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BioShock: Rapture

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  6,462 ratings  ·  664 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 freedom back ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published June 26th 2012 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)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  6,462 ratings  ·  664 reviews


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Federico DN
Would you kindly read an obscene amount of books?

World war, nuclear bombs, dictatorships, destruction, massive poverty slowly devastating the world in the mid-twentieths century. A man with a vision. A city with full liberties and complete autonomy, away from the dangers, vices, restrictions and dubious moralities of the outside world. A city isolated and protected, so humanity can restart free again.

A city... under the sea.

What could possibly wo grong?

The story of an utopia slowly transforming
...more
Holden Attradies
Sep 23, 2011 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
Maciek
May 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Ivan
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
...more
Joel
Feb 11, 2014 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
Thea
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jamie
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
...more
Sarah
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Elliott
Aug 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sesana
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, video-games
The Bioshock games are some of the best that I've ever played. I love all three dearly, so of course I wanted to read this book, which is meant to cover the founding and fall of Rapture. If you have not played the Bioshock games, and have any interest whatsoever in doing so, then please, please do. At the very least, watch the opening, to get a taste of the story and the world. Now, this book isn't great, and it could be. What is best and most engaging is that which is taken more or less directl ...more
Krissy
**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
...more
Bob
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Andrea
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Colleen
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Spencer
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I must say that I was really surprised by how good this book was, I was expecting something quickly written to cash in on the success of the games but John Shirley has created something that stands on its own as an excellent book.
This acts as a prequel to the first game and details the rise and fall of Rapture. I found the characters interestingly written and John really must have done his research as he brilliantly brings together the history of rapture that you glean in bits and pieces in the
...more
TheDigressiveApproach
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want a PROPER book accompaniment to the gem that is Bioshock
I have only watched gameplays of the game and never played it myself but reading this makes me want to play it even more than I already did. 10/10. And thank God I watched the gameplay first or the end of this book would have been a MASSIVE SPOILER for the first game's ending. The pacing is impeccable for such a short book; the events are not rushed; the characters are all sick and crazy and amazing and DISTINCT. I love the background that shows the inception of the idea of Rapture. I love this ...more
Catherine
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this! Bioshock is my fav game of all time so I was sort of expecting to be pedantic and find tons of flaws and little things that were wrong but I really didn't. It took the whole world of the first two games, put everything in and even added some stuff that fit perfectly. There was even a reference to Infinite! Which I was not expecting.
I'm not sure I would recommend this book to anyone who hasn't played the game though, since it might be a bit confusing and far-fetched to the uninitiate
...more
Ray Slaven 3
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
.
Ralph
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rpg-material
As usual, there are some technical issues with the way this book is listed on Goodreads. I have the mass market paperback ISBN 9781848567047. As I close the book as finished I note the page number as 470. None of the editions, included those as mass market, by Titan Books or with this ISBN, have that many pages! grrrr!

But I did enjoy it.
Rick
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book surprised me by being better than I expected. Of course, I didn't have high expectations for it when I got it, so it wasn't too hard exceed them. In a nutshell, this is the story behind the backstory for the video game BioShock. The book, however, stands on its own as a dystopian novel with a science fiction bent. You don't need to have played the game to enjoy the book, however if you are not familiar with the game then you may be disappointed that the ending did not tie up many loose ...more
Claire
Being fascinated by the BioShock games, reading the companion novel held a certain appeal. This book is very readable - it's not literary fiction, but it is a compelling story. Both in style and the timeframe of Rapture's rise, it brought to mind the pulp fiction books that were popular during the mid-twentieth century. At points the phrasing is a little clumsy, but it is a very easy book to fall into.

Good points: the book was, for the most part, very fun to read. It was a great book to unwind w
...more
Malina Skrobosinski
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
"A man chooses, a slave obeys!"

Well, I guess when Andrew Ryan faces off with "Jack" this isn't the first time he utters those words. I can see why this novel received mixed reviews, but to be honest, I rather enjoyed it. What's been done here is John Shirley has taken all the audio and diary's and pieced them all together into one cohesive story. With of course, a lot more detail and insight into the time period and the minds of the characters.

I especially enjoyed the further character develo
...more
Alex
Aug 26, 2011 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;
...more
Alice
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bioshock is a game that excels in giving you only snapshots of characters to create a tone and setting that continues to draw you in. It perfects that fine line between giving you all the information you want and leaving you wanting more. I don’t know if this book ever really made an attempt at this, but it feels jarringly out of place in the Bioshock world by telling you absolutely everything.

Reading the inner thoughts of characters you mostly hear as short audio diaries in the game removes th
...more
João Esteves
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So i wanted to read this book for quite some time now, being a big fan of the Bioshock games. I was not ready for how amazing the book was and the level of detail and how it connects with the games really caught me off guard, from characters to locations to events, like Andrew Ryan's motivations behind the creation of Rapture, the process of its construction and how characters like Fontaine and Sofia Lamb make a contribution for its demise. You can really feel Ryan's struggle to maintain order i ...more
Anthony
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wasn't quite what I was expecting... Thought it'd give more insight to the original game, "Bioshock", but gave sort of a backstory / set-up to the game. The first half was slow for me, but picked up rather quickly afterwards. Planned on rating this 3/5 based on first half, but the 2nd half kept me hooked.

4/5!
Tani
I have not played the game that this is based on, though I am familiar with the concept, and my husband has played all the games, so he could easily explain anything I didn't understand. I thought that this book was OK. I liked it more than I expected, to be honest, but less than I had hoped.

On a basic level, the writing was good, but uninspired. Serviceable would be a good description. Likewise, characterization was just OK. This may work better if you've played the games, but as a complete ne
...more
Becca
I love the world of Bioshock and I stand by my opinion that, as long as you're willing to put the effort in to thoroughly exploring the game, it is an amazing bit of storytelling.

However, this book strips away literally all of that magic. It's like Shirley had a bullet list of things he needed to include in this book to explain every little detail of the game. Every character that gets a passing mention in the game has a backstory, every object you come across gets mentioned at some point... it
...more
sassafrass
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I get that, as a tie in novel and a prequel at that, there is only so much flexibility you are given with the story. However I am not particularly impressed with the way this book went about filling in the blanks.

The game has a lot of side characters, though you only really 'meet' them through the voice diaries left behind as you explore the ruined city. It's great environmental story telling in the game, but there were only a few of them that I actually wanted to know more about. The author, o
...more
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
review of
John Shirley's Bioshock Rapture
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - January 5, 2018

Go straight to the full review (please): https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/...

I've previously written about & quoted John Shirley in my review of Marco Deseriis's Improper Names - Collective Pseudonyms from the Luddites to Anonymous:

""John Shirley is an unexpectedly repeated figure that I'm now more interested in than ever. In the Monty Cantsin chapter it's stated that he was a part of the vibrant
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Book description needs changed, and other issues 3 31 Apr 14, 2014 03:55PM  
The Sword and Laser: Has anyone read that BioShock: Rapture novel? 2 191 Jul 23, 2013 10:43PM  
book 4 48 Jul 10, 2013 12:37PM  

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300 followers
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
“No Gods Or Kings. Only Man. -Andrew Ryan” 39 likes
“If the modern world were a patient in my care... I would diagnose it suicidal." - Dr. Sofia Lamb” 34 likes
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