THE SURVIVALIST#33 DEEP STAR BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2015.

John Rourke has been captured by the grey aliens. Now his son desperately searches for his whereabouts. Of course he has a lot of threats to deal with. A pair of psychotic serial killers have kidnapped the Rourke children. Neo-Nazi terrorists have launched a successful attack on the main government building in New Germany. They succeeded in killing all the top government officials including the President Wolfgang Mann. Michael Rourke comes to the conclusion be can not meet his obligations as both President of the U.S. and to his family so decides to resign. All clues point that John Rourke is being held at a secret Russian undersea base called Deep Star.

So this is the final book so far in the Survivalist series. There is another one in the works called Lodestar so the story is not over yet. Interesting the main character the Survivalist himself is only in three chapters. Still a lot happens in this book. Michael Rourke decides to resign. His stepfather is killed in a terrorist attack. At the end John Rourke’s newborn baby dies from the virus that the aliens unleashed. I wonder how Jerry would have written these books if he was still alive. Still I love that this series is still kicking and apparently thriving. A new one is in the works and there are two spin off series which we will get into later.

If anyone is interested you can check out official website. It has bios on all involved with the resurrection of this series. You can buy books. There’s items like baseball caps, mugs a Zippo lighter that John Rourke uses. Also an A.G Russell Sting IA knife that the character has used through the series and a custom made Bowie Knife. Great for using against your enemies.

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THE SURVIVALIST #32 THE QUISLING COVENENT BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2014

The aliens are still working at destabilizing human society. They have allied with Neo-Nazis to cause terrorist attacks and destabilized governments. A cabal of the super wealth are also manipulating the currency for their own nefarious ends. A mutant strain of bugs carrying the hantavirus are released. And a faction of Russians are at world domination again. They have allied themselves with the Ki the other alien faction that wants to take back the Earth for themselves. John Rourke finds out that before the Night of the War the President transferred secret documents on the U.S. governments dealings with extraterrestrials. The documents are stored inside Mount Rushmore. The national landmark is under a sheet of ice from a glacial and under cover as an archeology project Rourke recovers the documents. At the end he is attacked by the aliens and a traitor manages to make sure that John Rourke is captured.

The third book in the revived series is a great improvement. A lot of interesting stuff is happening. It does represent the times we live in. Secret cabals of superwealthy manipulating the economy. Terrorism and mutant strains of bugs carrying deadly diseases. Mysterious alien races. And of course the old reliable enemies in the Survivalist series Nazis and Russians. An interesting continuation of the series.

THE SURVIVALIST #31 EARTH SHINE BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2013

Aliens have attacked the inauguration of Michael Rourke as president of the United States. Over 1,200 dead and large parts of Honolulu are destroyed. Later Michael Rourke’s car is attacked in the countryside and he must survive and evade the alien clones. John Rourke leads the fight against the alien threat in searching for his son and attacking their secret base in Hawaii. They also have to contend with traitors in the government working with the aliens to further their own power.

The second new book in the revived Survivalist series was somewhat of a let down. I didn’t think that the story was focused and tended to just meander along. They also had a tendency to over describe stuff like the tunnel system in Hawaii or the philosophy of the alien Ki. Still the series does get better. Sharon and Bob do a good job of staying true to the characters that Jerry established. The basic storyline is sound and there are plenty of interesting enemies to keep the Rourke family occupied.

THE SURVIVALIST #30 THE INHERITORS OF EARTH BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN AND BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2012

It has been about sixteen years since Dietrich Zimmer and the Neo-Nazis of New Eden were defeated. John Rourke has now settled down with his new wife Emma and his two teenage children. Paul Rubenstein and Annie also have kids as do Michael and Natalia. Wolfgang Mann and Sarah are now married and Mann is president of New Germany. Still there are occasions for conflict. Rourke has to rescue his wife who is kidnapped by Neo-Nazis terrorists. His son Michael is running for President of the United States.

