Colonel Dean Sturgis after his wife was killed has been living in the desert as a hermit. One day he goes into Crasburn, Texas which on the Mexican border. Suddenly the town is attacked by the forces of New Aztlan. Sturgis comes out of his self pity and inspires the residents to fight back against the invaders. It also reawakens his patriotism so he goes back to Hardbase Alpha. Well naturally they reinstate him back in command of the C.A.D.S. unit. He also convinces the President of the new threat. So he gets to take his unit down to Guatemala and recon the situation.
First they decide to help out a patron who runs a plantation against some giant mutant preying mantis. While Sturgis and some of this men battle the creatures the patron decides to betray those left behind and capture them while they are out of their suits. Fortunately Sturgis manages to defeat the mutant mantis with atomic hand grenades. Then come back and rescue his men. They continue on to the Golden Citadel of the Great and Powerful Moctezuma.(He’s never just the plain Moctezuma.) After a big fight against his high tech hordes of Aztec warriors they manage to destroy his citadel. Only the Great and Powerful Moctezuma manages to escape in his private jet pod.
Well this was a bit different from the past books. David Alexander decided to take a break from fighting the evil Soviet invaders for the evil Aztec invaders. Those damn Aztecs. Always causing trouble with their human sacrificing and hording gold. So apparently the dictator of Guatemala decided after the war to be the reincarnation of the Great and Powerful Moctezuma. With his stockpile of gold from drug dealing he manages to acquire vast reserves of high tech weapons. His ultimate goal of course is world conquest. We get a nod to Syvertson in the obligatory scene of the C.A.D.S. letting down their guard with a supposed friend and getting captured out of their suits. Otherwise the book was just one big exercise in constant fights with high tech gadgets. We get all sorts of helicopters and missiles and rocket bullets for AK-47s. Oh and the C.A.D.S. now have nuclear hand grenades. Wow what I great idea. Wonder why nobody ever thought of that brilliant idea before. Surprisingly they manage to work well for the C.A.D.S. So once again the world is safe from the evil Aztecs although the glaring grammatical errors still continue.
After the destruction of Ft. Collins the C.A.D.S. under Colonel Dean Sturgis go on the offensive. They split into three groups to attack major Soviet bases in the west. One under Sturgis attacks Ft. Kharkov in Colorado. Another hits a base in Utah that are harvesting Americans for their organs to give to the Soviet elite. The third to hit a base in California. Only this group somehow gets lost after hijacking a Soviet APC and ends up in Salt Lake City. The city is controlled by mutant bikers and they have some important prisoners they were selling to the Soviets. It turns out the guys were from a secret U.S./CIA base called Hardbase Alpha. This base was a weapons research base in a huge cavern under the Nevada desert. So now America has a new base as HQ in their fight against the Russians.
Anyway after they destroy the bases they find out the evil plan of Supreme Marshall Veloshnikov. He plans to saturate the southwest with massive neutron bombs that will destroy the C.A.D.S. So they go their and destroy the base. Oh yeah and there was subplot where Robin, Sturgis’s wife was captured by the evil KGB major Denisov. He wires her with explosives and detonates them in front of Sturgis. He was hoping to drive Sturgis insane which he did but unfortunately it drove him so insane he defeated Denisov’s troops. Then Sturgis cuts off Denisov’s ears for a necklace. At the end Sturgis is so depressed he starts drinking. After FIVE bottles of White Lightning and still being conscious( I guess all that sex must fortify the metabolism)he has a tizzy fit when he hears his men talk about his problem. So after his drunken fit he goes out in the desert to live in a cave.
So big changes in the series. For one Ryder Syvertsen was replaced by David Alexander as the writer. Now Alexander of Phoenix fame (a book series that will definitely be covered later) makes Syvertsen look like Hemmingway. This guys is just incredibly a bad writer. Its also obvious he could care less. With all the grammatical errors at this stage neither did the editor. They must have needed a new writer for this series and Alexander could just crank one out.
He did keep the major characters but made some changes. First was he changed the color of the suits from black to silver. Now they were called Silversuits. Never mind they never had any time to upgrade their suits from the last book. Also he decided to get rid of Robin. Now that actually made sense. The character was very boring. Plus the fact that Sturgis was always banging other women made her being his one true love not very sincere. He did introduce a new female doctor for the unit. Vicky Novack was described a women with the body of a showgirl. Yet nothing ever came of a future romance.
In fact under Alexander there was no more sex for Sturgis. His writing style is one of just unending action sequences. Filled with fights against helicopters, fighters and hover tanks all armed with a variety of lasers and missiles. There are acronym filled weapons systems aplenty. All this action can’t find any room for that useless stuff like plot or character development. This is definitely where the series went downhill.
Colonel Dean Sturgis and this C.A.D.S. have made it to White Sands and find that the Soviets have dropped a biological weapon on the site. Fortunately they were able to close the doors before the germs were able to get into the base. Yet the site is now compromised so they evacuate just before the Soviets drop a nuke on the base. Their destination is the new base they discovered in the last book. Fort Collins has a wealth of tech that could be used in the fight against the invading Soviets. Meanwhile in Soviet occupied South Carolina the reverent Jerry Jeff Jeeters has been found out to be an American agent and escapes to the resistance. He tells the Revengers of the imminent attack on White Sands and they mount an expedition to warn them. Unfortunately a tad too late.
