California coast, with Kane Grant and Brigid involved in an adventure that gets from bad to worse in a thrilling action sequence that would be so cool to see in a movie. Come to think of it, this whole book would make for an awesome movie. But while they are occupied here, trouble comes for the crew in the Cerberus base.
Maccan's invasion of the Cerberus redoubt is the next portion of the book that shows a perspective from Lakesh, Domi, and the rest of the crew, in more exciting and page turning action sequences. It was cool to see the Cerberus crew, along with members of the Manitus moon base personnel, hold their own against an invading force.
But there is much more, and here is where Parallax Red, the fifth book in the series, makes a great prequel for this novel. The adventure soon brings Kane and his friends back to Mars. I always wanted to see them return there, and in this book, Ellis treats the reader to another trip to the red planet. More thrilling and fascinating adventure ensues here, bringing the story to a gripping finish.
With great action, adventure, incredible weapons, returning characters, fascinating locations, heros struggling against ancient aliens, this novel is among the best stories I've read in this series yet. Cover to cover, it reads like a rocket, I give it a ten!
Thank God, Mark Ellis Is Back
After the pimply, just barely pubescent disaster called Awakening, it's awesome to have Mark Ellis return to THE BEST SERIES OF ANY KIND BEING PUBLISHED TODAY, steering Outlanders back to the path of greatness.
Since descriptions of guns n' ammo and the slaughter of the innocent don't give me a big fat woody, Awakening didn't do a hell of a lot for me, but I'll tell ya, Mad God's Wrath goes down as smooth as Jack Daniel's Black.
The return of Maccan was badass nasty. This is no cookie-cutter villain, but rather a complicated character that you can love to hate and, sometimes, almost sympathize with. Like most of Mark Ellis' villains, Maccan has reasons for what he does, motivations beyond "Me Will Rule Da World!" Maccan is definitely one of my favorite of Ellis' antagonists, along with the likes of Salvo, Zakat, Baron Cobalt, Sindri, and the delightfully warped Baron Sharpe.
I don't want to give too much of the story away. As with any Outlanders novel, you need to READ THE DAMN THING and experience it for yourself. There's nothing else like it on the market....you're only cheating yourself out of one of life's most consistent pleasures if you overlook this series.
However, without giving away too much...the Cerberus exiles are betrayed to Maccan by one of their own and the results of that betrayal are disastrous and dramatic...and a series regular is mowed down...will he or she survive?
As always, Mark Ellis hits all the right notes while conducting this symphony of destruction. Our heroes---our friends---are back as they should be, crafted with care, true to the bone, and as human as you or me.
Now, go read the book, okay?
by Cerberus Man
Mad God's Wrath is an awesome adventure in the science fiction mode established by Outlanders as written by Mark Ellis.
I loved all the scenes set on the Mars and having been recently exposed to the mirror matter theory, I have to say he did a great job working into this wild novel!
The return of Maccan was great! I hope he's not dead though!
Mark Ellis's Wrath!
by One Eye Chills
Mark Ellis is back, and despite what other eviewers say - Victor Milan spun a good and exciting read nonetheless. Sure, Mark Ellis is the man - and one of my favorite authors - but Mad God's Wrath came up somewhat short for me.
Now, granted, this was a swift-paced and fun read, but there are definately some issues with it. Now, most fans and reviewers complain about Team Phoenix having given the Outlander's trio such a hard time in battle - that they have saved the world numerous times, etc...
Then how do you explain the illustrious writer Mr. Ellis in introducing our most esteemed and beloved character, Kane, in the clutches of three low-life slaggers? They could have killed him easily and at any time.
But ya know what? Just like Mr. Milan's writing - it makes for an exciting read! Now I respect the hell out of Mr. Ellis's work, but the very meat of the story didn't get under way until about the last hundred pages. At least Milan went full-tilt without any of the usual back-fill of history, driving us head-on into an adventure full of surprises in the characters.
Outlanders is all Mark Ellis, I don't dispute that. He is a superlative writer that has re-imagined if you will, the Deathlands saga. He is also somewhat of a visionary, having Mars as a backdrop here with today's headlines full of news of the red planet. That's cool and makes one ponder. The artwork on the cover - though excellent - doesn't fully represent the characters looks and clothing and weaponry.
Now I love the mythos that Mark Ellis writes about here, interweaving Celtic mythology into this dark future is just great. But just when you think here in the ending area of Mad God's Wrath, that the trio of outlanders are going into an alternate dimension or different planet with Maccan - it simply doesn't happen.
Maccan is built up to have superhuman strength, along with a gauntlet of extreme power, but is taken fairly easily by Grant. Though the fight was exciting and well done, I felt somewhat cheated at the typical last-minute escape from the pyramid. As when Sindri had the outlanders characters prisoners with the time portal in - Tomb of Time - I was really looking forward to them getting separated or thrown together in time.
As in Mad God's Wrath, where going with Maccan to...wherever, would have made for a much more exciting direction, we get a simpler close-out and a typical escape as everything crashes down. How many times has THAT happened?