A routine underwater archeological find in the Mediterranean sees the arrival of a new enemy. Men in advanced suits with energy weapons attack the expedition. When its over one of the attackers is revealed to be a clone of Captain Dodd the commander of the Eden project. Dodd died a century ago but someone has cloned him. The evident points to an alien race that intercepted the shuttles and took DNA samples. Other Dodd clones continue to mount attacks. Another alien race show up. The Ki were the Atlanteans of old and have come back after abandoning the Earth due to the grey aliens. The book ends with Michael winning the presidency and the grey aliens attacking the inauguration.

So back in 1993 the series ended. It had a clear and happy ending so I thought that would be the end of John Rourke’s adventures. But Jerry Ahern still have some ideas and was working on getting back the rights to the series. Sadly on July 25th, 2012 he passed away from cancer. He had the rights and had the story plotted out. His widow and best friend took up the reigns and continued the story. I think its a great tribute to his work and glad to see that the series is successfully continuing.

So now its two alien races that are a threat to the human race. Add in some human traitors working with the aliens and you have a great continuation of this series.

V THE SECOND GENERATION BY KENNETH JOHNSON

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Copyright 2008.

It is twenty years since the Visitors have taken over the Earth. In some things human society has benefited with new medical breakthroughs and advanced technology. But there is more disconcerting stuff that is also happening. Half the world’s oceans have been drained away ostensibly to be cleaned up and later returned. People are still being taken away for reorientation and never heard from again. Juliet Parish still leads the resistance with a new generation that has never known a world without the Visitors.

The resistance has had no luck in inspiring a general uprising. Now they are contacted by the Zedti. An humanoid insectoid race with flying motorcycles that has answered their distress call that was sent at the end of the first mini-series. The new aliens hold out the first real hope for the resistance to liberate the planet but can the Zedti be trusted. They have an agenda of their own that might not be in the Earth’s best interests.

Kenneth Johnson is creator of V and wrote, directed and produced the first mini-series. The network decided to go a different direction and was never part of the subsequent mini-series or TV series. Since he still has the movie rights he has written a sequel to the mini-series set twenty years later. Having no luck with selling the movie he decided to make it into a book.

When I first hear of a new book I was quite excited. I bought it and took a Saturday off to sit back and read it just like I did with V books when I was a teenager. On the whole I enjoyed to story. Reading it a second time I have a greater appreciation for this book. I liked the setting of an alternate world that has been under the Visitor occupation. It gets back to the original concept of a society under Fascist rule. The reactions of the various people. Some become players as the collaborators are called for the privilege that it brings them. Some join the resistance and risk their lives. The majority just keep their heads down and hope it all blows over.

I also liked that we finally get introduced to the alien race that were the Visitor’s enemy. It was alluded to in the first mini-series but never addressed afterwards. We also get to meet the Visitor’s leader and find out their true plans for the human race which isn’t pretty. And I liked how we see the Visitors use of propaganda and the formation of the Teammates a human militia to fight the resistance and eventually the Zedti. I remember working at Target and they called use teammates. Made it sound like we were working with our fellow employees on some great endeavor when in fact you’re working with assholes at a dead end job you can barely stand.

There were some things I didn’t care for. Flying motorcycles!! God I had a flashback to Galactica 1980. How cheezy ’80s can you get. Also the concept of the Dregs the human-Visitor hybrids. They are considered an untouchable cast and relegated to menial jobs like janitor and garbage collection. I don’t see how such two distinct species could be able to produce such hybrids. Its not scientifically possible. They just seemed a heavy handed way to illustrate that prejudice is bad.

Well I hope that he succeeds with the movie but I wouldn’t hold my breath. An interesting read and I recommend if you are a fan of the series. I leave with examples of flying motorcycles. Oh yeah they could turn invisible in the book.

And don’t forget that classic movie Megaforce.

Yup. Flying motorcycles.

V SYMPHONY OF TERROR BY SOMTOW SUCHARITKUL

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Copyright 1988.

The story picks up one year after the Alien Swordmaster. The Visitors have reoccupied the warmer parts of the Earth were the red dust is not effective. Los Angeles is in chaos following Nathan Bates assassination and the Jones family decides to head out for somewhere safer. With the help of the resistance they get a captured Visitor vehicle and uniforms to make the dangerous trek to Washington D.C. a city in the free states.

