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The Amtrak Wars: First Family: The Talisman Prophecies Part 2 [Kindle Edition]

Patrick Tilley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Hundreds of years after civilisation has been destroyed by nuclear war, the Earth is divided between the Trackers of the Amtrak Federation – a community living in vast subterranean cities – and the Mutes, who have evolved to withstand the radiation that has driven their foes underground. A long war for possession of the overground has killed and enslaved many of the Mutes, leaving only the Plainfolk to resist the Federation.

After escaping from the clan M’Call in his handmade glider, wingman Steve Brickman expects a hero’s welcome from his fellow Trackers. Kidnapped on his first mission above ground by the Mutes, he has spent the last five months under the enforced tutelage of Mr Snow, clan M’Call’s wise and magically gifted wordsmith. The months have also garnered a friendship with Cadillac, Mr Snow’s protégé, a dawning love of the beautiful Clearwater, and a realisation that the Mutes are not the sub-humans that his masters would have him believe.

But instead of a happy homecoming, he receives suspicion and interrogation. Still officially ‘dead’ until he receives the proper clearance, Brickman must face long hours of speculation and questioning at the hands of the First Family. Only the chance of seeing his kin-sister Roz – with whom he shares a psychic connection – offers any comfort.

He is soon drawn into the complicated world of AMEXICO, a top-secret intelligence force where nothing is as it seems, and Brickman must face the reality that everything he has believed in could be false. If the First Family have lied to them about the Mutes, then what else have they been covering up? Is there really any harmful radiation left in the blue-sky world at all?

Split by a terrible division of loyalties, what will Brickman choose? The world he knows of order and duty? Or the new life glimpsed through his love for Clearwater? Either way, his role in the Mute prophesy of the Talisman is far from over.

First Family, first published in 1985, is the second instalment of Patrick Tilley’s internationally best selling science fiction epic, The Amtrak Wars Saga.


Product Details

  • File Size: 664 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader; 1 edition (December 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AFZA5MS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,788 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Trilogy May 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great series! This is book 2 and can't wait to start # 3. Great writing style and character development, imaginative look 1000 years from now, post Armaggedon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The plot thickens . . . August 26, 2002
By kallan
Format:Hardcover
Steven Roosevelt Brickman returns to the Amtrak Federation after five months of captivity by the Mutes. He thinks he will be a hero - a brave survivor bringing back valuable intelligence that the Mutes are a lot smarter and have a lot more resources than is believed. Instead, he is stripped of everything and consigned to the A-levels to work out his life as the lowest of the low, maintaining the environmental systems the allow the underground Federation to function. And then he is offered a way out, plus a return to the overground. Steve's loyalties are about to be put under even more pressure than before . . .
"First Family" is as good as "Cloud Warrior", though it feels more claustrophobic. That's no surprise, though, as that's exactly how Steve is feeling himself as he re-enters his old life. There's perhaps a little less action, but action is not really the point of this book. Despite the importance of the plot, "First Family" is a scene-setter: from it, we learn a lot more about the Mutes and the Amtrak Federation, and especially the manipulations that have affected Steve's life since birth. The First Family - whom we actually meet - view him as a tiny cog in a very large machine, theirs to use at will. Whether he proves to be valuable or dangerous, they'll use him as much as possible. And Steve is still too naive to realise exactly what his situation is.
"First Family" also sets up the action for the coming books. Roz and Jodi are reintroduced, and we meet two other Trackers who will be very important later, Kelso and Malone. And Steve accepts a dangerous mission from Mr Snow which is played out in the third book, "Iron-Master".
It's sad and frustrating to see how Steve is manipulated by those around him, despite his cleverness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A meticulous study of high-tech tyranny. February 25, 1999
By OoOoOoO
Format:Hardcover
If you are keen on exploring the tyrannical potential of high technology, you can't do worst than to start here. This is '1984' updated into the info-tech age, makes Winston Smith's life in Airstrip One seem like a totally relaxed seaside holiday in Blackpool! The definitive word in hi-tech dystopia novel, it ranks way up there with 'Brave New World', 'THX 1138', 'The Glass Tower', etc. It is also 1 of the all-time best post-Apocalyptic sci-fi thrillers ever written, IMHO. Cross Adolf Hitler with Bill Gates and Dale Carnegie, stir in Ph.D's for social-psychology and electronic engineering , and you get the 'First Family' of the book's title. A must-read!!! Anyone who knows Patrick's email address pls pls pls contact me - I've been wanting to compliment him personally for a long-while now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ritual August 18, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Graham has taken me to a whole new level, we've all been a little paranoid, jumpy or downright wierded out by a story or a scary film, but this took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. The descriptions... I was there, I could smell the flesh cooking, I could taste the subglutaneous fat sticking to the roof of my mouth, I could feel the juices running down the back of my throat. That's when I started gagging and wretching! I have NEVER been so caught up in a story before. It was absolutely !!** FANTASTIC**!! Doesn't it make you wonder what some people are having for Sunday roast! Mr M, keep up the good work, I have many years of reading ahead of me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 2 of the greatest series of books of all time. August 16, 2000
Format:Hardcover
I read many SF books, many of these involve a post-apocalyptic earth. None of these books has kept me as enthralled as the Amtrak Wars series has. Patrick Tilley gives such depth and detail to his characters and locations that you find yourself rooting for Steve Brickman and his mute friends as they face the might of the Federation. I would definitely recommend this and the other books but only if you have a lot of free time on your hands because I guarantee that you will not be able to put it down and, when you have finnished it, you will want to start all over again (I did). Five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superior sequel June 3, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having escaped from the clutches of the M'Call Mutes, Steve Brickman triumphantly returns to the Federation fully expecting to be congratulated on his exploits and his gathering of vital intelligence on the enemy. Instead he is arrested as a deserter and narrowly escapes death before being sent to menial, ball-busting work in the A-levels. According to the doctrines of the First Family, the rulers of the Amtrak Federation, Mutes do not take prisoners, and that 'truth' cannot be contradicted. But now Brickman knows something of the truth the Family has other plans for him, and for his Mute friends...

