Homeward Bound

The problem with the Deathlands series, which will only grow in scope as I get further into it, is that the formula is already starting to preclude my ability to say anything new. This is not a problem with me reading them, by any means; what most people get in comfort out of re-reading favored books, I’m getting out of these. I’m only five in now, and there are almost certainly over a hundred, with new ones still being published every two or three months right now, but Homeward Bound doesn’t deviate from the formula established by the end of the third book, not a bit. The band of adventurers pops of out a teleportation room sealed up inside an undiscovered government hideaway, emerges into the post-nuclear landscape, runs off to do some good deeds, and then heads back for another teleport.

Sure, this book added a brief trip to an apparent moonbase (which, okay, that was pretty cool, but I wonder if it will turn out to have been flavor text rather than a hint at future adventures) and let the main character, Ryan Cawdor, come face to face with his past[1], but they couldn’t even leave me with the vague hint of doubt as to whether he would try to stick around and rule his ancestral barony instead of running right back to adventuring.[2] Nope, the last two pages are, “Let’s all pile in our car and drive back to the teleport room!” I’m only asking for that to be replaced by maybe 10 or 20 pages at the beginning of the next book, right? Still, better to know what I’m in for now than later, I guess? Enh, “in for”, I say, when the only real problem is the reviews. The books themselves I will continue eating like candy long past the point where my brain is fat and complacent.

I am amused at the contrast between this and Anita Blake, where I’m only tolerating the books for the reviews. If it weren’t for GRRM, that is what I’d have read next! Instead, the next while will be recap city. Sorry about that.

[1] The wrong being righted by Sam Beckett in this episode of Quantum Leap is that of the Cawdor family’s destruction by black sheep middle brother Harvey.
[2] Oh, and to clarify two points, 1) Obviously the title of baron didn’t come to be until, y’know, after the nuclear war. In many senses, his father was exactly the sort of power-grubbing man that the survivors of the Trader’s old crew keep coming up against in each “new” book. Oh, and 2) I just said the series lasts for like a hundred books, so no pretending that the party’s survival and success count as spoilers. (Like you were gonna read them anyway!)

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