David Caldwell's Reviews > Rage

Rage by Matthew Costello
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's review
Sep 16, 11

bookshelves: won-it-on-goodreads-first-reads
Read from September 09 to 16, 2011

I won a copy on Goodreads first reads.
The basic concept of this book is that an asteroid is going to strike the earth and probably wipe out civilization.To try and save at least some of humanity, governments around the world build arks to hold a few people in cryogenic sleep with supplies to start over.The arks are designed to reemerge at different times to maximize their chances for survival.Naturally things go wrong.
I have learned when giving a review, you should always start with some good points before you look at those areas that could have been better.The basic concept is good.The cover art is not bad.I only found 2 typos in the book.Finally the chapyers are short with plenty of breaks so you always have a good place to stop when you get tired of reading.
Like most books based on games, Rage suffers from a lot of problems.There is usually very thin background stories to video games.Unfortunately this carried over to the novel.There are a lot of questions/problems that just do not get addressed.Most of the plot reads like a collection of cliches from sci-fi books and movies.The big draw to the game is action.In the novel, the action is tepid at best.One big suspense killer is that with only one main character, you can guess he will make it through no matter the odds.The characters are flat and it is almost impossible to become connected to them.
Some of the big questions that I had included why did the asteroid behave so strangely? Why were there so few people on each ark? What were the ark survivors supposed to eat while they waited for the seeds that they were given grew into food? If there was so much devastation that the world is turned into a giant desert, and most animals were killed off, how is life even possible? what did happen to all the water? It wasn't boiled off into the atmosphere because they talk about how much brighter the sun is.(We will ignore why the sun is changed by the earth being hit.)How did so many car parts,buildings,guns and people survive when whole contintents were destroyed? This type of questions don't matter when playing a game, but in a novel that is supposed to take you deeper into that world they do.
The best way I can describe reading this book is to compare it to eating plain broth.You will survive eating it but there is nothing that stands out about it.If you have nothing else to do and feel you must read it,go ahead.But I would also suggest just play the game.There are plenty of books in a similar vein that are better.Two such novels that are done much better are Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny and wanted by Jason Halstead.Or you could watch the Mad Max movies again.
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