THE AMTRAK WARS, Book Two: First Family by Patrick Tilley

THE AMTRAK WARS, Book Two: First Family

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By now, presumably, sf fans are inured to sprawling sagas whose individual installments, far from being independently intelligible, end abruptly with no resolution of any of the major plot lines. So for devotees of the mediocre Cloud Warrior (1984), here's episode two of the series. Long after a devastating nuclear war, technological civilization is preserved in underground enclaves by the Amtrak Federation, bossed by the omnipresent First Family, who send forth heavily armed ""Trackers"" in an attempt to wipe out the Amerindian-like tribes of Mutes inhabiting the surface. The Mutes' hopes for survival rest in certain ominous prophesies and various psychokinetic ""magic"" powers. Tracker Steve Brickman, captured by Mutes during an airborne raid, has now escaped and returns to the Federation, where no one will believe his warnings that Mute magic actually works. Ambitious, naive Brickman is an easy mark for First Family manipulations: they send him back to rejoin the Mutes as a spy. Brickman is not averse, as he has fallen for the beautiful, talented Mute girl Clearwater. (The Mutes' chief, Mr. Snow, knows Brickman is a spy but believes that Brickman figures in one of the prophesies.) After many tribulations, Brickman learns that a tribe of iron-working Samurai (!) are holding Clearwater for undisclosed purposes--so he stows away aboard a Samurai riverboat. Churning, involved, and inconclusive: strictly for series veterans.

Pub Date: July 7th, 1986
Publisher: Severn House--dist. by Kampmann (9 East 40 St., New York, NY 10016)