Ace, Aug 2004, 14.95, 496 pp.
The object from space crashed on the earth causing an Ice Age. Civilization for the most part died under the vast frozen tundra. Much of the orb not under ice belongs to formerly extinct fauna and the return of previously died out dangerous species. Few civilized survival pockets exist.
Several folks journey to Nantle, a coastal cathedral city. Assistant lighthouse keeper Hake Jobberly claims he observed a flying coach-house which makes people ridicule him until Reverend Pinches substantiates the assertion. Apparently Malachi Threadneedle and assistant Tim Christmas applied “magical stones” to cause the coach-house to soar.
The angry Cargo clan seeks Jerry Squailes in the city since lawyer Arthur Liffey informed them that their recently deceased grandfather bequeathed one-fourth of the family fortune to this con artist that no one has met.
Jane Wastefield and her intelligent monkey Juga come to Nantle seeking help. Jane possesses a mirror-like artifact that displays alluring or horrendous pictures with nasty creatures stalking the panorama and vowing grim repercussions. She has not been able to rid herself of this glass calamity.
These travelers will soon connect with each other because a malevolent wizard manipulated them to obtain the stones that will enable him to rule what is left of the civilized world.
Though no DARK SLEEPER, STRANGE CARGO is a post apocalyptic science fiction tale starring a fully developed ensemble in which each person has a unique personality; thus the story line starts slow to introduce this cast. Once the travelers reach Nantle, the action accelerates into hyperspeed. Fans of futuristic survival tales along the line of Hiero's Journey will enjoy this trek for power on an Ice Age earth.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner