Neutron Solstice

I am still a little bit astounded by just how well the Deathlands series is paying off for me. Okay, sure, I’ve only read three of them so far and the series is still being published some 25 years later, but the truth of the matter is that the setting, formula, and characters are enough to keep me satisfied for a very, very long time. It turns out that post-apocalyptic gun porn with a hearty dash of science fiction and hints of a large backstory around the edges, being revealed piece by laborious piece, is pretty much my idea of comfort reading. And the irony of it is that my review of Neutron Solstice is essentially identical to my review of Red Holocaust, at least in every important way. The only differences are in the window dressing; instead of the bitter cold of Alaska, our heroes have teleported to the steamy swamps of Lousiana, and instead of Soviet invaders as the enemy, they must face the iron fist of a giant baron who is improbably not named Samedi.

But if you are looking for giant mutant alligators, voodoo zombies, maddening hints of the past from resident anachronism Doc Theophilus, or a decent chunk of backstory on one-eyed hunk Ryan Cawdor, you’ve come to the right place. Of course, you have no reason to be looking for most of those things, but that’s what I’m here for. If you’re like me and societal decay is your literary bread and butter, prepare to be astonished by just how much you’ll care about these characters, and especially by how affecting each scenario can become. Whoever this James Axler is[1], he’s actually a pretty damn good writer. Who knew?

[1] Pete knows, and I cannot help but dread the day when a new author shows up under the farm name, because what if the books drop back down to the quality of generic men’s adventure stories?

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