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BioShock: Rapture

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,740 Ratings  ·  424 Reviews
It's the end of World War II. FDR's New Deal has redefined American politics. Taxes are at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has brought a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business has many watching their backs. America's sense of freedom is diminishing . . . and many are desperate to take that freedo ...more
Kindle Edition, 444 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Tor Books (first published July 2011)
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Jes Jones It's a matter of personal opinion. Overall, I think it's interesting enough for someone who isn't familiar with the game to enjoy it. It's different…moreIt's a matter of personal opinion. Overall, I think it's interesting enough for someone who isn't familiar with the game to enjoy it. It's different than a lot of novels out there, and is excruciatingly morbid that it's hard not to finish it at least.

However, if you have played the games it's a bit more addicting and entertaining because you are already familiar with the characters, and the plot.

As someone who isn't too into playing video games herself, give this game a shot. I loved it and it inspired me to continue on to Bioshock 2 as well as Bioshock Infinite. (less)
Halo by Eric S. NylundAssassin's Creed by Oliver BowdenBioShock by John ShirleyAssassin's Creed by Oliver BowdenAssassin's Creed by Oliver Bowden
Video Game Novels/Trades
3rd out of 224 books — 260 voters
BioShock by John ShirleyHomeland by R.A. SalvatoreIco by Miyuki MiyabeDisgaea by Arashi ShindoThe Legend of Zelda by Patrick Thorpe
Beyond The Game
1st out of 71 books — 19 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Holden Attradies
Sep 23, 2011 Holden Attradies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked bioshock
Shelves: fiction
This is the single best video game inspired piece of literature I've ever read. It stays incredibly true to both games (striding to connect them in ways the games were unable to do) and flushing out much of the world and answering many things I wondered about from the game. I always wondered why the splicers faces looked so messed up and this book gave a great answer to that, Perhaps that answer was in the game, but if it was, I missed it. It also really flushed out the character of Andrew Ryan. ...more
Welcome to Rapture - the world's fastest growing pile of junk!

For those who have not played Bioshock, this book will probably not be very appealing; for those who did, it will be very disappointing. I am a big fan of the original Bioshock, which is the only reason why I read this book - and it's also the reason why I wouldn't recommend it to anyone interested in ever playing Bioshock, as it is nowhere near matching the quality of the story and writing as presented in the game.

For those unfamil
Aug 22, 2012 Thea rated it really liked it
This book is a prequel to one of my favourite survival horror video games called BioShock, so I just had to read the prequel. The plot of the video games are based loosely off of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. The game starts out with the protagonist crash landing in the middle of the Atlantic ocean where he then discovers and under water utopia called Rapture. You then slowly make your way through the city encountering its inhabitants who seem to be out of their minds and are a ...more
Feb 22, 2014 Joel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This was, simply put, one of the worst books I've ever read. Ever. It was awful. Shirley managed to take an idea that was already made up for him, with a rich history and details laid out for him, and screw it up so thoroughly and fantastically. Fans of the Bioshock franchise surely appreciate the amazing atmosphere, ideas, history, etc of the world. I can't imagine many people would play the original game and not go "Man, I would love to dig into this farther". But wait, they made a book about ...more
Sep 18, 2012 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book. Each character was so well done, with their own personality. The author did a great job taking a video game and using the story from it to make a novel. we are given characters from the game that we love (or hate as the case may be) and now have an even more extensive backround.
Taking mainly from the perspective of an simple workman, Bill, we see the creation, life and eventual downfall of the underwater city Rapture. Rapture was founded by Andrew Ryan, whose ideals of a better so
Jun 07, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Honestly, when I picked this book up, I was expecting (and hoping for) a rather dumb book based on a video game that I could read for a few hours' entertainment.

I was surprised by how GOOD I actually found this book to be.

You don't have to be familiar with the Bioshock games for this to be a good book - though it would probably help. The book's concept is interesting right off the bat: a paradise built on the bottom of the sea, eventually falling to inevitable human corruption and power grabs. T
Apr 28, 2015 Ivan rated it liked it
Bioshock is one of my favorite games despite the fact it's neither isometric nor turn-based and it's one of the games I replay every year or two so I had relatively high expectations from this book.Unfortunately book had flaws that because of which it doesn't reach same quality game has.
First:Pace of the book is too slow which makes this book dull at the times.
Second:There isn't anything new to the story.It's same thing we find out in game only in greater detail.
Third:Rapture doesn't translate w
Aug 01, 2011 Elliott rated it did not like it
I did not care for this book, not because of the writing style, or any grudge against the author, but because of the book itself. I am a fan of the Bioshock game series, and the most intriguing and captivating part of the game to me was how the storyline enveloped me to the point where I was a character, as such I did not know everything about Rapture, or the situation as it stands and I was forced to piece it together as I went along. This book really takes all that hard work and sets itself ri ...more
Feb 01, 2015 Krissy rated it really liked it
**2015 Reading Challenge W/Josh: #41 A Book By An Author You've Never Read Before**

I did not expect to enjoy this book. This book was one of my brother's choices for our reading challenge we are doing together. A novel based on a video game? I couldn't be less enthused. So imagine my surprise when I was actually starting to really get into the story. I thought it was unique and interesting and I ate it up! My only complaint was that it felt a bit choppy at times but the author has to cover a spa
Aug 22, 2011 Bob rated it it was amazing
As a Bioshock fan and veteran I personally really enjoyed reading Bioshock: Rapture. Many of the brilliant subtle implications Shirley implants within the text (you'll get what I mean) provide the dark, disturbing atmosphere of this strange new world that doesn't cease to stretch the boundaries of imagination.

