BOOK REVIEW: Deus Ex: Icarus Effect

Deus Ex: Icarus Effect

Deus Ex: Icarus Effect

Author: James Swallow
Publisher: Titan Books
RRP: £6.99

A prequel to the hit game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. “The Year is 2027; in a world consumed by chaos and conspiracy, two people are set on a collision course with the most powerful and dangerous organization in history – and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.” (from the blurb)

Game Tie-In novels are have been a mixed bunch over the years. It’s usually the direct novelisation of games (Baldur’s Gate and Force Unleashed, I’m looking at you!) that suffer the worst where as those that expand the universe of a game (Gears of War, Mass Effect) when written by the right author tend to shine. This offering, by one of the game’s script-writers (James Swallow) who has also produced scripts for Big Finish Audio productions and various television shows falls into the latter category.

The novel follows two protagonists on their seperate journeys into the tangled conspiracy that forms the backdrop to the future presented in Deus Ex. Agent Anna Kelso is an American FBI agent who becomes caught up in events when bodyguarding a member of the US government, and Ex-SAS soldier turned mercenary, Ben Saxon who becomes a member of a particularly shady group called “Belltower”. For the most part, the two are on different investigations, but these come together towards the end of the book.

Swallow’s building of the Deus Ex world is never too dry. Facts are revealed as pertinent and the environments and technologies discussed are given an authentic feel because they are not lingered on. Enough information to understand the concept is presented without getting bogged down in details. This is particularly the case with the Augmentations that are a key feature of the novel.

Characterisations are relatively strong throughout, however I felt that the female characters were less well presented than the males. Whether due to this, or the fact that I’m particularly interested in Special Forces missions meant that I was far more enthralled by Saxon’s tale than Kelso’s. Indeed, I found Kelso quite passive for the most part – almost stumbling through her investigation or being led by secondary characters.

While not quite the quality of Chris Ryan or Karen Traviss, the action scenes are well presented. Dialogue flows nicely and the background conspiracy is presented in a suitably mysterious fashion without ever becoming annoyingly so.

In conclusion, whether you are after a background to the game series or fancy a futuristic adventure story, this book is worth picking up.

Rate It: 4 / 5
Dry Slaps: 1 – For Kelso’s apparent uselessness.
GS Reviewer: WedgeDoc

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: