The cover is very nice, too. For a preview of it, check the "Demons of Eden" listing. Back Cover: America had barely survived the nuclear holocaust but two centuries later a new order emerges to inflict its rule on the fortified cities. Now banished as an enemy of the state, he joins forces with Brigid Baptiste, keeper of the archives, and Grant, brother-in-arms and innovative weapons specialist. View Book. Avg Rating Tags Outlanders. When I first heard that there was going to be a spin-off from Deathlands, I was both excited and apprehensive.
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Apprehensive because frankly it seemed like Deathlands was already getting a bit tired, so what could be fresh and interesting with another series playing in the same setting? It turns out I need not have worried. In science fiction fandom there is a common term used -- retcon. It is short for retroactive continuity, and it is what happens when a new writer comes into an established series and completely turns it on its ear without breaking established continuity.
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The writer instead creates a new continuity that redefines everything you know about the series in a way that is completely consistent with past stories. Boy howdy, Mark Ellis has done that in spades with this book. Over the course of a few hundred pages he makes the existence of the redoubts and the gateways completely plausable, overshadows Skydark with a new and far-reaching menace, and introduces a new society built on the ashes of the Deathlands.
Even better, he subversively introduces lead characters that initially appear to be carbon copies of the Deathlands cast before taking them in completely new directions and endowing them with their own unique personalities. As for the story itself, it is an adrenaline-pumping read that starts out at a fast gallop and never looks back. Before this book, Deathlands was always a guilty pleasure for me.
by Nora Ephron (2006)
This book, and the entire Outlanders series, is in an entirely different class. I don't know why I haven't reviewed this first entry in the Outlanders saga before now. Since I re-read it over the weekend, I realized that I never did so I'll rectify that now.
Exile to Hell was not the first book in the series I read, but the third. I read the fifth one first, Parallax Red and the fourth one second, Omega Path. About a quarter of the way through Parallax Red I suspected that some of the nasty stuff about the series I'd seen posted on a couple of Deathlands sites was not just incorrect but outright lies. The lies were proven to be so by the outstanding quality of the series. Nope, Outlanders sure wasn't your daddy's Deathlands or anybody's Deathlands. Thank God, since there had been about a jillion of those type of series published in the 80s through the early 90s.
Exile to Hell staked out new territory, and the series itself continues to do so, over five years later but the courage to take chances instead of going to safe formula stories like in DL was evident even in this first book. It continues to grow and broaden its appeal. Outlanders is NOT a post-nuke series or a survivalist series. It's a sci-fi adventure series first, that just happens to take place years after a nuclear war.
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If you measure it against the tiresome formula of DL and other generic post-nuke series, then yeah Now that DL has pretty much been turned over the revolving door system of multiple writers it lost whatever uniqueness it had. Its appeal has shrunk and narrowed until it seems now to have only two kinds of readers--teenaged boys and truck drivers I saw a reviewer of Hell Rising refer to Outlanders as a cult series, implying that DL has more broad appeal. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.
DL's audience has been so marginalized it's almost a fringe readership.
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And if Outlanders really is a "cult series", then it's in good company with Star Trek, X-Files, and a whole lot of other things. I started reading DL when I was 15 and read it regularly, every book until I was about I continued reading it, off and on for about six or seven years after that. Funny thing, over 15 years since I read the first DL book, I can't think of anything that I took,philosophically, from the series.
Exile to Hell is the first in the Outlanders series and in my opinion it stands as a modern classic! I read this again recently between Awakening and Mad God's Wrath and it still holds up. This is the book that introduced me to all the great characters and ideas that I'm still reading about nearly 7 years later. I was only 13 when I first read it back in June of and I thought it might come off as a little lame now that I'm older.
Actually the opposite! I found more things in it that indicated events to come down the road in the series. The scenes set in Nightmare Alley really are nightmarish! Exile, voluntary or otherwise, takes them back six million years, to a time between the extinction of dinosaurs and the rise of Homo sapiens, and to a time of exotic surprises and unknown dangers. By clicking "Notify Me" you consent to receiving electronic marketing communications from Audiobooks.
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