Original title: The Amtrak Wars Book 4: Blood River.
Title of this edition: The Amtrak Wars Book 4: Blood River.
Author: Patrick Tilley.
Gender: Fantasy / Science Ficction.
Saga: Amtrak Wars.
Editorial: Sphere Books Limited.
Edition year: 1, 1988.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: This book continues the story told in Cloud Warrior, First Family and Iron Master. Brickman has just escaped from Ne-Issan and the Iron Masters with Clearwater, Cadillac and two other renegades. They are forced to pass the winter with a Mute tribe near the lake Eire, and face the forces of the Iron Masters trying to chase them.
The two renegades are sent into the Lady of Louisiana… with an explosive hidden by Cadillac. This grants them the friendship of the mute tribe, but leaves Brickman in a bad position in front of the Amtrak Federation.
The winter arrives and with it the Iron Masters attack. After infiltrating Cadillac and Brickman inside the Iron Masters. The attack is stoped this time using Brickman mental connection with his step sister Roz. Still not clear which side Brickman is, but the Amtrak Federation bet for him and send an air strike to defeat the Iron Masters.
After the victory Clearwater, Brickman and Cadillac are heroes… and have horses, something unknown by mutes and Amtrak and one of the most valuable resources of the Iron Masters. In their journey to the west they give horses to each tribe they found, until they find a group of renegades. While there, an air scout unaware of them shoots Clearwater. Now she is dying and Brickman must take her into one of the wagon-train, in a wagon-train where his step-sister is.
Personal Review: It has been a year since I brought these books in a car-boot sale, and I still have another 2 to go. I haven’t been reading them all the time just to make this adventure last (I did the same with Frederik Pohl’s Hechee saga, and I’m doing it now for a several years with Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama saga).
I enjoy this book, but I must say that is like a pause to allow the characters to grow a little bit before the real action happens. Also, I have the feeling that horses are going to have a central role in the last 2 books. There is only one thing I don’t like too much, is using every character until exhaust it completely. I mean, characters appear again and again and again and every time they have a new role. They are straight the first time they appear, they are undercover second time and they become Brickman allies last time. I think that maybe the author is using too much “central” roles and instead of introducing a million of characters, keeps using the same few ones to cover all the roles.
I like quite a loot a few pages about the Lady of Louisiana, because these kind of apocalyptic world is one of my favourite plots and going out covered by this armoured wagon-trains must be amazing. I really wish there is a simulation game for them. It will be amazing driving one, completing quests like scout, recover technology, pass rivers, figth mutes, deliver goods, air raids… and of course radiation problems, breaks, crew fights, rebellions, lack of energy… and secret missions for the AMEXICO agents. Oh, I will be a great game. Actually, one of my favourite games, Hard Truck Apocalipse is kind of, but unfortunately the game was not taken into what it could have been. Take a look.