+Video game tie-in novels aren’t known for being big-L Literature, and you won’t spot B.K. Evenson‘s Dead Space, Martyr on any awards lists. That’s a shame, too, because Evenson’s novel is a unicorn — a visceral, horrific unicorn. Dead Space, Martyr is a damn good work of fiction that transcends franchise appeal.
All too often, video game tie-in novels get by on series name alone. Stilted writing turns reading into slogging, and sometimes even an inventive story cannot save the novel from its poor structure.
You won’t find these qualities in Dead Space, Martyr, however. The writing is solid, so much so that even readers who are not familiar with the source material can and will enjoy the read. Dead Space fans know how gripping the series’ horror can be, and trust me, Evenson keeps the storytelling tight for this gory thrillride.
For those not in the know, the story centers on Michael Altman, a scientist researching a series of strange occurrences surrounding an alien relic in the center of a Mexican crater. The Black Marker causes hallucinations, paranoia, and violent outbursts in almost everyone who comes into contact with it, but Altman shows a surprising immunity to its effects. After he learns the Marker’s true nature, Altman goes public with the classified information, but the results are more frightening than he imagines.
If you’re in the market for some bloody, psychological horror, pick up Dead Space, Martyr. Even if you’ve never heard of the games, you’ll have a great time with Evenson’s novel.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Image: Electronic Arts