As a Bioshock player this was great because it added a whole new layer to the story and revisited the world of Rapture which I was already familiar with, but at a different angle, and that
Ray Slaven 3
Jan 25, 2014 Ray Slaven 3 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read in a long time

This book was FUCKING awesome. there is literally no other way to describe it. this book told everything about how the Rapture we travelled thru came to be. He wrote this book so well I could see it as a movie in my mind. This book was and still is epicly awesome. I've read it 5 times and would gladly read it again.If this author ever writes another book about another adventure in Rapture. I will most definitely buy it.
Víctor Galán
Bioshock:Rapture es la secuela del videojuego Bioshock Infinite y la precuela del Bioshock original, se trata de la historia que se intuía en los audios que estaban esparcidos por todo Rapture. Es decir, la fundación de Rapture, su crecimiento inicial próspero e ilusionante y su posterior caída debido a las políticas extremas que se llevan a cabo en la misma. La novela narra con un ritmo cinematográfico (no hay que olvidar que su escritor fue uno de los guionistas de "El cuervo" de Alex Proyas) ...more
Aug 29, 2011 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: video-games
Competently produced prequel book offers nothing new to the Bioshock mythos except an inexplicable cockney voice. A character featured in a few audio journals (which the book attempts to explain the prevalence of, but never quite pulls off) is thrust to the fore as our man on the ground and Shirley vaguely shows what it was like to live in Rapture from its inception to the time that it went irrevocably to hell.

While the plotting is competent, it's all really an entrée to the events of the games;
Oct 24, 2011 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
So I read lots of crappy books. Sometimes I want to read a massive serious book, and other times I just want candy. It's unfortunate so much of this candy is bad and makes me sick afterwards, and I just keep eating it because I already opened it up, so might as well finish.

There's a flavor of this book candy that's based on video games, and pretty much without exception, it's all tooth-rotting-remainder-bin awful. If any of my reviews on these kind of books are like 3 stars or I say "Meh, though
Feb 01, 2015 Josh rated it really liked it
*2015 Reading Challenge w/ my sister Krissy:

OK, first off, I would like to warn anyone looking for a rational, unbiased review of this book to look elsewhere. I am a rabid gamer, and the BioShock franchise has been my RELIGION since 2009. That being said, I went into this book giving it 5 stars based on the subject matter alone.
But, in the end, I'm giving it 4 stars. Why, you ask? If BioShock is my religion, than surely THIS would be my bible, right?
Well, my sincerest hope with this book was
Dec 17, 2015 Atsuyo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[Self-reminder to write a review and share some BioShock-love]
Jan 31, 2016 Mery rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Soy una fanática tanto de los libros como de los videojuegos. No obstante, cuando un libro está inspirado en un videojuego me da muchísimo miedo porque no suele ser una buena combinación. Este no es el caso de "BioShock: Rapture".
Este libro recrea a la perfección como debería haber sido la construcción de Rapture, lo que pasó antes y lo que pasó después. La estética steampunk lo hace aún más especial y más cercano a los videojuegos -de los cuales pueden verse esquirlas de los mismos en el libro-
May 29, 2015 Grant rated it it was amazing
This book was the best book I have ever read. It had everything to it action, adventure, drama and others. The book was good because I love the parts when the splicers were invading the maskerade party for the countdown for 1959 when all the splicers attacked them and bill the good fighter took the all out. I also love the rush when bill was trying to escape ryan's men and escape the underwater city and get away from all those drug attics called splicers. That drug gives you powers but it also m ...more
Aug 26, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: political, fantasy, gritty
In a post war America that has the dark cloud of atomic war looming on its horizon, one man declares he's had enough and decides to built his own utopia under the sea, safe from corruption of government and socialists. Bioshock:Rapture tells the story of Andrew Ryan's city on the ocean floor, a great dream that quickly turns into a nightmare.

