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Sooner Dead: A D&D Gamma World Novel Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel centers around a young scout named Hella and her partner and father-figure Stampede. Hella is able to transform her hands in guns. Stampede is a Human/Buffalo hybrid.
Together these two have been hired to escort an expedition of scientists through the rough-and-tumble wilds of Oklahoma. The guides (and the readers) are in the dark as to exactly what the scientists are trying to achieve, which lends a nice air of uncertainity to the plot. Who are these scientists, really, and what are they looking for?
The novel is well-paced, with plenty of gunfights and explosions to keep the action moving along even as the characters get some sideline time to explore their personalities. Attention is given to events that are not fully resolved by the end of the book, which I actually enjoyed as it leaves room for future development.
My biggest issue with this book, downgrading my rating from 5 to 4 stars, is the editing. Several obvious spelling and grammar mistakes detract from the reading experience and there were some obvious places where sentences could have been cleaned up. (example, pg 155: "The nanobots frantic voices turned even more insistent, maybe even frantic." Wait... Were they or were they not frantic?)
Overall I quite enjoyed the book and look forward to the continuing adventures of Hella and Stampede.
Gamma World is quirky and full of humor. The author tried to describe some of the things that make the characters what they are in GW, but this book is dry and filled with too much attempt to explain why the characters are what they are, at least some of them that is.
Red Sails in the Fallout better gives the feel of GW. Whereas Sooner Dead is just an adventure story that happens to have some mutants.
Hella is also infected with nanites, microscopic robots that enable her to heal extremely fast, and which allows her to turn her hands into guns that fire bullets in a way that is never really satisfactorily explained, it's these guns that help to get her out of this jam.
But, even so, this pair is already in trouble with their current expedition's leader, the eternally cranky Dr. Klein Pardot. Pardot, is also traveling with precog Dr. Colleen Trammell who seems to be able to forsee the coming of the ripples, and Captain Riley the head of security for the expedition. Klein is enhanced by a cyber suit to help him move, and he is upset that while Hella and Stampede were fighting for their lives another of these creatures had invaded the expedition's camp.Read more ›
After slogging through Stephen King's 11/22/63 (starts strong, ends weak), I was in the mood for something a little lighter. I wanted crazy mutants, radiated landscapes, and lots of action. Not as guns and ammo as Deathlands, but more like Gamma World in a book, and after some looking around, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are in fact a couple of Gamma World novels, both published just this year.
So I bought them both and just finished the first one, Sooner Dead by Mel Odom, and it turns out it was exactly what I was looking for.
Now it's been a long time since I cracked open a Gamma World rule book, so I forget what the mythology said about the cause of the apocalypse, but in these books it was a mishap with the Large Hadron Collider. It tore apart the world, and opened ripples, gateways to other worlds and dimensions, bringing all manner of strange creatures into ours.
Having the plot device of rampant inter-dimensional wormholes means that you can introduce basically anything you want into your story, and Mr Odom certainly took advantage of that. This book has human-animal hybrids, cyborgs, nanobot-enhanced humans, alien creatures, and more kinds of psionic abilities than I could count, all set in what 200 years before was known as Oklahoma.
The story follows Hella, a bio-engineered young woman with a mysterious past, and her bisonoid companion, Stampede, as they serve as guides for a group hunting for a lost object in the ruinous wastes of the American southwest. It's a fast-paced adventure chock full of gun fights, raiders, mutant creatures, mystery, loyalty, and betrayal.
I really enjoyed it, and if there's ever a sequel following the same characters, I'd be sure to pick it up.
Overall, I can definitely recommend it, at least if you're the right mood for it. My official rating for Sooner Dead is 7 Megatons.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I honestly loved this book!
If you loved Gamma world back in the 80s you must read this book. Read more
I was hoping it would be more like Red Sails in The Sunset by P.K. but it was not. It seemed too long and was too vague with some characters and too much detail in others. Read morePublished 17 months ago by R. Maxwell Foster
A true Gamma World adventure. Great background for the game. Fast paced, action packed storyline. To the author; I hope there is more to come!Published on January 19, 2014 by David Leary
I bought it on a whim because of the cover and the insane synopsis on the back. When I finished I was dying to read more about the main characters and hating the fact nothing more... Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by Adam Hughes
I like Mel Odom, but when he writes a novel for an RPG he seems to veer away from the spirit of the Game. Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by Jazzbeaux
So...first off: I have enjoyed Odom's writing for quite a while now. Sometimes, pieces of his books seem out of place or convoluted, but the fun factor is always there, and the... Read morePublished on July 9, 2011 by Peter Faden
Hella and her mentor/partner, a humanoid bison named Stampede, are hired to guide a professor and his heavily armed crew through the Redblight, a wasteland in what used to be... Read morePublished on June 5, 2011 by James Seger