Bioshock: Rapture

Let me start off by saying that this won’t really be a review as you, good readers, are used to from my humble blog, but rather an ongoing (through the comments) discussion of the book. (Don’t worry though, any spoilers will be marked with a //Spoiler tag)

Bioshock Rapture, released in 2011 and written by John Shirley is a prequel to the award winning and best selling and (I could go on and on about how the original Bioshock won awards and was SO good) Bioshock video game!



As a prequel to the original Bioshock, don’t expect to see the ruined underwater utopia you saw in the game, but rather prepare your minds for a wonderful tour throughout Rapture as Andrew Ryan had envisioned it. Andrew Ryan, the visionary behind Rapture sought to do the impossible, to build a city where a man was entitled to the sweat of his own brow, and not have that sweat and effort belong to the authorities, or to God, or to everyone as America, The Vatican, and Russia would have respectively. Every person in Rapture would have the opportunity to rise based on their hard work, for a man builds, but a parasite asks “Where’s my share?”. A man creates, a parasite asks “What will the neighbors thing”. A man invents, a parasite says “Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God…”

As Andrew Ryan begins to realize his vision of the amazing utopia that is Rapture, he decides that it has to be built where no one can find it, so he does so under the Atlantic ocean, and begins recruiting people that he deems worthy of a life in Rapture, the visionaries, the eccentrics, and the under-appreciated.

Slowly but surely, Rapture begins to take shape and form, beginning to be the city he wanted it to be, full of life and hard work. For a time however.

//Here be mild to extreme spoilers

Bioshock Rapture ties a lot of loose (not really ends but, let’s say, events) events that happen throughout Bioshock, like how the Big Daddies came to be, or what is actually wrong with the little sisters (I realize that this is explained by Tenenbaum in the game, but not with enough information). How the plasmids were invented, and my most favorite nod to Bioshock, the “WYK” project (Get it? W.Y.K.?).

At first, everyone is very happy and excited about Rapture and how it is a fresh new beginning and all that until work gets finished and people start getting laid off, now Rapture was built to accommodate the working man, not the laid off can’t find a job man, so the latter kind of people start to show signs of depression and wanting to leave Rapture since they literally have no place in it, and on that point, Andrew Ryan fearing a formation of unions, invites in Sofia Lamb who is a psychiatrist to talk to the people and figure out why they’re upset and try to reverse their emotions, however once Lamb starts to really see the truth behind Rapture, she begins to join these people and riots and, well, she gets incarcerated. Now here’s my first gripe about the book, Lamb doesn’t have that big of a role, you’d think because she’s the first to organize the riots and all of that that she has a major role, but unless I missed it, or have forgotten about it, her role was barely noticeable, which is understandable since she later gets overshadowed but the book didn’t mention what happened to her afterwards even.

One of the other people Ryan hired was Frank Fontaine, a fisher who would, well, feed Rapture. But Fontaine quickly rises in ranks and hires Ryan’s two scientists, Dr. Suchong, and Dr. Tenenbaum, both of whom start the plasmids business after a lucky incident with one of the workers involving a sea slug. Fontaine also starts to smuggle things that were sure to piss Ryan off, but that the people secretly wanted, like bibles or other kinds of food. Which prompts Ryan to  take action against Fontaine and overtake Fontaine Futuristics (the name Fontaine gave to the plasmids business) and rename it to Ryan’s Plasmids.

After that happens, a new rebellion arises fueled by Andrew Ryan’s hypocrisy in overtaking someone else’s business by force in direct contradiction to his own original vision. That rebellion is led by Atlas (yep, the Atlas from the game, and if you finished the first Bioshock, you know who Atlas is).

//End mild to extreme spoilers

And that is pretty much all I can think of in regards to the book, aside from the characters’ stories and everything but this was how the book relates to the game anyway.

If you’ve read the book, or have questions about the characters in the game, feel free to chime in in the comments!

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth (Review)

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth by Christopher Golden is the first novel to be written for the Uncharted video game series, and in all honesty, it almost feels like there’s a PlayStation controller in your hand and you’re playing.

The novel starts out with Drake escaping through some jungle as he was hired to retrieve an artifact of some importance to a tribe, and he has a girl he’s saved with him in the jeep he’s driving, and there’s bullets everywhere, normally what you’d expect from an Uncharted title. Moments later, Drake and the girl he’s saved are surrounded by their pursuers and about to die, until some tribesmen come in, save the day, and drake returns the artifact to the tribe, and the girl to her father. Fast forwarding a bit, Drake is going back the the US, when Sully calls him to go to New York with a very vague explanation, Drake gets to New York as Sully meets him and explains to him that his lifelong friend Luka Hzujak has been murdered in the most gruesome way possible, they get to an apartment where Drake meets Luka’s daughter Jada Hzujak, Sully’s god daughter as well, which will explain through out the novel why Sully is so protective of her. Jada starts filling Drake in on more details of her father’s death, as much as she could anyway, they then decide to take a trip to a nearby museum to meet Luka’s friend and the curator of the museum they’re going to, Professor Chenney, only when they get their, he’s dead, and they flee the scene before the police come and ask way too many questions, on the way back to the apartment, they find the entire building on fire, and they’re being chased by a few vans with people shooting at them relentlessly.

In the interest of not spoiling this outstanding novel, I’ll stop there so you get the gist of what to expect. The novel is amazingly well written that it feels like you’re playing another Uncharted title, which is an awesome thing since I can’t get enough of this series personally, even after playing the recently released Golden Abyss Vita game, this novel came as a welcomed addition. Everyone in the novel is instantly recognisable, Drake is just as snarky and sarcastic as he’s always been, Sully’s undeniably awesome ego and sarcasm is instantly recognisable too, and even the new characters are all very well thought out.

The novel will take you to Egypt and Greece in search of  labyrinths buried by thousands of years of history, and being an Egyptian, the Egypt part was particularly interesting, while Christopher Golden nailed the description of Egypt down to every detail, he fell short of giving an authentic Egyptian name to Sully’s liaison in Egypt, I mean, seriously, the easiest name that comes to mind would be “Muhammed” or “Ahmad” or anything, instead Christopher Golden opted for a name that I have never personally heard before, and have forgotten because of it’s ambiguity. Greece’s description is wonderful and breath taking, even though I’ve never been there and don’t actually know what it looks like, but Christopher Golden painted a really nice picture illustrating the beauty of Greece.

As I’m not an avid book reader, it took me a while to finish this book, but it is not by any means boring, it is extremely engaging and exciting with the action never stopping throughout every chapter. It’s not a big book anyway, it’s only 322 pages long, and I found Rodrigo y Gabriela’s 11:11 album to be a particularly nice background music to listen to while reading the novel, it captures the essence of Uncharted nicely.

If you folks have read the book, let me know what you thought of it, it is certainly a must for any Uncharted fan!