Copyright 1990.

The Guardians have successfully stopped Maximov’s plan for world domination with the Cygnus laser in orbit. Now their shuttle is coming in for a crash landing in Alaska. Here they then have to fight a Soviet cavalry charge off. Meanwhile Dr. John Mallory also managed to escape and lands somewhere in Arkansas. Unfortunately for him he is taken prisoner by a bunch of LSD loving rednecks that plan to crucify him because you see they blame all scientists for the recent nuclear war.

So the Guardians manage to eventually get out of Alaska and their next mission is to find Dr. Mallory before Maximov can. Maximov has already dispatched his own squad of killers called the Serpent Squad. A former Spetsnaz squad that now works for the FSE. Mallory manages to escape with the help of a young teen who isn’t like the other drug induced morons he’s with and take him to the safety of a government run installation. This installation is monitoring for earthquakes and has planted explosive charges on the fault lines.

The rednecks then manage to take the compound and Mallory then manages to make a deal with the redneck leader. He can provide LSD and has a plan to use the earthquake research to blackmail the world into making him its ruler or he will cause massive earthquakes. Just then the Guardians and the Serpent Squad show up and all hell breaks loose.

So this is the beginning of the end for the Guardians. This is the first non-Victor Milan book. The new author seems ok. He knows the past books and demonstrates that he has a good grasp on the universe. I mean a lot happens in the book. They fight a sabre charge by Soviet cavalry. They parachute with their armored car Mobile One into a river and fight rednecks riding on jet skis and later a float plane.

Its a competent story but just doesn’t feel like a Guardians story. For one thing this author really overdoes the comic banter. Some is ok but just continuous is just too much. The elite squad to fight the Guardians has already been done before. Finally the whole Mallory attempt to take over the world by causing earthquakes is just plain goofy. Indeed he is a sort of a goof ball with his obsession on ruling the world and getting revenge on the Guardian’s leader McKay for leaving him for dead in outer space. Actually here is an excerpt of his plans:

Then he would force Chairman Maximov to return his daughter,after which he would persuade President MacGregor to send one William McKay for execution. Then he would insist both leaders give up their power and yield to a higher life form-him. Then he would rule the world the way is was meant to be ruled: with justice, intelligence, and ,most importantly, with compassion. But first he had to crucify Dr. Ralston.

Yep he definitely sounds like a compassionate man.


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