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Posted November 2, 2005
Not only is Cerberus Storm a great entry in the OL series, it could also be used as an example of a new DL approach if GE could ever get its act together. One of the interesting things about Cerberus Storm is how different it is from the soaring sci-fi epic heights of Children of the Serpent, yet it is still definately an OL adventure. Mark Ellis doesn¿t follow a set in stone formula like DL. Cerberus Storm is a basically a western, trekking through the wilderness and encountering all sorts of animal-related characters, like the Hell Hounds, the Kit Foxes and the Lynx Soldiers. It's very low-tech for an OL adventure which was why it made me think of DL and this made for an interesting difference from Children of the Serpent...from a mile-long spaceship to traveling downstream in an old riverboat called the 'Crazy Woman.' Several months have passed since the fall of the baronies and people are venturing into the Outlands for the first time in nearly a century, looking for new lives and new places to settle. A group called the Hell Hounds preys on the convoys of settlers and the Cerberus warriors set out to stop them and in the process uncover another mystery which involves their old friend Sky Dog of the Lakota. It¿s a savage story, almost like a frontier folk tale with the Indian lore about the demonic baykok, the Indian sorceror the Owl Prophet and the Tai-Me. When the Millennial Consortium shows up, the story becomes more like a standard OL adventure, but that group is so interesting (particularly their boss, Benedict Snow) I didn¿t mind. I¿m sure they¿ll cross paths with the Cerberus warriors again. There¿s plenty of humor in the book too, with the main characters all in top-notch, on-model form. The scene where Brigid and Grant learn their Indian names made me laugh out loud. And of course, there¿s Catamount, one of the most interesting characters to show up in any OL novel. When she first appears she comes off as bloodthirsty sadistic bleep but as the reader learns more about her, we admire her and come to feel sorry for her. If Ambika was a copy of Xena, then Catamount is a little reminiscent of Elektra but with her own spin. Her spiritual connection with the cougar, Deathmaul was cool but disturbing. Cerberus Storm is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure story, jammed with surprises, great characters and different kinds of action. It's another instant classic.
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Posted November 9, 2005
This latest novel is full of problems and lame action sequences. It has some good stuff in it, but Ellis keeps cramming in the same 'ol same 'ol background info-dumps I've read a million times over. And how convient is it that these new barons, now bigger and supposedly badder - are away somewhere in Europe or some such nonsense. Why make major changes Ellis, if you are not going to utilize it? They have a huge, fully sentient starship, but are not in the last two books? Bull hockey, I say!! The relationship between Brigid and Kane doesn't further - AGAIN! - here. Lame. There's better reads out there.
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Posted January 10, 2010
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