Author: John Shirley
Release Date: 7/19/2011
MSRP: $9.99 (Paperback, Digital) $19.99 (Hardback)
For Fans Of: BioShock, Mental Deterioration, Isolated Utopias
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
The Good: Fills in the blanks in the first game, captures the atmosphere perfectly, everything in the game is in this book, a lot of questions answered from the game that couldn’t have been otherwise
The Bad: Ending feels a tad rushed, a little slow to start
Rapture is a book that gets the novel translation perfect and all other games novels need to do. Rapture manages to used every single character, area, and even use word for word audio diaries from the game, and puts it into one cohesive narrative. The book starts off in 1945 with Andrew Ryan starting plans on building Rapture. The stories main protagonist is not Jack, but Bill McDonagh. He starts out as a plumber and Ryan plucks him up and has him help create Rapture. This all can be linked to the first game, and the whole book is just 100% spot on with everything.
If you truly love the lore and setting of BioShock this is the book to read if you want to know what happened during certain audio diaries, why certain ones were made, and even just how the hell did this underwater city get created. The book spans 14 years leading right up to the beginning of the first game. The book actually has you following a whole civilization fall into despair and depression. Slowly everyone starts going insane on ADAM and EVE and Plasmids. You even get to know how those things were actually invented. You even get to see how security bots, turrets, and cameras came to be, and even Circus of Value vending machines get mentioned.
The book does so much right that fans will just be shocked and awed about events playing out and will run through the game in their head and think, “So that’s how that happened!”. The book even made me go back and play through the whole game again just to link everything to the game. The book has the same insanity that the game does and you actually feel like you’re in the game. The atmosphere is captured perfectly, and I don’t think any other author could have done this game justice.
If you truly love BioShock then pick this book up and enjoy every word. It’s not often game get great true-to-heart novelizations like this, and I wish there were more like it. Instead of making a new story with the lore and characters, or even copying it, John Shirley takes everything in the game and fills in the blanks. That is probably the hardest challenge of all.