The Home gets a distress call from New Orleans. A group of resistance fighters is asking for help. Naturally the Home will sent out Blade and the Warriors to investigate. This time Blade chooses the Beta Triad made up of the hybrids Lynx, Ferret and Gremlin. Lynx as been pestering every warrior that he wants to go on the next run and finally gets his wish. His teammates on the other hand are not happy. They are perfectly content with the easy going life at the Home.
The four are dropped off in a swamp outside New Orleans by one of the Hurricane VTOLs. There they must contend with the cottonmouths, mutant snapping turtles and giant alligators that inhabit the post war swamps. Blade, Ferret and Gremlin are captured by the tonton macoutes. The tonton macoutes are the enforcers for the Black Snake Society which rules New Orleans. The Society is a voodoo cult that rules the city. Lead by Baron Laveau it sacrifices its victims to their god Damballah, a forty foot long giant snake. Now Blade and the mutant hybrids must destroy hundreds of voodoo cultists and take on a giant snake. Just another easy day in the life of a warrior.
The next book in the series once again takes us to a new part of the country. It seems logical that a voodoo cult would take over New Orleans. I mean what else is more appropriate for New Orleans than a voodoo cult. It also showcases the hybrid warriors especially Lynx. Lynx is a fun character and ranks up with Hickok as one of my favorite warriors.
The story also show how much a badass that Blade is. He actually carves his own spear and takes on a giant snake. Could you do that? I know I couldn’t. That Blade is one tough muther.
Blade is enjoying some time with his family when he gets an unwanted visitor. Star the leader of the Flathead Indians has come to ask for help. Small towns in western Montana are being attacked and the inhabitants have vanished without a trace. The only clue is a survivor that claims his family was abducted by bear-men mutants. Now Blade has an obligation as the leader of the Force to investigate. He takes his buddies in the Alpha triad Hickok and Geronimo with him. He also takes Achilles his choice for the open warrior position along.
Achilles is a competent fighter but Blade’s choice is running into resistance from the elders and his fellow warriors. The problem is Achilles rubs people the wrong way with his conceited arrogance. Blade hopes to show that Achilles is qualified to fill the vacant position.
They land in Yellowstone and find the park in the same condition as before the war. They also find the Breed. After the war a group of survivalists settled in a valley in Idaho. The lake they used was later found to be contaminated by chemical canisters dropped by a bomber. The chemicals have transformed the inhabitants into bear like mutants. Now the mutants want to expand. They plan to convert thousands with the contaminated water into the Breed and the humans not turned can be used as the mutants favorite food source.
Well another group of cannibalistic mutants bent on conquest. Also once again from the Pacific Northwest. I have to say that the Pacific Northwest is a place to avoid after the apocalypse. Nothing but mutants trying to eat and/or enslave you. The main interests in this story is the introduction of a new warrior and the fact that Old Faithful is still faithful 106 years after the apocalypse.
A man stumbling through the woods is chased by wolves when he is rescued by Yama. The man later reveals that he was searching for the Home and needs help from the warriors. He is from around the city of Green Bay which has been taken over by the Technics. The autocratic rulers of Technic city formerly Chicago have set up a base on the abandoned campus of the university. Now people including the man’s wife and daughter are mysteriously disappearing.
Blade is obviously concerned that the Technics are up to some nefarious project and decides to investigate. Taking Yama and Sampson they embark in the SEAL to investigate. On arrival they find hordes of people in a zombie like homicidal rage. The minister of science Quentin Darmobray has been conducting experiments on making people docile slaves. It seems that the people of Chicago do not care for the rigid society of the Technics. Computer simulations show that the Technics will be overthrown in 17.2 years. Hence the mind control experiments.
Of course twenty percent become homicidal zombies but Darmobray is confident the bugs will be worked out. He didn’t thought count on Blade who is determined to put an end to his ghastly experiments.
Its nice to see the author bring back a story with the Technics. They were a great enemy for Blade and this story shows them as worthy foes. Now my dad’s family is from Green Bay. I still have an aunt up there and occasionally visit. Always fun to have a story set in a place you are familiar with. It also amuses me that the Technics would choose Green Bay. The greatest rivalry in football is the Packers-Bears. It seems appropriate that evil Chicagoans would choose Green Bay as the place to conduct their zombie experiments. I don’t know if the author had that symbolism in mind but I do approve of his setting for the story.
A man wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who he is or where he’s from. A kindly doctor and nurse inform him that his name is Berwin and he was involved in a construction accident. Now at Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Boston Berwin comes to terms with his amnesia. He has strange dreams of a walled compound and starts to wonder why he is being isolated from the rest of the world.
Berwin is actually Blade who has been kidnapped by an elite Soviet squad and taken to Boston. The Soviets want to find out valuable information on the Home to launch an attack. After they get the information they then want to extract Blade’s sperm to breed genetically perfect super soldiers.
While this goes on his fellow warriors find out that Blade was taken to Boston and a rescue mission is mounted. Hickok, Geronimo and an inexperienced warrior named Marcus take off in the SEAL. They get ambushed by a Soviet patrol in Strawberry Point, Iowa. While managing to defeat the patrol Marcus is killed and the other two are too injured to continue on. Of course Blade doesn’t need any rescuing. Gaining back his memory he leaves a one man path of death and destruction throughout the city.
