Uncharted – The Fourth Labyrinth Book Review

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth introduces Drake just as fans of the games would hope; with him careening through a jungle, girl in tow, being chased down by a group of gun-toting thugs for hire. Throughout all this he still maintains that wicked sarcastic humour, despite the mortal danger he is in. This is definitely the Drake we know and love.

After that little escapade, which is merely a set-up for the main story, Drake touches down in Chicago only to find a voicemail on his phone from partner in crime, and Uncharted favourite, Sully. He sounds tense and when called back asks Drake to get to New York as quickly as possible. What’s in New York? “Murder”.

Unfortunately it turns out that the person murdered is good friend Luka Hzujak, who was not only killed but dismembered and left in a box at Grand Central Station for all to see. It seems that Luka was working on unravelling the myth about alchemy, gold and three long-lost labyrinths, and whatever he had found was important enough for someone to kill over.

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With Luka’s feisty daughter, Jada, on board, Drake and Sully decide to head out to a) find the killer and b) solve the mystery that Luka was working on. Whilst it may have sounded like a good idea at the time, it throws all three of them into peril as they face onslaughts from mercenaries, hooded assassins and enemies of the hairy, horned, mythological variety!

With few options left, the trio find themselves teaming up with some less than savoury characters just to survive. “When you lie down with snakes you’ve gotta learn to hiss, but that doesn’t mean you have to slither”.

[drop]The biggest plus point of The Fourth Labyrinth is just how well author Christopher Golden captures the mannerisms of Drake and Sully. The banter between them is spot on, as is Sully’s gruff exterior and Drake’s inability to shut his mouth when faced with a loaded gun, or someone about to beat him senseless.

Drake also struggles with his conscience towards the end. Although he despises the people that he has been forced to join up with, is he really that different from them? He steals, he is motivated by money and treasure; just what sort of person is he?

The other main characters are also developed well, and The Fourth Labyrinth continues Uncharted’s tradition of having strong female roles, with Jada and Olivia proving they are more than strong enough to mix it up.

The story is paced well, keeping momentum without ever rushing through details. The tale is exactly what Uncharted fans have come to expect, and at several points throughout the book I did make the comment that The Fourth Labyrinth would make a great game, as all the ingredients are there.

The only real downside to the book is the fact that you know that whilst they might get beat up, shot, and stabbed, Drake and Sully will always come out smiling by the end. There is no way Naughty Dog would allow their main guys to bite the bullet, especially in a book.

Pros

  • A solid story
  • Drake and Sully are captured perfectly

Cons

  • There is never a real sense of danger to the main characters

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth makes up for the lack of danger by having an entertaining story full of well-developed characters. Even if you’ve never really been a fan of the Uncharted series this book is still well worth a read, just don’t expect anything drastic to happen.

Score: 8/10

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14 Comments

  1. Got a copy of this for free when I bought the game from HMV (fiddly-dee). Haven’t started it but good to know its half-decent

    • So did I. I’m not a big reader of books. Still trying to make my way through the first Gears of War novel

  2. I’ve almost finished reading this and it is the best book-of-a-game that I have read. Captures the spirit of Uncharted perfectly, Nolan North needs to do an audio book of this.

    My one and only criticism is there are one to clangers in the writing. At the very start Drake claims not to like cinnamon as it ‘ruins good toast’ and barely a few pages later some aspect of Jada is described as cinnamon which Drake thinks is nice.

    But apart from that, fab. Excellent book.

    • Thats a bit picky isn’t it. Claiming a lack of conformity over the appeal of cinnamon as a clanger. Hardly going to change the tone fo the whole book

      • It is when there’s about three pages between hating cinnamon then liking it!

      • Surely its a testament to how good the book is? Where the only ‘clanger’ is a discrepancy about a character’s opinion of cinnamon?

      • regardless i wouldn’t call it a clanger. It’s an oversight at best.

    • I haven’t read the book so I can’t tell, but is this not just a case of intentionally being tongue in cheek?

      Like when Rick James said of course he didn’t remember grinding his feet on Eddie Murphy’s couch before SECONDS LATER admitting to grinding his feet on Eddie Murphy’s couch?
      :)

  3. I wish i could have longer than a 5 minute attention span when it comes to reading. I would love to read this and the Bioshock book but dyslexia just gets the better of me. Nice reveiw though, at least it took less than 5 mins to read

  4. Have read the book – and as a fan of the game i have to say that it was pretty good. Funny in some places exactly as the game, the conversations btw Sully and Nate were similar to those in game. And the story is also pretty good, would not be probably long as the game itself, but i would love to see it as an SP DLC – shame there won`t be an SP DLC in form of a short episode for 2-3 hours.

  5. Sounds fantastic! I’ll look out for this.

  6. Excellent review. I am thinking about getting some books to expand my book collection from just Harry Potter and UC:the fourth labytrinth would be a welcome addition. :) I wonder if the UC film will use this and drop the mafia plot? *prays to ND that they will*.

  7. Nice review.
    I bought this for the Kindle app on the same day Inheritance came out, so I haven’t gotten round to reading it yet (Moved onto the two most recent Song of Ice and Fire after Inheritance). Plus, it had to contend with actual Uncharted 3 too.
    But you’ve just reminded me to start reading it, so I shall go do so now.

  8. “There is no way Naughty Dog would allow their main guys to bite the bullet, especially in a book”

    I would have it no other way, the thoughts of Nate or Sully biting the bullet would surely crush me!

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