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The Amtrak Wars: First Family: The Talisman Prophecies Part 2 (Amtrak Wars series) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
"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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the references to the old world the names of the characters. The plot is great love this genre of science fiction.Published on May 3, 2014 by Geoffrey McCumstie
Good Storiy but part of the series
Hard to read on its own
not to be read without previuos knowlege
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 morePublished on June 12, 2013 by Charles E. Ellis
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 on June 7, 2013 by Amazon Customer
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.Published on May 17, 2013 by irelandpj
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 on February 27, 2013 by John R. Stanley
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