This book is the prequel to the two games, which 99% of the people reading it will know already. I have never been into reading books based on games since g
May 21, 2013 Alan rated it really liked it
I chose this book because I played the video game Bioshock, and it had one of the most amazing video game story lines I had encountered. The book is about a rich and successful man named Andrew Ryan who built his own utopia city underwater called Rapture. He was tired of governments from various nations, and did not want the governments to know what he was doing. My favorite quote is "The parasite hates three things: free market, free will, and free men" said by Andrew Ryan. I like this quote be ...more
Erin Pallott
May 01, 2013 Erin Pallott rated it it was amazing
An outstanding novel based on the videogame BioShock. It is the end of World War II. The whole world is in fear of annihilation after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The whole world is changing for whole countries and each single family or person. Andrew Ryan (Andrei Rianofski) is an incredibly wealthy man who pulled himself up from the depths of poverty. He dreamed of a place free of the government, religion and censorship. This lead to him creating Rapture; a city under the sea. This n ...more
Roberts "elles
Feb 27, 2012 Roberts "elles rated it really liked it
“Biošoks: Ekstāze” autors Jons Širlijs. Izlasīju šo grāmatu manu draugu ieteikumu dēļ. Kā arī patika grāmatas īss apraksts, kas man likās intresants.
Galvenais varonis Džeks, kas sākumā ir lidmašīnas pašazieris, avarē Atlantijas okeānā. Viņš ir vienīgais izdzīvojušais, kas ticis līdz tuvējai bākai.
Džeks ar radio palīdzību sazinās un tiek vests uz drošību, bet ceļā satiktie mistiskie cilvēki viņu ved strupceļā, un viņam ir jāizlem, kam ticēt un kam nē…
Galvenais varonis Džeks ir savā ziņā visai iz
May 01, 2012 Christopher rated it really liked it
As a huge fan of the Bioshock series, and having played the first game through several times, I was looking forward to Shirley's Rapture. An easy read for sure, and not particularly challenging (then again, literature based on media rarely is), Rapture nevertheless puts the reader into the perspective of some very interesting characters.

Shirley brings characters from the games to life, and in choosing to show Rapture's glory and eventual downfall primarily through the eyes of a 'simple' mechani
Feb 16, 2012 Mark rated it it was ok
This book kind of represents everything that's wrong to me about books based on video games. It feels like it was put together too quickly, it is at times inconsistent with facts in the games it's based on (for no apparent reason), has pretty terrible dialogue, and is just kind of a chore to get through. I wanted to read this because it provides the backstory of the rapid rise and fall of Rapture, which I was always curious about since playing the first Bioshock. Obviously I'm willing to suspend ...more
Isaiah Pani
Oct 30, 2013 Isaiah Pani rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really good book. This book is about a man that creates a city under the ocean because he thinks all the governments in the world have become corrupt. He also keeps the city a secret. This city that has no restrictions on anything. Scientists can do what ever they want. The market is also a free market. They can sell things at any price and there is no minimum wage. This city seems perfect to a lot of people but once they enter the city there is no coming out. The creator of ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
If by chance you haven't played the game yet, this book is a great way to start. There's no spoilers at all so no worries about knowing everything for the game. It's a great introduction to the story and the world of Rapture. You learn about all of the characters and even discover some surprising history about Andrew Ryan.

I adored this book and could not put it down, which I admit, surprised me a lot. I never have high hopes for books based on video games. They are usually alright but nothing th
Jul 13, 2014 Daniyal rated it it was amazing
You won't be able to just put down the book and get it out of your mind, everything will keep echoing in your mind and forcing you to read more and more until you finish it.

I wish it was much more longer, it ends pretty abruptly, leaving you with your own imagination.

If you haven't played the game(Bioshock 1) yet, you should read this book because it'll make you aware of the various referrences thrown around in the game which I couldn't understand at first.

You should still read this book if you
David Rodríguez
May 14, 2015 David Rodríguez rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading about Andrew Ryan's past, how the construction of Rapture began, about Rapture's "Golden Age" and the thing I was interested about the most, how everything went wrong.

Although I really enjoyed the book, I think there are some holes that could have been filled to make the book a little bit more consistent.

In general is a very good book, especially if you played the games.
Robby Milligan
Aug 06, 2011 Robby Milligan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like it! It tied everything in with the game really well. Nothing was left skipped over. IT was dark a lot of the time which was to be expected. Like the game, a lot of things the psycho's did just left me sickened. When I finished a was laying inside a room a 1:30 am and there was window on the ceiling away from me. There was a blue filter pulled down over the window which gave me the sense of being underwater as the light streamed through. Especially since I wasn't sleeping under it and coul ...more
Damien Martinez
Sep 16, 2015 Damien Martinez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-reading
Bioshock: Rapture:

The second book I’ve read is Bioshock: Rapture by John Shirley. Andrew Ryan is a very wealthy, brilliant man. The story takes place during the events of World War 2. Throughout his whole life, Andrew Ryan has dreamed of creating a utopia, where anyone is able to go to and become a new person. A place where there is no law and violence, a place where you can discover yourself. So Andrew Ryan created Rapture, a city underwater, away from the terror and violence that was World War
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John Shirley is the author of more than a dozen books, including Demons; Crawlers; City Come A-Walkin’; Really, Really, Really, Really, Weird Stories; and the classic cyberpunk trilogy A Song Called Youth: Eclipse, Eclipse Penumbra, and Eclipse Corona. He is the recipient of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award and won the International Horror Guild Award for his collection Black But ...more
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“If the modern world were a patient in my care... I would diagnose it suicidal." - Dr. Sofia Lamb” 25 likes
“No Gods Or Kings. Only Man. -Andrew Ryan” 21 likes
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