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Pilgrimage To Hell by James Axler
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Pilgrimage To Hell

by James Axler

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My dad is a fan of this classic 80s pulp science fiction series about life after worldwide nuclear apocalypse (think if Matthew Broderick did not succeed in preventing global thermonuclear war at the end of War Games) and he gave me the first two books to read. It's a lot of fun if you go into with the right expectations, and by that I mean, no expectations of quality writing but lots of gore and explosions and weaponry and devastated landscapes and mutated creatures and a series of hard-bitten testosterone-fueled men who are either outright villains or antiheroes just trying to survive. They could all be played by Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dutch and Sly Stallone as Rambo. Oh, and one hot outrageously sexualized chick who can hold her own with the menfolk but still, of course, is repeatedly threatened with sexual violence throughout the course of the book. I won't even get started on the role of women in this story.

OK, let's be honest: these are not good novels. Even in the 80s, they were not good novels. Still, there was something nostalgic about reading this for me, because it reminded me of all the time I spent in the 80s and early 90s reading RPG-related novels and all the other serialized novels, like the Thieves World stories and another shared-world series (that I can't remember the title of) that involved magical races returning in this technology-heavy future, so there were elves who could hack computers with chips in their brains and so on. (If any of you reading this know what I'm talking about, tell me!) And there are some really cool, creative details to the world-building and mutations that no amount of bad, melodramatic purple prose can mask, and despite myself there were a couple of times where I really wanted to know what was going to happen, especially since it ended in exactly the right place. I would never seek out and read the 100 novels in this series (many hard to find these days), but I'll skim through the start of the second just to see what happens to Ryan and Krysty (yes, I know, I know). ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
A Page turner. Introduces all the key characters and the premise. Much as I hate to say it...I enjoyed the book. Sure it has issues. ( )
  cosmicdolphin | Apr 30, 2013 |
SFF
  hall3730 | Dec 22, 2006 |
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The world blew out in 2001.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373485956, Mass Market Paperback)

On a January day, a Presidential inauguration day, a one-megaton blast ripped through the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. Subsequent explosions around the globe changed the face and the shape of the earth forever. Out of the ruins emerged Deathlands. In this blasted heart of the new America, a group of people plan desperately to escape the eerie wastes and mutated life forms of their environment. Three warriors--the tough, intelligent Ryan Cawdor, a beauty called Krysty Wroth, and the armorer J.B. Dix--set out on a harrowing journey to find a rumored enclave high in the mountains.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:04 -0400)

Explosions around the globe change the face and shape of the earth, giving rise to Deathlands, a world that conspires against survival. In this new America, a group of men and women plan to escape the eerie wastes and mutated life forms of their nuclear hell. They embark on a harrowing journey to find a rumored enclave high in the mountains.… (more)

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