Book: Amtrak Wars
Author: Patrick Tilley
I was about 45 when I first read this. It was bought as a christmas present. I still read them at least once a year.
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Post-apocalyptic adventure with fantasy overtones.
A series of six novels published between 1983 and 1990 depicting a post-apocalyptic America, The Amtrak Wars has been compared by some to The Lord of the Rings.
The titular war is between the Amtrak Federation, descendants of survivors of the nuclear war, and the Mutes, surface dwellers who survived the blast but have mutated after radiation exposure. Some possess psychic powers.
The Federation is ruled by the First Family, who control and restrict access to technology, and peopled by the Trackers. Steven Roosevelt Hickman, an 18 year old Tracker pilot, is captured by the Mutes and gradually discovers the truth about the Amtrak Federation.
A plausible scenario of a world devastated by nuclear war, the Amtrak Wars sequence builds in fantasy elements of magic and prophecy which give it an extra allure.
The name of the series caused controversy as Amtrak is the brand name of the United States’ intercity passenger train system.
The final volume, Earth-Thunder, ended on a major cliffhanger. Since then, fans have clamoured for new books in the Amtrak series, but the aged Tilley seems unlikely to oblige. A seventh book, Ghost Rider, exists as draft chapters and an outline, available to diehards.
Work nominated by asbomva.