I RATE THIS NOVEL, FOUR OF FIVE STARS!
I played the video game Rage some time ago and I absolutely loved it. It took me four days to read this novel, maybe because I still have the appearance of the world from the game still so fresh in my mind that it was extremely easy to visualize everything happening. Whatever the reason, I rushed through this awesome story and I loved it.
There was a spelling error every so often. Inconsistencies also, at one point, Raine said he had three grenades left and after only throwing one, he had one left. When he picks up his rifle, his pistol, and his shotgun, it says he grabbed his “rifles”. Simple things like these can really break the immersion into the world.
But aside from those things I truly loved the book. Characters like Dan and Halek Hagar were both expanded upon and you got to know them better, some characters and factions were more friendly and some were less friendly, mostly less friendly. But that’s what made it awesome.
Raine is an Ark survivor, one of those chosen to help lead the future into a better direction than the past after a meteorite ruined the world we know and love. These ark survivors have information, skills, and technology that the world wants and the easiest way to get it is by converting them, killing them, or selling them out to those who could.
The world is full of bandits that capture, kill, rape and steal from anyone not in their clan. Mutants are also a problem and they’ll kill and eat you, you also better hope it’s in that order.
Some nice people and even worse people end up dying either by Raine’s hands, for Raine or at least because of Raine. The world after Apophis is a scary one, a crazy one, not one that someone from the past would enter willingly. And Raine, not knowing what the world would be like, left the doomed world he knew to enter one he didn’t.
In this new world, those that survive are the ones who make deals, who may have to compromise on the occasion. People don’t do things for strangers out of the kindness of their hearts and even worse, if there’s a better deal after helping them, they’ll sell them out just to be even better off. It’s a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” world where you still have to make sure a knife isn’t slammed into your spine mid-scratch.
The characters might be a little bland in this world, but in a place like that, you aren’t going to be sharing any deep dark secrets or heartfelt feelings. You keep it to yourself, you stay strong, you stay tough or you die trying. If you let fear control you then you’re easily controlled and if you let sadness cripple you then you are no good to the other survivors. To be hard and cold is to survive.
In the end, I enjoyed the story. Many of the differences between the game and the book made it more enjoyable because I’m a sucker for brutal stories. Because of the quality of the plot but also because of the mistakes, Matthew Costello gets 4 of five stars for his book. Not bad, not bad at all.