Never-before-told tales of action and adventurerevealing the early days of Dark Angel! Los Angeles, 2019. Large sections of Tinseltown are in Richter-scale ruins in the aftermath of the Pulse and a devastating earthquake. Surviving among a ragtag pack of street kids, agile as a cat, and an expert thief, Max steals from the rich and gives to Moody, her mentor in crime and leader of the gang. But with no real family to speak of, Max longs for her missing "brothers and sisters" from Manticore, the covert agency with a sinister history of militaristic manipulation and control.
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1 . A great way to return to an old loved tv series
Posted February 22, 2010 by Snow Tigra , RosevilleMeant to be a prequel to the series, this book explores Max's world before the popular tv show starts, filling in the blank spots left between her escape from Manticore and Episode 1.
The author's main focus appears to be to show how Max grows into her current self and they accomplish this quite well, with unique stories and always keeping Max completely in character as the well trained military weapon who is very naive about non-military ways of the world but quickly picks up on everything in order to survive.
More detail and attention is paid to the story before Max meets the current cast of the series. Once these characters - Original Cindy, Kendra, Sketchy, Herbal etc - come in, the story feels little rushed and we get less insight into Max's thoughts about the world around her. This may be intentional because of how well Max fits into her surroundings.
Without giving too much away, my only complaint would be that the attempt to fit the larger plot with another X-5 into the tvshow's story line felt almost like a cop out at the end of the book. Its understandable that the author was trying to make it all fit cohesively, but there are some things that happened plot wise that just don't fit and are obviously ignored in the series. Still, overall, the book does a great job of bringing this older series back to life.
Given the fact that I am just now discovering and reading these books nearly seven years after the show was released, this book is a great way to return to the world that Max lives in, reillustrating all the imagery and characters from the series enough that it makes you want to watch the series all over again. I look forward to the other three books which I know are out there.
October 01, 2002
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Excerpt from Dark Angel: Before the Dawn by Max Allan Collins
Her bare feet pounding, breaking the crust of ice on the snow-packed ground, her thin blue hospital-style smock hiked high over pumping legs, nine-year-old X5-unit 332960073452 barely noticed the February cold. Neither did she have any knowledge that in other parts of the United States, Valentine's Day was less than forty-eight hours away; that was part of a mundane, ordinary life as unknown to her as her controlled existence had been to the outside world.
Though she had learned much at Manticore, all the girl knew, at this moment, was that she was running for her life.
The deafening whir of choppers circling overhead did not cause her to look up, and she avoided the wide white beams of searchlights that probed, slashed the remote Manticore facility, turning the gloomy woods into a haunted house of light, dark, and shadow.
Brunette locks shaved down to a severe concentration-camp buzz cut, she was small, but not skinny--lean, lithe, wiry . . . and, though unmistakably a child, already battle-hard. Her dark olive complexion gave her a tiny advantage over some of the others, the ones so white they practically glowed when the searchlights neared them, ghosts in the haunted house. Her eyes were large and dark, and she might have been referred to as doe-eyed if there hadn't been something lethal glinting in there, something almost predatory in the way those orbs took in whole scenes and missed no detail.
Sprinting through the woods, she didn't breathe hard, didn't even sweat, as--machinelike--she pumped her arms and pistoned her knees up and down. Her hypersensitive hearing picked up--behind her, farther in the distance with each stride--the ragged breathing of her pursuers, grown-ups who, for all their own training, could only vainly fight to keep up with a genetically enhanced soldier-in-the-making.
The child knew it was true now--they were escaping, they were really escaping . . . though she and the others, her "siblings," could barely grasp the word's meaning. They were well schooled, these soldier kids, but their context was limited. The girl knew "escape" only as something you thought about when you had been captured, after you'd been taken prisoner