But fans also state that character development is essential, and that Mark does it best. I agree that he does an excellent job, but the thing between Kane and Brigid goes nowhere here. Why is there no further developments of their attraction towards one another here? Are they gonna shit or get off the pot? In a world such as this, ever close to the brink of death, why would they hesitate to show their feelings?
It seems to me, after I finished this latest book and pondered deeply, just what elements are missing or put to the wayside. And I have come to the conclusion that our great author has waned somewhat in the direction of taking Kane and company to the next level. Both in terms of love and going to that next location, albeit alternate dimensions or what he keeps hinting at in the pages of rewritten history - in each and every book! At least this one wasn't as bad as some rehashed and retold numerous pages of same old thing.
Now, again, SUN LORD hints to the very thing I just mentioned that this series has started to lack - getting to those other planes of existence or wherever the alien enemy masters may have come from. I just hope it doesn't take over two hundred pages to get to the main storyline again.
But despite my complaints, Mad God's Wrath was an exciting read. I really liked the battle at Cerberus and Maccan is an extremely interesting character. I love the ideas - though headaches abound when you try to understand all the intricacies of math and such - the mythology behind it all makes me wish that Mark would write more of Kane back in the celtic ages.
Man, I really wanted Kane and company to get pulled by Maccan into his world, thus leaving us to wonder what really is on the other side of the mirror...
Return to Mars
What is the sign of a good writer? Someone who can take an old, tried and worn out storyline and add enough twists and exotic locations to make it not only worthwhile reading, but memorable too boot.
The novel begins on the Manitius base, located on the moon. Here the survivors who have not yet made their way to Cerberus are guarding over the body of the last of the Tuatha Du Danaan, Maccan.
The reader quickly discovers that not all the base personnel are what they seem. There are still a number of men and women loyal to Maccan, and are simply waiting for the right time to revive him.
Now is better than never.
Grant, Kane and Brigid are off on the East coast, attempting to make a deal with a Pit Boss for weapons and ordinance he smuggled out of the Tartarus pits. As one can imagine, it turned out to be a trap, but one which ended up costing the lives and even more Deathbirds, while Kane and his companions made it away with nary a scratch.
In Cerberus, Lakesh is spending time with Domi, and most of the base personnel are just relaxing and living their lives.
Their peaceful little world came crashing down around them incredibly fast. Maccan invades the redoubt, his people causing extensive damage and killing a large number of the refugees from the Manitius base. He has two demands, one being that Lakesh accompany him, the other that the scientists bring along his interphaser.
Maccan has some interesting plans for the device. At first, Lakesh has no desire to help the Mad God, but after he tortures Domi, and puts her in a coma from which it is uncertain if she will awaken or not, Lakesh gives in.
Not so much as to save more lives, as he couldn’t stand to lose Domi.
He, as well as the Interphaser, are taken and the surviving members of Maccan’s invading force use the gateway and leave the base.
When Kane and his friend return to the base, they quickly discover the extent of the damage, and are able to track the jump location, where Maccan took Lakesh and the device.
He has made a trip to Mars.
None of them are all that eager to return to the red, barren planet, as they have no idea what sort of trap, if any – Maccan has left behind for them. However, the safe return of their friend is far more important, and they push any doubt and fear they have to the backgrounds of their minds and make the jump.
Upon returning to Mars, they briefly encounter more Transadapts, but they’re more of an annoyance than an actual danger.
They find out that Maccan has taken Lakesh to the monument pyramid, and take the Martian bullet train to the huge monolith. The fight on the train against Maccan’s people is very well written, and one could see the Cerberus warriors exchanging weapons fire against the fast moving sleds, piloted by Maccan’s loyalists.
But, compared to the interior of the great pyramid itself, that is nothing more than a walk in the park. It was as if one was actually inside the huge structure, feeling not only the immeasurable weight of the stone the pyramid was built out of pushing down on you, but the weight of the passage of time as well.
Inside the monument, Maccan’s forces capture Kane and his friends and they are taken to Lakesh.
A short period of time later, they’re all taken deep into the pyramid, where they learn Maccan’s plans, and even more fascinating, what happened to the Tuatha and their origins.
Maccan plans on using the Interphaser in conjunction with the Pyramid to cross the dimensions and return to his peoples own universe and world, and he intends on taking the Cerberus warriors with him.
Brigid sabotages his plans however, and in doing so, quite literally brings down the house around the Mad god.
As I stated at the beginning of my review, the story is as old as time, but when you mix characters you actually care about, locate them in exotic settings and throw in an insane alien who considers himself to be a god – you have the makings of a hell of a read.
The rehashing of material wasn’t quite as overbearing as it has been over the past couple of years, although it is still annoying, and it could potentially turn older readers away. But, to be honest, that would be the reader’s loss. It is necessary from time to time to have rehashing, as to fill in the newcomers to the series.
Once again Mark has proven that he knows his science. The theories and technology mentioned in the novel are not just random bits of fluff pulled out of the air, but actual theories put forth in the scientific community, backed by research.
This is what sets Outlanders apart from many other novels, and the original series that spawned it.
Combine that with written descriptions that could stimulate even the most obtuse and un-imaginative minds, you have a winner, and once again, Mark has proven that he is more than just your average writer.
Many authors making a great deal more for their work could learn a thing or two from Mr. Ellis.