Carroll M. Capps (1917 – 1971) published a number of sf novels and short stories during the 1960s.
‘Omha’ is set in the USA, more than 1,000 years after a race of humanoid aliens called the Gaddyl have conquered Earth, and turned it into one giant wildlife refuge. A network of Gaddyl outposts scattered across North America serve as hunting lodges for parties of Gaddyl tourists from off-world. These tourists are eager to conduct big game hunts in comfort and style aboard hovering aircars; their prey are mutated lineages of terran animals, as well as creatures introduced from other worlds ruled by the Gaddyl.
Mankind endures as bands of stone-age tribesmen who rove the forests, plains, and mountains, curiously gazing at the crumbling ruins of human civilization.
Murno, a middle-aged woodsman, is one of the human slaves working on the Gaddyl settlement in what used to be San Francisco. As the novel opens, a new Gaddyl overseer has made life even more difficult for the slaves, and when his actions trigger a revolt, Murno realizes that all the slaves, not just the rebellious ones, will be caught up in the brutal reprisals sure to follow.
Murno and his family embark on an arduous trek East, where, according to rumor, tribes of humans are able to live unmolested in vast tracts of wilderness rarely disturbed by the Gaddyl. But Murno makes a fateful decision early in his trek: he agrees to take possession of a highly secured artifact – a ‘disruptor’ that creates the hyperspace portals allowing rapid transit between the worlds of the Gaddyl federation.
But when the Gaddyl learn that Murno has a disruptor, they will spare no effort to find him…………and a desperate chase is on across the strange territories that make up the western half of the USA.
‘Omha Abides’ is a straightforward sf adventure novel; the narrative is constructed around an extended chase sequence, one in which our hero Murno engages in running battles with his alien pursuers. In the course of his trials he is aided by various tribes of outlaws and races of mutated humans.
While the opening chapters of the novel are reasonably engrossing, somewhat inevitably, the middle segment of the book tends to drag. The action does pick up in the final 15 pages, with some genuinely suspenseful sequences, but these are deflated by a contrived ending that doesn't deliver much in the way of surprises.
Summing up, ‘Omha Abides’ isn’t a particularly imaginative novel; Carol Capps never was a participant in the New Wave movement that marked the genre in the late 60s, preferring instead to stick to the conventional narratives that - presumably - had a more marketable character as far as paperback publishers were concerned. But if you are fond of those types of stories from that era of sf, then this one may be worth picking up.