- File Size: 1298 KB
- Print Length: 151 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Jack Conner (April 29, 2016)
- Publication Date: April 29, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01F06DIQQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,091 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Atomic Underworld: Part One: Outcast Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Long time fans and new readers alike are fortunate to have the opportunity to explore yet another part of the fantastic, steam punkish world that Jack Conner has created for our entertainment.
The story’s protagonist is Tavlin ‘Two-Bit’ Metzler, a professional gambler and general rouge living in the subterranean city of Muscud, on the banks of the Atomic Sea. This city is one of several underground cities primarily inhabited by mutated humans, but also inhabited by ordinary uninfected humans, mutated animals, and members of various sentient pre-human species (some rather slug-like, some blob-like, and some arthropod-like). These cities are in the sewers of the larger metropolises above ground, and their primary authorities are multiple religious cults and various rival gangs. When Tavlin’s old friend and full-time mob boss Vassas has several members of his gang die under strange circumstances, Tavlin is asked to investigate. His investigations put him in the middle of a dangerous adventure centering on a strange weapon which the cults and sentient pre-humans are all desperate to get their hands (or tentacles) on.
The best thing about this book was its incredible level of description and texture. Muscud and the cities near it are disgusting places. They’re slimy, they stink, everything is damp and crawling and infected, and the descriptions are writing with skin-crawling vividness. All of the mutant creatures, all of the alien-like underworld denizens, were described excellently. The quality of the writing was also very good, with few errors. I did feel like the characters drew heavily from crime-drama clichés, but that’s not so terrible. These kinds of characters are used because they’re effective. Maybe we’ve all seen movies with some fedora-wearing cigar-chomping pistol-waving mob boss shouting profanities before, but that doesn’t diminish the character’s entertainment value.
The book was heavy on action, with chases and gunfights familiar to anyone who’s read or watched any kind of mystery or crime dramas. The difference of course is that these fights are here taking place in a slimy underground city, which allows for some different approaches. The fights were well-written as well, however due to the way the story uses them, I would dispute the book’s Lovecraftian label. In a Lovecraft story, there is always a sort of creeping dread pervading the narrative. The characters in a Lovecraft story are victims of hellish otherworldly forces gradually driving them into unspeakable terror and insanity through the influence of eldritch alien gods. In Atomic Underworld, there are (or at least seem to be) eldritch alien gods , and there is dread, but the dread doesn’t pervade the narrative. The book doesn’t feel like a horror story. With a cocky rogue for a protagonist and with mobsters out of a 1940s noir film chasing each other through an urban jungle, the book feels more like action/adventure than it does horror. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is worth noting. It’s also worth noting that this book ends on a complete cliffhanger, which may annoy some readers.
On the whole, I enjoyed it. The detail was impressive and the story was engaging, and the odds are good that I’ll buy and read the second part of it.
The setting is the Atomic Sea, a poison ocean with radioactive water that turns humans into fishlike mutants, who live in bizzare sewer ghettos. The races are human, the aforementioned mutants, and the lovecraftian "prehumans"- horrific creatures that live in the mutant ghettos.
Thrown into this mess is Tavlin Metzler, a conflicted human man caught up in a noir story of crime, adventure, and horror.
This is a great read. The setting is great, and the plot is compelling, but it's the characters that really shine. From the crime boss that's more of a local hero, to Tavlin himself, the protagonist, who has several rather surprising aspects to his past.
I fully recommend this book.
Volume One was absolutely amazing. Kept me up waaay past my bedtime.
This is a Must Read for Action/Fantasy/Sci-fi readers. Honestly, it's really great!
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