Monday, 21 November 2011

Bioshock: Rapture

Well I've managed to break through the frozen wall that went up around my imagination of late and get some proper reading done, actually reading a book through from start to finish without breaking it up and reading several others all at once (which I have been doing of late. Reading two paperbacks [My Friend The Mercenary and Imperial Glory] and numerous books on my new kindle which I got as a birthday present just over a month ago is pretty damn crazy) and well Bioshock Rapture was that one!

Set in the world of the computer game Bioshock, the book covers the events that lead up to the start of the first game covering the construction, inhabitation and decent into shit the city is when you play through it in the first game.

It brings in all the various characters that appear either as NPCs or on the tape recordings found about the city, such as Andrew Ryan the city's creator, Frank Fontaine/Atlas the crazy badguy, Dr Tannenbaum the scientist behind the discovery of ADAM the genetic altering chemcial that is the route of the powers available in the game.

The so called three ages of Rapture the book is broken down into cover each stage of the city's development as well as the characters present and sets up the action well for the game that is a direct sequel in the universe's timeline. We are presented with Fontaine's attempts to take the city, Dr Lamb's (the villain from the second game) methods of controlling the populace of Rapture and Ryan's slow descent into totalitarianism and tyranny.

Now I did enjoy the start of the book, how they came to be there, how the went about building the city and so forth, but I quickly lost my enjoyment for it as it progressed. Points were overstretched, characters became two dimensional mockeries and then even less than that. The story line became depressing and outright annoying and the ending left so much to be desired I'd have given it a F if it had been presented to me as a twelve year old's first attempts at writing fiction.

What is it about modern books that have to create this atmosphere of depression and killing off characters you've grown to love over the course of the book? What is the fucking point of doing that because surely all it would do is lose you future readers? Bloody irritating really.

For this book, if it was spilt down into several books instead of just one, I'd give the first part four stars, the second part three and because of the ending the last part would only get two stars.


  1. Just focusing on your point of killing off characters. George Martin's series A song of Ice and Fire just killed off my favorite character. While I am angry about the loss the fact that you can never predict what will happen makes the series all that much better for me.

  2. A fair point and I do think that given the right situation in the narrative, killing off characters is ok, just somewhat annoying if it happens to be a favourite or a long standing character if it happens in a series.
    Killing off players is a big thing in warhammer 40k fiction (given the universe, not all that surprising really) and in the series Gaunt's Ghosts (I have yet to read the latest book in that series so no spoilers!) it happens from about book four onwards, with one major player dying in just about every book. Sucks, but does fit the dark universe of 40k.
    Anyways folks, I'll get more reviews out soon, as soon as I can find something that isn't going to generate another rant from me, since the last book I finished is going to do just that!!