Picking up immediately after the events of Cloud Warrior, the second volume in The Amtrak Wars is a slightly different beast. There's still a fair amount of action and the pace remains furious and at times page-turningly addictive, but after the straightforward plot of the first book things get murkier here. Conspiracies are revealed, deeper mysteries are alluded to and labyrinth plots are set in motion. Political intrigue also rears its head as we meet some key figures within the Family, such as the President-General and Karlstrom, the ruthless head of the clandestine intelligence agency AMEXICO. Tilley's grip of worldbuilding also remains strong, as we begin to learn more about the shadowy Iron Masters who live on the Eastern Seaboard and trade weapons with the Mutes through great steamships ploughing the Great Lakes.

As I mentioned in the first book, true-blue all-American hero Steve Brickman started off as a bit of a lemon, but in this second book he starts evolving into a more interesting protagonist. A key theme of the series is Brickman's torn loyalties between the Federation and his family, and the Mutes, his would-be mentor Mr. Snow and Steve's would-be lover, Clearwater.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Second reading of the Amtrak Wars
Love the references to the old world the names of the characters. The plot is great love this genre of science fiction.
Published 4 months ago by Geoffrey McCumstie
4.0 out of 5 stars Part of the series not to be read singuarly
Good Storiy but part of the series
Hard to read on its own
not to be read without previuos knowlege
Published 15 months ago by Kirky
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the story
I really liked the story but sure hate it when it only ends with needing to buy the next book to see what happens. I would never had purchased it had I known that. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Charles E. Ellis
1.0 out of 5 stars Drags and drags with little story point
If you are getting this for free then you have paid what it is worth. The story is disjointed and seems to wander all over the place.
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - want the rest of the series on Kindle too
Read the series in paper back (had to wait forever for the later books). Hopefully the rest of the series will be on Kindle soon.
Published 18 months ago by John R. Stanley
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
After losing his road train and being captured by th e Mutes, Steve
returns to the Amtrak federation. Read more
Published on September 2, 2007 by Blue Tyson
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most gruesome books I've ever read
Once again Masterton has produced a chiller that would have made Edgar Allan Poe proud. RITUAL is about a restaurant reviewer and his son who run afoul of a strange religious cult... Read more
Published on January 21, 2003 by BD Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
This book is just like every other book of Masterton's. Great. I think all of Masterton's books are great especially this one. Read more
Published on March 14, 1999
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