Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

By the Book - Dead Space: Martyr

Welcome to my second book review!
In this installment of By the Book, I will be reviewing the novel “Dead Space: Martyr” by award-winning author B.K. Evenson. I was excited to receive this book for Christmas and couldn’t wait to get to it.

           It’s no secret that I am a fan of scary stories. My wife can attest to this fact, after being forced to sit through countless hours of horror flicks (bless her patient “romantic comedy loving” heart). But this passion is not limited to movies, as I also enjoy “Survival-Horror” type video games. This is where I discovered the Dead Space franchise. For those who are familiar with the Dead Space universe, this novel may answer a few questions, as the events in this story take place a few hundred years before the first Dead Space game. It shows us the first encounter with the Black Marker, the origins of the Church of Unitology and the involvement of Michael Altman.

Martyr focuses on geophysicist Michael Altman, as he investigates unusual occurrences happening in the Chicxulub crater in New Mexico. What begins as Altman’s discovery of a strange gravitational anomaly, soon escalates to him being involved in a government cover-up. To make matters worst, anyone who becomes involved in searching for the source of the signal seem to go insane, either experiencing wild hallucinations or killing themselves. The story sees Altman fighting to expose the cover-up, and later on for his life, as he tries to uncover the nature of the artifact known as the Black Marker.

Back of the Book:

“We have seen the future.
A universe cursed with life after death.
It all started deep beneath the Yucatan peninsula, where an archaeological discovery took us into a new age, bringing us face-to-face with our origins and destiny.
Michael Altman had a theory no one would hear.
It cursed our world for centuries to come.
This, at last, is his story.”

What I have learned from this book:
  • The art of the Slow Burn: One of the first things that I noticed in Dead Space: Martyr, was the slow build up leading to the action. Most fans of Dead Space remember the series for its quick paced action and high-stress scenarios. Though you will find some horror/action elements in Martyr, they are mostly found towards the last ¼ of the book, after most of the mystery has been solved. This slow pace helped build up quite a lot of tension in the story, which helped make the appearance of the Necromorphs that much more frightening.
  • Respecting source material: Creating your own characters and settings involves a lot of research, but working with characters and settings from someone elses work involves a lot more! This novel made me appreciate the work done by Author B.K. Evenson, as he managed to stay true to the Dead Space franchise throughout his novel.
  • Representing insanity: The Author did an awesome job of showing some of the characters slow descent into madness. As a fan of the Dead Space series, I found it intriguing to see the other side of Marker-induced insanity and how people became worshippers of Unitology.

For those interested in reading more books from B.K. Evenson, please check out his website at http://www.brianevenson.com/.

For those interested in learning more about the Dead Space franchise, you can check out this extensive user mader wiki http://deadspace.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page. Furthermore, if you are interested in seeing the games in action, you can search for Dead Space on Youtube, as many users have uploaded videos of actual gameplay (I personally recommend the videos from Markiplier).

           In closing, I would like to thank my wife Linda for getting me this book, and for everyone following my blog. Thank you for the encouragement.

Until next time!


Patrick Osborne