Pilgrimage To Hell

Pilgrimage To Hell - Jack Adrian One of the reasons I rate this book so highly is because I was expecting so little from it, and it is very rare that I have been so completely surprised.

On one level, it contained all of the elements I would expect from a post-nuclear-holocost-survivalist-novel, lots of focus on gun models (which mean nothing to me), scaly flesh-eating mutants, slowly awakening psionic powers in the more "acceptable" mutants, bands of killers roaming the badlands, baronies run by cruel, insane gang leaders, all the tropes of the genre. This is pretty much what I expected.

What I didn't expect was a well crafted, tightly plotted action adventure taking place in a fully realised post apocalyptic world. I didn't expect the author to be able to portray such a believable set of characters, who somehow retain a glimmer of nobility underneath the vicious, dog-eat-dog attitude they have had to learn simply to survive.

What I most of all didn't expect was to finish this book, which ends on a cliff-hanger with the main driver for the next hundred books already in place, immediately thinking - pass me the next one, that was incredible!

This book is, in my opinion, a shining example of why pulp should never be written off as pap.