So the Soviets are back at it. We get another new location to visit. I find it interesting to see how life is like in the Soviet occupied zone. Marcus was an interesting character and I was sorry to see him go. Definitely another fun entry in the Endworld saga.
Two border posts in northern Texas are attacked by mysterious people that are naked and have green spots on their skin. The green spots hint at a possible deadly plague. A plague that could eventually spread to the Civilized Zone and to the other Federation factions. It is decided that a small force should enter Dallas and capture an infected person for further study. Naturally the person to lead this is Blade. Since the Force has been disbanded Blade takes along his buddies Hickok and Geronimo. Together with a small band of soldiers they enter the abandoned ruins of Dallas.
First they must survive attacks by giant lizards, giant cockroaches and giant spiders. Texas does everything big and mutants are no exception. They find out that the naked people are part of a cult known as the Chosen. Their deranged leader the Lawgiver has plans to spread his faith. Him and his Chosen have been driven insane by drinking chemically contaminated water they call the Elixir of Life that gives them the green spots. Now he hopes to convert the entire world starting with the Civilized Zone. Tankers are ready to sneak across the border and contaminate reservoirs. Only Blade, his buddies and an alliance with the surviving street gangs can stop their mad plan.
Naked cultists. Now that’s something I didn’t see coming. Its great to have Blade back traveling to new locations and fighting the narcissistic crazies that want to conquer the world. Great to have Blade back into his crazy adventures.
President Toland of the Civilized Zone has a new project the Federation Airlines. His government has invested in reconditioning a 757 for civilian air travel. On the maiden flight from Denver to Los Angeles the plane is destroyed shortly after takeoff by a mysterious bright light. Blade and the Alpha Triad are in Denver along with other Federation dignitaries. An emergency meeting is called.
We find out that the Civilized Zone has heard rumors the Soviets have been building a secret weapon. Located in Cincinnati it quite possibly also shot down the Hurricane jet that was supposed to pick up Blade on his mission to Miami.
It is decided that Blade, Hickok and Geronimo will take the SEAL and check out this new threat to the Federation. After infiltrating the Soviet occupied city our heroes do indeed find out that the Soviets have built a giant death ray. Located atop Lenin’s needle its run by the mad general Ari Stoljarov aka the Butcher. A nickname he got because people he tends to interrogate don’t survive. Now the death ray has been perfected and the next target is the Home. Blade and company must now break through hordes of Soviet soldiers to destroy Lenin’s Needle before their families are incinerated.
Well its been a while since be heard from the Soviets. Of course they’ve been up to no good. Building a honking giant death ray. In Ohio of all places. Its always fun to have the Soviets as the bad guys. This story we find out the fate of the missing Hurricane and are able to retrieve it along with the missing pilot. Blade also comes to the conclusion he needs a vacation which we will find out how that works in the next Blade book.
Blade, Hickok, Rikki and Chastity are still hiking back to the Home. Outside of Memphis they are ambushed my mysterious men in black. Rikki is taken prisoner but Blade and Hickok manage to defeat the attackers. Rikki is taken to Memphis where he finds out the city is ruler by the King. Living in Graceland (an obvious pretender) the King has been building up his army called the Hounds of Hades. He has a grand plan to conquer the world. Very ambitious for a man with just a 129 men in his army. But under LSD he had a vision of the world bowing down before him so it must be doable. Oh yeah the King is also a cross dresser and wears dresses, make-up and high heels.
Blade, Hickok and Chastity are heading for Memphis in a captured halftrack to rescue Rikki. They are ambushed by a brother and sister named Bonnie and Clyde who have a personal grudge against the King and thought Blade and company were his troops. Both groups unite and have a final showdown with the King and his mysterious enforcer the Dark Lord.
The King and his Hounds of Hades are sort of a minor adversary that the warriors have faced in their travels. At 129 men its hardly worth breaking a sweat. They kill about a quarter of them by the third chapter. Indeed when General Thayer is ordering another platoon out the captive Rikki comments “Can you afford to lose more men?” Of course that platoon is wiped out and eventually the King is killed. Some people just have to learn the hard way.
The King while not being that fearsome is definitely the most loathsome and weird adversary they have faced. He is a drug addicted, misogynist, bongo playing, narcissist with delusions of world conquest. He hates women and periodically has one brought to be drugged and raped. That’s why Bonnie has such a hatred for him. She was a victim of one of his invitations to his mansion. Yep the apocalypse brings out all the kooks from the woodwork.
The Dark Lord the fearsome mutant that the King used to instill fear turns out to be a pyrotechnic display from a heavy metal band that acquired Graceland before the war. I have a problem with believing some band called The Bland could buy Graceland. First the place is a money machine. Nobody is going to sell that ATM. Second the outcry of selling such a national treasure would be tremendous. So I didn’t find that part of the story very believable.
I visited Graceland a few years ago. It’s a really cool place. I highly recommend visiting if your in the area.