Original title: The Amtrak Wars Book 5: Death-Bringer.
Title of this edition: The Amtrak Wars Book 5: Death-Bringer.
Author: Patrick Tilley.
Gender: Fantasy / Science Ficction.
Saga: Amtrak Wars.
Editorial: Sphere Books Limited.
Edition year: 1, 1989.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: This book continues the story told in Cloud Warrior, First Family, Iron Master and Blood River. Clearwater, almost death, is inside the wagon train called “Red River”. There Roz, which is Brickman sister and has mute powers, is taking care of her. The plan, is to force the other mute summoners, Mr Snow and Cadillac, to attack Red River to rescue Clearwater. But Mr Snow is in the trading camp to trade with the Iron Masters.
What nobody could suspect is that the clan D’Troit is allied with the Iron Masters to eliminate the Clan McCall. The biggest ever battle in the plainfolk ended with 3 boat rivers sunk, all the Iron Masters dead, the D’Troit eradicated, the most amazing ever summoners battle, and with Mr Snow dying.
Brickman returns to Cadillac with Mr Snow’s corpse. He is dead and Cadillac must lead the McCall in battle to rescue Clearwater.
By some random events Cadillac has now explosives to attack Red River.
When everything is ready, the attack has to start… but not without Mr Snow, which was not dead but very weak. They succeed… but the train is not Red River, it was a trap set by the First Family.
Brickman exchanges places with Roz and goes into Red River with Clearwater and both go into the Federation. Roz is free and escapes with Cadillac, the McCall clan is dead.
Once at the Federation Brickman finds out that the First Family lives on the overground, and everything is a lie to keep the population underground. They live in a fantasy-recreated world where everything is provided by the poor people living beneath them.
Personal Review: I still don’t like the part of the magic… but I like quite a lot the plot, because is so complicated that you really don’t know what is going on. And despite how complicated it is, it seems possible.
As usual, I read the book during a flight (to Dresden). It gives the impression of being in science fiction… somehow planes always gives me that impression. I could say that I rode the pages about the battle between mute clans very fast, because for me they are boring. But I enjoy quite a lot the parts about the wagon trains and how they work, and how they have command post in the front car and in the rear one. Being in a plane make it feel like I was inside one of the wagon trains itself.
I think this book relays too much on the magic and magical effects. I mean, the other ones also have, but in this one is like everything is settle by magic. To be honest, it is boring, too much luck and magic, it looks like the author is running out of ideas. I mean, for instance, they need to get into the wagon train? No problem, with magic they make their faces to look different. C’mon a little bit better ideas.
A part from that, it is nice and interesting to read about how a wagon train has different decks, for surgery, command, troops, cargo… But the fact that I like the most is that all the technology is stored long ago in the supercomputer COLUMBUS and is only released by the first family when they consider it a good idea. Can you think of 900 years of living in that overground world and not inventing something new? I mean, a military regime can be oppressive, but can it keeps people from getting boring? Research and development is not always doing things better, sometimes is only changing to make things interesting. One good example? Staple machines haven’t changed so much for many years, but the plastic covering they have has changed. The only reason, to introduce some change and make things interesting.