Hellifax is the third book in the Mountain Man series but the events within it occur simultaneously with those of book 2, Safari, so in a way is more like book 2b than book 3. This time around we follow Scott and his desire for revenge against Tenner which takes him to the city of Halifax. Back in the first book, Mountain Man, Scott and his two companions ran into Tenner and that encounter ended with Scott being shot in the back and left for dead. Barely able to survive his wound, Scott awoke to a gruesome scene of torture and the bodies of his two friends who were skinned alive by Tenner. Scott then vowed to avenge his friends and this book finally provides the details of that attempt. Scott is a big man, but he is no killer, so despite his desire to make Tenner pay for his crimes there is no guarantee that Scott has what it takes to make that happen. Luckily for him he runs into Amy.
North of the river the Moon watches over the Winterlands and her people, the Ugaro. Its a harsh land but the nomadic tribes of the Ugaro are a tough people of strength and endurance. To the south live the tall slender Lau in the Summerlands where the Sun is stronger, the Moon weak, and the Stars are only a faint glimmer in the night. After four years of war things are not going well for the Ugaro. Each of their warriors is a match for three Lau but the Lau fight in shielded formations and have far greater numbers. After a devastating battle his tribe leaves Ryo inGara behind as a tuyo, a kind of sacrifice offered to the enemy in the hopes of appeasing their desire for further bloodshed. If a tuyo is accepted the enemy may kill them in any manner they wish and won't pursue the defeated warriors. In return the defeated tribe and their allies will no longer make war with them. Ryo expects to die horribly with no guarantee that the Lau will actually honor the custom of his people. Lord Aras, the Lau commander, sees in Ryo an opportunity to learn more about his people and why they started the war so he spares his life. Unfortunately, what he learns confirms his fears that a powerful sorcerer has been manipulating both sides and probably plans to seize power over both lands.
Book two of the Mountain Man series picks up right after book one as Gus recovers from the attack on his home that almost killed him. His poor state of health forces him to venture into the city to find pain killers to aid in his recovery so he makes sure to also grab supplies (mostly booze.) WHen he begins to feel better he decides to take advantage of the winter conditions and fight back against the zombie horde down in the city while the cold and snow hampers their movement. This leads to the advancement of one of the more intriguing threads from the first book - why do the zombie corpses completely disappear within a few days after they are killed for good? When Gus finally uncovers the root cause behind the disappearances, he finds himself facing a new threat even more menacing than the zombies themselves.
The Families in their underground fortresses have little interest in the world above, although they did offer aid to the first Larossan refugees who came to their lands due to their ancient mandate to preserve humanity. When the Anvarrid invaders eventually conquered Larossa they chose to negotiate with them rather than fight and risk the last six fortresses built by the Founders. In exchange for being mostly independent they vowed to give up their secret languages and technologies and spend their first three years as adults guarding the Anvarrid nobility. They make exceptional guards due to the high number of psychics, called sensitives, among them and the mental discipline required by anyone living with empaths. An uneasy peace has now existed between these three cultures for almost two centuries.
Book one of this series, We Are Legion, was a unique take on the future of the human race. A future that became dependent on self replicating probes implanted with the personality of a cryogenically frozen, sarcastic, sci-fi geek named Bob. With Earth dying and becoming non-viable, Bob and all his replicants are busy doing what they can to find viable homes for the humans left on Earth; however, finding enough habitable planets and getting everyone off Earth in time is no easy task. To that end the Bobs make great strides in technology that allow them to better fulfill their role as humanity's caretakers but the challenges they face are also increasing at an alarming rate. Those challenges include first contact with alien races, both more and less advanced than Bob, domestic terrorists that threaten the survivors on Earth, and Bob's personal struggle with the fact that he is no longer human.
After two generations the research colony on Venus has lost most of its funding so the discovery of a possible alien artifact on the planet's surface couldn't come at a better time. It means an influx of money, but also a team of experts and security agents from the United Nations which has ruthlessly controlled the colonies since Mars tried to declare independence. Elsewhere in the galaxy, an alien planet is slowly dying. Their scientists have finally identified a world they can terraform. However, there is another intelligent species in the same solar system who might have a prior claim. There are those on both sides willing to do anything for their survival even if it means xenocide.
Augustus "Gus" Berry lives alone in the mountains, that is unless you count Uncle Jack (Daniels) and Captain Morgan who he spends a lot of time with every day. He was a painter, not a soldier, before the world changed but now he wields his Boomstick and baseball bat with the skills of a pro. Gus takes no chances because he knows that it only takes one mistake for the zombies to get the better of you, but winter is coming and needs to venture down into the city to scavenge supplies. He works over the houses because the obvious locations like stores and malls were picked clean long ago, but going through houses can be a bit of a crap shoot. Most don't have much but every now and then you hit a good one. Gus suits up and makes sure that he is prepared for whatever the zombies may throw at him but he isn't quite ready for what other humans might have in store.
Everyone agrees that Lucinda should have been born a witch, with her personality and obsession with the Fire Guild. Or was she born a witch? Unaware that she's putting herself on the frontline of the coming war with the neighboring Empire she petitions the Fire Warlock for assistance in finding a husband. Living in his fortress with access to his library and studying with the handsome flame mage Sven is a dream come true except Lucinda keeps having nightmares. The King is convinced that the Fire Warlock, Quicksilver, is a power hungry wizard holding back the nobility out of spite and Lucinda has learned that the situation is hopelessly complicated. The Office of the Western Gate, that grants the Fire Warlock the ability to draw on the power of the volcano Storm King, is a magical construct known as a Lock. The Fire Warlock is charged with protecting the border and if the Warlock fails to act the Lock will simply incinerate him and pass the mandate to his successor. Above all, the Lock will maintain the sovereignty of Frankland, even if the inability to surrender in a war means their utter destruction. If only there was another warlock with the gift to craft Locks who could fix things because the seers agree that Quicksilver won't be the Warlock much longer.
For the first five books of the Frontlines series humanity was pushed from their many homes amongst the stars back towards Earth. The aliens known as Lankies eventually set up a foothold on Mars and began to batter Earth and put humanity on the brink; however, in the last book we saw the human forces finally push back. Although the Lankies are still on Mars it is no longer a launching point for their military and human forces control the orbital. This book starts a number of years later over the last few years there has not been a single Lankey attack launched against Earth so of course it is time to get curious and figure out what is going on. What better way to do that than to head back out of our solar system and see what the Lankies are up to elsewhere. What could possibly go wrong?
Isao Ryotora is dispatched to the remote mining village of Seibo Mura following a bizarre attack by various creatures from the spirit realm known as yokai. As a shugenji, one who can communicate with the kami, Ryotora is not a warrior and he has little experience dealing with yokai. Not that anyone has really dealt with a situation like this before where so many unrelated yokai went from simple harassment to murderous destruction over the three nights of the full moon. The entire situation is made even more uncomfortable due to the presence of a scholarly samurai of an influential family, Asako Sekkin. His elegant manners only remind Ryotora that he was born a peasant in this very village before being adopted into a samurai family, but Sekkin is determined to help Ryotora with his investigation. This is because he has been plagued by a dog spirit that has allowed him no rest until he arrived in Seibo Mura. A great evil is rising but with Sekkin's knowledge of yokai folklore and Ryotora's skills as a shugenji they might be able to unravel the secret history of this place and save the empire.