Book Review: Resistance: Hole In The Sky / Rage

Warning: May contain Resistance 3 spoilers.

One of the joys of spending nearly forty hours flying to and from Hawaii is that you have plenty of time to read so, in a TSA world first, I present two reviews, the first written 30,000 feet above the Pacific, the second 30,000 ft above the Atlantic. As we ascend to our cruising level with Honolulu behind us and 5,000 miles of Pacific before mainland USA, lets take a look at ‘Resistance: Hole In The Sky’.

I say ‘may’ contain spoilers as I have played very little of the Resistance 3 campaign so far and, as the book serves as a prequel to that title, it is somewhat of a shock to discover that Nathan Hale has a number of lines.

– ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW –
[drop]Those of you who finished Resistance 2 will remember Joeseph Capelli blowing Nathan Hale’s brain out with a well placed shotgun blast. During the course of the new book, Resistance: Hole In The Sky, Nathan remains resolutely dead but his consciousness is alive and well in Capelli’s head, commenting on his actions and generally being a bitchy queen.

There’s no indication in the book whether this bodiless version of Hale is a figment of Joseph’s imagination or some Chimera weirdness that will result in Hale returning during the course of the game via a Bones/Spock mind meld. Whatever the eventual outcome, this is not the Nathan Hale we know. He’s bitter, spiteful and downright nasty. After being executed by his best pal he may have some reason to be a little peeved, but the massive shift in character from hero to grumpy ghost is hard to swallow.

With Ghost-Hale aboard, the book explores the tale of Capelli who has been discharged from the army after the incident (apparently the Army frowns on blowing out your best friend’s brains) and spends his time as a runner, delivering packages across the wasteland previously known as the United States of America. The ruined landscape is as much a character as Joseph and writer William C. Dietz has done a wonderful job describing the destroyed cities and desolate countryside.

The plot zips along at a fair pace but does seem to take its cues from computer games – Go to point A, collect item B, go to point C, protect donkey D – and drops in numerous battles with both Chimera and humans. New characters include Nathan Hale’s sister and Doctor Malikov, one of the main characters in Resistance 3, makes a few brief appearances.

All your favourite Chimera appear during the course of the tale and many weapons from the series are used, I was particularly impressed when the Alt-fire modes of weapons were accurately described.

Overall ‘Resistance: Hole In The Sky’ is one of the better tie in novels as it nicely fills in the missing months between Resistance 2 and 3, this should be an essential purchase for fans.

With the Pacific behind me and twelve hour stop over in Chicago (where it’s a stupid 102 degrees), it’s time for the final ten hour trip across the Atlantic in the company of the tie in novel for Rage, cunningly entitled ‘Rage’.

Now, I’ve played a good few hours of Rage so was rather disappointed to find the tie-in novel recounts this portion of the game, step for step. Admittedly, it does flesh out the plot considerably but as I knew what was going to happen it was a real struggle trying to finish the book. The author Matthew J. Costello also wrote the script for the game and it appears that the novel is just an expanded version of that text.

[drop2]The first few chapters deal with the world before the 2029 Apophis meteorite impact and follow Nicolas Raine, a soldier who is chosen by his superiors to be cryogenically frozen in an ‘Ark’, the aim being to restart the human race a hundred years in the future. Why Raine was chosen is never clear, the book states that the residents of the Arks have been chosen for the skills the can contribute post-meteor. Raine appears to be a generic jar-head  and only the injection of ‘nanotrites’ give him an edge when he eventually wakes up.

Story aside, I found the novel rather hard to read as Costello has a rather abrupt style of writing and there are an awful lot of short sentences.

Like this.

It’s quite annoying.

Isn’t it?

You should try reading a whole book.

Like this.

It gets very tedious.

And quite tiring.

If every sentence.

Is split.

Into three.

Paragraphs.

If I go any further in to the plot I will spoil the game, conversely if you play the game and then read the book, there are very few surprises. This makes the Rage tie-in novel a bit of a gooseberry, you really should not read it before playing the game and I can only recommend it to die-hard Rage fans. It’s not a bad novel by any means, it’s just totally pointless if you’re planning on playing the game.

That concludes the world first “double ocean game tie-in novel” review, if you have enjoyed reading this then please make a comment and maybe Peter will pay for me to follow up these reviews with another world first,  Modern Warfare 3 at the South Pole and Battlefield 3 at the North.

– PAGE CONTINUES BELOW –

13 Comments

  1. lol loving the review

  2. Capelli killed hale with a well placed pistol blast, not a shotgun blast. Otherwise, great read.

    • was about to make the same correction ;)

  3. There does seem to be more and more game related books, so review of these are good as their quality can vary wildly.

  4. I had a read of the AC books could not sit and concentrate knowing I could just turn on my ps3 to be in that world so never finished it gave it away to a friend

  5. Would like to read the Resistance book. The game arrived this morning and I’ve played a bit of it for about 2 hours. It’s brilliant so far, and much more emphasis on the story which I really like. Theres only a short video of the history between the missing four years so it would be good to know the whole story.

  6. the resistance books sounds good, but the rage book sounds like the kind of tie ins we used to get a decade ago, a pretty much straight retelling of what happens in the game.
    what’s the point of a book that tells the same story as the game, you can just play the game.

    tie in books should flesh out the world, showing you things you wont see in the game.

  7. Good review, the first sounds interesting, the second sounds like a half assed money maker. Not the biggest fan of reading though, audiobooks available? :P

  8. The resistance book sounded OK, but as for the rage one…….
    it sounded
    a bit shit
    if it only
    re-tells the story
    from the game.
    See wot i did there :D

    • No,
      what did
      you do?

      Oh,
      I see.
      It’s fun,
      that must be
      why Costello
      did it. :-P

  9. “Based on the critically acclaimed game from id Software”?

    I have a lot of confidence in id Software but the game hasn’t had one review yet. Bit sure, isn’t it?

  10. Has any of TSA staff read ‘Masters of Doom’? Now that is a book! Would love to see a review on that :D

Comments are now closed for this post.