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The Amtrak Wars: First Family: The Talisman Prophecies Part 2 (Amtrak Wars series) by [Tilley, Patrick]
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The Amtrak Wars: First Family: The Talisman Prophecies Part 2 (Amtrak Wars series) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 464 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Trained as a graphic designer and having written several film scripts, Patrick Tilley became a full-time writer. He lives with his wife in Gwynedd Wales.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1036 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader; 1 edition (December 3, 2012)
  • Publication Date: December 3, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AFZA5MS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,478 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author skillfully dovetails this volume into Part 1. Although futuristic science fiction, the author has been able to weave human emotions, values and reactions into a plausible tale. The technology employed into making the story flow seems 21st Century plausible. There is one drawback to this series, however. The sellers, true, to form, have packaged the story into relative short truncated volumes, while pricing the subsequent volumes at a sum equal or more than the first volume!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love these books. Get involved in the storyline, and wonder how things will ultimately turn out for everybody in this all too believable world. Patrick Tilley wrote these books some thirty years ago, and I wonder why it is so difficult to find this level of writing from today's prolific writers - probably all too easy to publish.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Fun in a simple, almost juvenile way. Mr. Tilley has constructed a rather odd post-apocalyptic world in which various cadres of the human race have survived and evolved along vastly different lines. No explanation is provided as to how the survivors survived. No explanation is given as to why the different lines evolved vastly different skills. And it's really confusing as to why any of the groups, given almost 1,000 years post-holocaust, would be so incredibly backward in technology.

I mean, really... look back 1,000 years from the present and we're in the days of William the Conqueror, and these survivors started out with a good idea of technology, if not the means to achieve it. How did they just forget all that?

But somehow you buy into it, and you buy into the "1,000-year Reich" of the First Family. And the appearance of magic among the Mutes. And the Iron Masters' failure to remember what electricity is or how to make it. And the appearance among the Mutes of "Straights" who, after tens of generations just happen to "show up" in the gene pool.

Amidst all of this is Steve Brickman. Just recently post-adolescent. A pilot, or Wingman. Curiously mature for his age, yet obviously suffering from the typical teenager's affliction of being almost uncontrollably impetuous. An undeveloped pre-frontal dorso-lateral cerebral cortex. Steve does everything without regard to consequence; fighting, talking too much, acting on his horniness. Kinda like Luke Skywalker; Luke's entire story line consisted of him going through doors he should have stayed out of.

Anyway... despite all this Tilley managed to keep my interest although toward the end of this (too) long book I had to struggle to stay interested. It was a toss-up; read Amtrak or play my slot machine app.

I finished it.

I am not sure I will bother with the next one.
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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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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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