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Children Of The Serpent (Outlanders) Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2005
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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Gone are the barons; gone are the traipsing and stench of a series that should have been laid to rest years ago, instead of rotting into something that is vile beyond belief.
In a nutshell, the series has received a rebooting, so to speak. Plans set out thousands of years before have finally come to fruitation with the arrival of the massive living ship, Tiamat.
This begins a change in the hybrids, specifically the Barons, Sam, and the Quad V hybrids.
The old god-kings and their personal soldiers have been reborn. Enlil, supreme leader of the Annunaki and the council of nine are back to reclaim their previous kingdoms.
So much so that they've abandoned their old Baronies, seeing them as totally useless in the schemes they have planned for the world.
That's the plot in a nutshell.
In this novel, the reader is given - very clearly - the emotions and the reactions of the main characters. There is no longer any reason for authors other than Mr. Ellis to `misinterpret' how a character acts or reacts.
Domi isn't a sex-crazed maniac. Grant isn't Kane's yes Man. Brigid Baptist isn't a motherly member of the `ya-ya sisterhood.
Each character shines in their strength and weaknesses in the novel, and more than ever do you see the friendship and the feelings that exist not only between the main characters, but the supporting characters like Bry, Philboyd and even Decard.
Respect is shown, and it's earned. It's not demanded among the characters.
With the massive changes that have taken place in this book, things are no longer what they might seem. Old enemies might become allies. Entire vistas can be explored in a way that they couldn't with the old series.
Once again, it's all because of the severing of ties with the founding series.
With each new novel written by Mr. Ellis, the reader will see how he originally intended to write the series, but due to formulas and rules, he wasn't able to full exploit.
I just hope that he'll stick with the series, or if and when he finally does leave, that GE will have enough foresight to bring in a writer who'll continue on in the tradition that Mr. Ellis is setting up with it, instead of using staff writers who're only interested in receiving a paycheck, instead of putting the effort that the mythology and universe that Mr. Ellis created deserves.
The new order and rulers - along with the world-changing and climatic events - seems like the new turning point to this series outta be very interesting to read about.
The only downside to this otherwise awesome and exciting read was the lack of detail to a couple of battle scenes. Well, not really detail in the action sequence itself, but the lack of participation on the newly-reborn Serpent Kings themselves. There were nine 7-foot-plus tall creatures with supposedly superior strength and powers, along with their small army of armored warriors called Nephilim, with their plasma-shooting gauntlets and impervious armor.
All this against an ill-equipped threesome of our reluctant heroes, who had a terrible battle plan to begin with! It was exciting to read, but total BS in the believability factor. Something that Mark Ellis is usually aware of.
So, because of battle scenes where a much larger, more powerful group seem to idly sit by while their puny humans do damage and kill their inhuman army, along with editing problems permeating throughout the book, as well as wondering why our supposedly smart heroes find a weakness in armored warriors and don't take advantage of it - Children of the Serpent still manages to stay head and shoulders above most mainstream sci-fi/action books out there today.
If there is better out there, please e-mail me and let me know.
Looking forward to what the next installment of Outlanders will bring.
Children of the Serpent is classic OL, right down to the return of Balam, exotic locales, and a sadistic mega-villain but it also ties up a lot of loose ends (like who is really the father of Quavell's baby) and blazes trails in new, unexpected directions.
It's one of the most cinematic of all Mark Ellis's many books in the series and I could easily picture every scene...it would make a great multi-million dollar movie epic.
Finally explaining about the hybridzation program and revealing the true identity of Sam the Imperator was a bold move with probably the ultimate blending ancient mythology with science-fiction.
Another bold move was breaking away from the set-up of the barons and the villes, but in my opinion, this move deserves the highest praise. It not only provides a new background for the Axlerverse, it also makes Children of the Serpent a surprising and very memorable read.
To add Balam to the storyline for the first time in years to close up gaps was another brave move on Mark Ellis's part. Yet, it worked out and was a pleasant part of the story which balanced out some of the more unpleasant parts, like with the fate of Quavell, a scene that still chokes me up.
There are many elements to Children of the Serpent which make it great, including the chilling introduction of the Overlords and the dead-eyed Nephilim, the terrifying arrival of Tiamat the Sumerian Chaos-Mother, and the blazing, explosive battle at the end.
Of course all the characters are spot-on, the dialogue among them is great and the ingenuity they show made me want to applaud a couple of times. The situations the Cerberus warriors find themselves in this book would put the DL group of posers in therapy for the rest of their lives.
The core group of Cerberus are portrayed as a mature, intelligent, capable and fast-thinking heroes, almost the complete opposites of the way they were written in Uluru Destiny. Brigid figuring out how to do something with an Annuannaki computer when Balam couldn't was a classic scene!
Mark Ellis took a lot of chances with this book by going into more solid science-fiction territory but he still remained true to the spirit of the original OL.
Instead of allowing this series to stay as stagnant and predictable for years on end as another series I could mention he has charted a new and what seems like an exciting new course for the Cerberus warriors.
That earns him my praise not only for this great book, but for being a gutsy and innovative author. Chidren of the Serpent is a great novel for many reasons and one that everyone who likes fast-paced, exciting action-tales featuring intelligent heroes and heroines should pick up
I can't wait for the next clash between the Cerberus warriors and the Overlords!
Most recent customer reviews
Not bad Ellis, but there were major problems in this one.Read more