The three are chased after by Medea from Tim Sullivan’s stories. She is now a disgraced garrison commander after the failed Florida Project. She sees an opportunity to regain her position. The Jones’s safely make it to Washington but a new terror awaits them. Dingwall a Visitor undercover as a junior high music teacher has a new plan to conquer the free states. Using a new metal called Papinium they are tunneling to a new shopping center build from the metal. Thankfully the Jones’s are joined by Kenzo Sugihara the alien swordmaster in a battle to stop the invasion.

The second and final book written by Somtow and there’s a whole lot of Zen going on. It has a lot of the same elements that make his last V book such a mess. A new shield against the red dust that makes no sense whatsoever. I mean this metal apparently must magically repeal the red dust contaminated air because the tunnels and shopping mall seem to not be very airtight with open entrances to let in air. Also he seems obsessed with the Visitors and their constant need to eat people. Medea has grown fat with eating people’s hands. Children are kept to chop off arms and legs. A machine in the tunnels takes slaves that died and turns them into people mcnuggets.

Oh and my favorite is one chapter has them roasting a guy on a spit. He makes the same mistake as his buddy Tim Sullivan who he’s lifted a character from and references other elements from this books. The Visitors only eat live or freshly killed food. Mistakes like this do bug me and show that like Tim Sullivan he is not very familiar with the V series. This book had an interesting story but the gruesome eating, the way everyone seems to meekly accept their fate and the general gloomy tone make it one of my lesser favorite in the series.

So this was the last in the Pinnacle/Tor series from the ’80s. The five books released by Tor two years later apparently didn’t result in a renewed interest in the series. There were no more new books released. J. Michael Straczynski the creator of Babylon 5 did write a pilot for a revival for the series. Obviously it was never picked up but he did indicate that he would like to make in into a book. You can read the first three scenes here. Since its been twenty years I am not optimistic of this project ever happening.

My final thoughts are that the book series quality was from excellent to not very good. Still I think the majority of the books were well written. Even the bad books I have a nostalgic fondness for. I really enjoyed the concept of the V series and the books were my favorite. I would always anxiously await for the new book to come out. They explored other parts of the world that the TV series never did and I always found them enjoyable. Its brought back some fond memories rereading these books.

Well before a write the epitaph to this series there was an unexpected entry twenty years later. And no it had nothing to do with the rebooted series. Stay tuned for next weekend for my final review of the V books.

V BELOW THE THRESHOLD BY ALLEN WOLD

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Copyright 1988.

Dr. Jack Page is a psychologist living in Freeport a city in the south that through some political arrangement has maintained its independence from the Visitors. One night he gets a call from a patient named Emily Velasquez. Emily suffers from paranoid delusions and seems quite upset. Jack has also fallen in love with his patient so decides to meet her at a restaurant. When she doesn’t show he goes to her apartment and finds a strange man in her apartment. As he investigates further he uncovers a conspiracy that involves the Visitors, the local mob boss, a prominent businessman, and corrupt cops and city officials. He eventually gets involved with the resistance and uncovers a plot to use subliminal broadcasts to lull the citizens of Freeport into accepting a Visitor takeover.

So why is it that any story with a psychologist as the protagonist always has that person falling in love with their patient. Is it common in real life? Well in an interesting twist the patient doesn’t have the same feelings so his love goes unrequited.

This is the third book by Allen Wold in the series and probably one of the best. Its actually a mystery story. The story keeps you interested in finding out the mystery. Jack Page is drawn into a world of corruption and intrigue. He gets involved with a cast of mysterious characters including Visitors, fifth columnists, corrupt officials, and the resistance. He doesn’t know who to trust.

The story also illustrates the two extremes. Freeport is a city that is free but plagued with crime and corruption. The Visitor occupied city across the bay named Northampton is crime free but the people live in a virtual police state. It brings up the question of security versus freedom and what the balance should be. Something still relevant now days and also never really answered satisfactorily.

This was one of the more excellent stories and these were the ones that I enjoyed the most.