OUTLANDERS # 1 - EXILE TO HELL By James Axler (Mark Ellis) Genre: Sci-Fi/Action I've read two other Outlanders book both of which were good but this one the first in the series is absolutely fantastic and had me gripped in the story from the first page. The Outlanders book are set in the same "Universe" as the Deathlands books but about 50 or so years on from the adventures of Ryan Cawdor and his companions. People in the USA now live massive towns run by Barons who are hybrid of humans and ET's, the villes(towns) are policed by Magistrates, two of which are Kane & Grant, As the story progresses they find out that mankind has always been secretly manipulated and covertly ruled by a group of aliens called Archons (who are the infamous greys that many people say have abducted them and experimented upon by,. The background story is brilliant and explained and written very well by Mark Ellis though it is quite complicated so I wont go into details here. There is a lot of action in the book and the character's are very interesting, Kane, Grant, Brigid & Domi the heroes are excellent and the bad guys are great to, I particularly liked Salvo and Baron Cobalt. It was interesting how Kane gradually came to see the truth and how his life had been laid out and planned for him before he uncovered the truth. An excellent read and highly recommended. This is a series that definitely has to be read in order because of the various sub-plots running through the books.
EXILE TO HELL is the first in the new series by James Axler. Axler is best known for the adventures of Ryan Cawdor in his Death Lands series. His new series, Outlanders, is both similar and different and is better. Centuries after the nuclear war that laid waste to much of the world, civilization is slowly regaining control. The Barons rule fortified cities that bring law and order to their surrounding territories. This law is enforced by the Magistrates, an elite marines-like force. Kane is one of these Magistrates but he thinks for himself a little too much. A mission that should be routine raises countless questions in Kane's mind. Wanting to know the truth he pilfers some evidence at the scene. With the help of an archivist, Kane learns that all is not as it seems. There seems to be a ruling body above the Barons but they are shrouded in mystery. But Kane's questions don't go unnoticed. The powers that be see him as a threat and move to eliminate him, his partner and the archivist. But Kane manages to escape along with the others and they flee into the wilds to the side of their last mission and the mysterious Gateway they found there. They manage to activate the gate just before being captured and wind up at the secret headquarters of the resistance. Here they learn the truth. While man was still living in caves aliens arrived on Earth and they have been here ever since. Using their advanced technologies they became puppet masters behind many rulers. Their plans for a final, and complete, takeover were interrupted by the nuclear war (or did they cause it?). But now, with humanity reduced to a manageable size, the aliens are exerting their control through the hybrids that are know as the Barons. Having learned this truth, Kane and company agree to help thwart Earth's would-be masters. Outlanders is set in the same world as Death Lands (a series still being written) but is much more science fiction oriented. Although Outlanders is still sold with those books that used to be called Men's Adventure before political correctness changed it, the series does not really read like that genre. In fact, it bears more relation to the military SF sub-genre but with less detail in weapon descriptions. Outlanders is a real surprise and one can only think that with the right marketing that it could become very popular.
Any fan of both science fiction and action-adventure will find this book offers the best of both worlds. Axler shows his unique talent for drawing characters we can immediately relate to and care about--it's like making new friends. The pace is lightning fast, never letting up until the last page. Axler's plot is mature, with no loose ends, and loaded with suspense (i.e. the myterious barons, the history of the Outlands, etc). Axler has taken us on a wonderful, imaginative ride and the action was not only realistic, but the writing of it was tight and polished; a rare talent in action-adventure writers today. Exile to Hell goes beyond genre and into mainstream in its telling. Make no mistake, this is the first book in a series that belongs on every reader's shelf--hat's off to James Axler!
I've been reading this kind of fiction for many years...Deathlands, Endworld, Blade, Survivalist, Wingman, you name it. After a while, they all got to be the same...over-muscled male heroes who have more in common with guns than women, spouting fuzzy right-wing politics. Outlanders is a breath of fresh air to this kind of fiction. I've read all in the series so far and each one surpasses itself. Though a spin-off of the Deathlands series, it stands alone. It's a great deal more than a "Deathlands the Next Generation" type of thing. The heroes are believable, tough and rough yet they use their heads as well as their "blasters". The women characters are well-realized, too. As for plots--well, you've never seen stories like these in other men's adventure books. They can be thought-provoking, a little fantastic, but fast-moving and full of action all the same. This really isn't a review of "Exile to Hell", but just my comments on the Outlanders series. I urge readers who want something a little different to pick it up. You won't be disappointed.
I've been reading James Axler's DEATHLANDS series for years now and I have to admit I've been growing a little bored with it. Though the last few books have been improvements, I wanted something a little different. OUTLANDERS definitely is that. Something of a sequel to DEATHLANDS, it steps beyond what Axler accomplished in that series and brings a whole new horrific perspective to post-holocaust America. The cast of characters are a little reminiscent of the DEATHLANDS heroes, but they are unique and individual. They also have senses of humor, which is welcome change. The plot is fairly complex (at least compared to the average DEATHLANDS), the action hot and heavy, the pace very fast...all elements James Axler fans hope to find. I hope this series lasts as long as DEATHLANDS. It has the potential to be more popular. If the other books in the series are as entertaining as this one, I'll be a fan for as long as it runs. Highly, highly recommended
I'm a huge fan of the Deathlands series, and a have been reading the books pen named James Axler since 1989. Over those years it's obvious that there has been more than one author behind these books, and it's very evident here. Multiple authors do breath new life into the series and it's spinoffs, however the hidden theme of "alien conspiracy" in The Outlander series is a disappoinment. A new tyrant and new heroes is great, but aliens just don't do it for me. Bottom line...I'll still buy and read the series. The first one is mildly entertaining; just not to the caliber I'd expected
This series is going to be superb. It is a new spin-off of possibilities occuring in Post nuclear war environment. The characters created are strong, forthcoming and action-packed. The earlier novels of the Deathlands series I have read are a little hard to follow as I am unable to find earlier books written, until I happened upon Amazon.com