So the C.A.D.S. with the survivors of White Sands meet up with a community lead by the Saloonkeeper. The guy was part of a western being shot and looks like John Carradine. His group are also cannibals and capture the C.A.D.S. using gallons of glue they spray on them. Then they plan to use the captives as meat. Sturgis, Dixon and the kids captured are put in veal pens and force feed to fatten them up. Luckily Dixon manages to escape and finds a National Guard unit nearby led by a former NBA player. They rescue the C.A.D.S. and continue on to Fort Collins.
Before they get their they run into Chief Naktu and his Naqui Indians. They are also joined by Reverend Jeeters and the Revengers that set out to warn them. Only now the warning is Pinky Ellis the industrialist traitor now has control over Fort Collins. He has joined forces with the cultist Anetra and together they have declared themselves Emperor and Empress of America. The forces at Fort Collins capture the group. At this time Marshall Veloshnikov comes with the intention of capturing the fort. Anyway Jeeters manages to set off the self destruct and Sturgis and his men escape before the fortress explodes.
Well just when you think this series can’t get any weirder along comes this book. Where to begin. I suppose first is how easy it is always for the guys to get captured. I mean some idiot cannibals with gallons of glue manage to disable the suits. What the hell is all this glue doing on a movie set anyway? Plus it seemed like the author had a rant against the veal industry. Pinky Ellis finds someone to fall in love with the kooky Anetra and her cult. Yet at the end he kills her because she wanted to have sex while the base was about to blow up and Pinky still wanted to live. It ended ambiguously whether Pinky survived. We do know that Veloshnikov managed to escape yet missing an eye and other injuries. Also Robin who was freeze dried and though dead has her coffin blown out and found by a prospector yet she has no memory. Oh and she also was OK with Sturgis’s other girlfriend and was going to share him with her. Man this guy has it made.
This was the last book for Ryder Syvertson in the series. He definitely went out with a bang. This was one wild and crazy book.
Colonel Dean Sturgis and his C.A.D.S. strike force have successfully attacked the Kremlin. The Soviet premier is dead and the Kremlin is a heap of rubble. This decapitation of Soviet leadership has triggered a civil war as various military leaders attempt to seize power for themselves. Now the survivors are heading back home in a stolen airplane. Over Oregon they get shot down and now have to make it back to White Sands. With a minimum of ammo and supplies they head out on foot. Along the way they fight various mutant creatures and religious cultists. They make a stop at Nuke Vegas which is still going even though half the city is now a huge nuke crater. Yet the city continues on with 24 hour gambling, sex and drugs. In northern Arizona they run into the Killboys lead by Macro-Kill. This huge mechanized army of crazed psychopaths have a peaceful Indian tribe of Naqui under siege. Sturgis unites with Chief Naktu to defeat them.
So this installment of C.A.D.S. has the survivors make it back to America and have to walk to their base. Short of supplies and their suits breaking down they encounter the weird and crazy inhabitants in this post-nuke west. This was mainly a travelogue as they mosey along. It has really no fighting with the Soviets in this book. Mostly we get the typical look at the kooky societies and people that now inhabit the world. Also a trademark of these type books are the wacky Native American tribes that spring up. The Naqui are a tribe that have plenty of oil and worship an oil god. They have ceremonies where they bite off the heads of rattlesnakes. They also chainsaw the legs off a buffalo while its still alive. Now I admit to ignorance of Native customs but this is just plain nuts.
Also poor Sturgis doesn’t get any sex in this book. His wife Robin who they rescued from the Kremlin dungeons is a bit traumatized by the whole affair and not up to it. His girlfriend Sheila DeCamp is up to it but Sturgis decides it isn’t right with his wife around. Sadly Sheila gets killed in this book. Robin gets bit by a rattlesnake and falls into a coma. She is left with the Naqui as Sturgis and his men continue on to their base. A strange book but still an interesting read.
Five years after the sneak attack by the Soviets and live continues on. Yet the Soviets are still out to conquer America and drop three atomic bombs on two fledgling settlements out west and the Utah Aerodrome. The government in White Sands under President Williamson wants to retaliate but the tactical situation is grim. So they come up with a bold plan to strike at the heart of the evil Soviet empire. Colonel Dean Sturgis will lead his C.A.D.S. on a strike at the leadership in Moscow. So they get on a plane and are airdropped in the Arctic. Than they walk into Siberia and steal some transport to Moscow.
So things go fairly on plan. They have to fight off a giant mutant walrus and a pack of lobster wolves that have acid come out of their fangs. They find a small village inhabited by Uzbecs who are very anti-Soviet. They help the C.A.D.S. make it to Moscow. There they find a secret passage from Lenin’s Tomb into the Kremlin and destroy it along with the Soviet premier who started the war. Oh and Sturgis manages to rescue his wife Robin who was prisoner in the dungeon.
This book was probably the high point in the series. In fact I can’t remember what the plots were to the books that came after this. As I read them I understand why. This was a fun and enjoyable story. The group gets to attack Moscow and kill off all the cowardly leaders. There was one scene that actually had some relevance in 2020. There is a toilet paper shortage in Moscow and the gang manage to trade some for bullets. This probably struck me now in 2020 more than thirty years ago since well you know what. There was also the goofy stuff that Syvertson was know for in his writing post-nuke stories. Namely the way the Soviets seemed to adopt the practices of the Romans. In this case they crucify their dissidents. Even have an official mourner who prays for ten minutes by the victims. Then there was the torturers that use some crazy Rube-Goldberg type devices. The mutant creatures and the equally over the top evil Soviets. Another enjoyable book.