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Dead Space: Martyr

(Dead Space)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,912 ratings  ·  193 reviews
The first novel in the multi-million dollar video game franchise Dead Space


When geophysicist Michael Altman hears of the mysterious signal emitted from deep within the Chicxulub crater, he can not resist the lure of an undiscovered artifact. With his girlfriend Ada, he joins a team excavating the underwater crater, determined to find the source of the baffling message. The
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Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Dead Space: Martyr (Dead Space, #1), B.K. Evenson

Dead Space: Martyr is a 2010 science fiction novel by B.K. Evenson.

The novel delves into the origins of Church of Unitology, Michael Altman, Necromorphs and the mysterious Black Marker in the Dead Space universe.

The story revolves around geophysicist Michael Altman as he investigates the source of a mysterious signal and uncovers a strange alien artifact. The narrative then goes on to focus on how Altman's actions led to his own unwilling
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Timothy Urges
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5

An okay read, a mixture of alien horror and scientist versus military/corporation thriller. The ending leaves you with interesting consequences for the future that I actually enjoyed. But the book is full of inconsistencies, e.g. scientists that aren’t all that intelligent.
Fairul Asannan
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I REALLY LOVE this book. I think it was mostly because i had played both of the game, and i had wondered days and nights about the mysterious Markers and Necromorphs.

The plot in both games (Dead Space 1&2) are mind-fucking as hell, and I was somewhat disappointed after the credits rolled, with thousands what and why and WTH spinning in my mind, so I decided that maybe reading the novel would provide me some insight about what the hell is going on. I was wrong, unfortunately, but enjoyed the
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Igor
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, horror
Since I played all the Dead Space games, this book came as most welcoming because the games didn't reveal too much about Black Marker or Altman or how everything started. Book is a prequel to the games so it can be read by anyone interested in horror sci-fi. Also, possibly could be more interesting for those who didn't play the games as they don't know what's all about therefore reading experience could be much more intense. Personally, it gave me quite few chills late at night as just the same ...more
Kyle Muntz
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid novel, especially considering how thin the setting felt in the original games. There are a lot of elements here that remind me of Evenson's other work: the stripped down prose, film-noir dialogue, gorgeous take on violence, hints at the mythical, and even moves towards a similar thematic complexity. The main differences were structural, as here he gives the book the pace and feel of a thriller. The last act was especially impressive, I think, as it explodes in a mess of gore ...more
Steve Owen
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brian Evenson doing straight genre work still feels very much like Evenson proper with its mimetic style and epistemological quandaries. Interesting work for writers looking to bridge the gap between genre and literature.
Damon
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Underwhelming, poorly written, macabre filler that sullies the Dead Space lore with unnecessary and contradictory exposition.

It's the story of Michael Altman, the religious figure at the heart of the church of Unitology, and his clumsy journey from a lowly computer tech to an unwilling cult legend. Far in the future, Earth's resources are dwindling, and major mining corporations have already wasted thousands of lives and dollars fighting over the surface of the Moon during "the moon skirmishes".
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Joe
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of the Dead Space franchise and the backstory that the games have set up in Dead Space, Dead Space 2 and Dead Space: Extraction. There's a wealth of other media, too - a comic series, a graphic novel, two animated movies, an iOS game, and a Live Arcade/PSN downloadable game. The quality really lurches all over the place when it comes to the 'extended universe'. I really enjoyed the original comic, but hate both animated features with a passion, for example.

I was intrigued, then, by
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Higor Felipe Alves De Freitas
For some reason, this book took me longer than usual to read, ( I would usually read a book like this in 3-5 days, but it took me 2 weeks). I think that this is mostly due to the slow start, and trust me, it is Slow (with a capital 'S' for emphasis). Although slow, the author does a great job of building up tension, all this tension leading up to an absolutely amazing second halve.
I don't tend to read novels based on games, but this one, luckily, isn't a novel of the actual game (oddly enough,
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Phillip D
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
As a fan of Dead Space and Dead Space 2, I really enjoyed this book. Having played both games I started sense of foreboding about what is to come. I would have liked to know more about the church of unitology but perhaps we'll get a sequal.
K.W. Colyard
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it

Video game tie-in novels aren't known for being big-L Literature, and you won't spot B.K. Evenson's Dead Space, Martyr on any awards lists. That's a shame, too, because Evenson's novel is a unicorn --- a visceral, horrific unicorn. Dead Space, Martyr is a damn good work of fiction that transcends franchise appeal.

All too often, video game tie-in novels get by on series name alone. Stilted writing turns reading into slogging, and sometimes even an inventive story cannot save the novel from its

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Elisa
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was freaking brilliant when it comes to introducing us to Altman. From the games we are only presented with the fact that he is the founder of a religious movement, called unitology and that he died misteriously.
These informations will make you assume that he is evil or, as the rest of the believers, completely ignorant about the Marker and its intentions and effects. Well, this book may change your view on him.

Since the beginning of the book we follow Altman and the events that led to
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Achtung Englander
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a pretty good introduction to the Dead Space canon. A lot of the elements that made the video game fun like holoscreens, Convergence and various Necromorphs all make a show. The story is surprisingly original with the propagandist being a reluctant martyr as opposed to the stereotypical megalomaniac. It also takes a large slice from 2001 A Space Odyssey with the Marker stepping in for the Monolith. It even gets digged up after being purposely buried by "other" beings. The writing is ...more
Jimmy
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, sci-fi
4.5 - Well written with good pacing and suspense.
This review will contain very mild spoilers about the pacing


The good
I'm partial to the Dead Space series via the games, but my main concern going into this book was how the prequel would be able to capture the series disturbing atmosphere without coming on too strongly and losing the reader.

In my opinion the author manages to balance the ominous elements of the story so that there's always a sense of dread but at the same time it doesn't try too
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Jessica at Book Sake
Reviewed by Kole for Book Sake.

I’ve been a Dead Space fan for a long time. And I always wanted a real prequel to them. This story has lived up to that in every way. It explains many things and makes the story of the series make more sense. You get to see the origins of the markers, or their discovery, and how the society spiraled into what is now Dead Space. I liked how the focus of the story was on a very important person in the mythology. This person was previously unknown, and I couldn’t
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Alexander S...........
I am a fan of the dead space series.
I really enjoy this book
good well written story with twist and turns
True to the Dead Space series amazing book
Book is a prequel to the original Dead Space, set hundreds of years before that game. It covers the discovery of the original Marker and ultimately gestures towards the beginnings of the COU .This story is full of paranoid, horrific, violent and gut-wrenching moments.
This book is a must read for fans of Dead Space...
I love it...
Jody Ellis
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. It was so well written. The only thing I would want to change is a little more detail on the Markers monsters because, for anyone who has never played the game, they'd struggle to form a true representation.

The book was big but not heavy. It was easy to read and most of the chapters were very short and well sorted out and sectioned.

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
I couldn't get into this book but my 13 year old son wanted to read it once I mentioned the video game Dead Space. I actually wanted it for him so I'll be curious if he likes it. Review coming when he is done with it.
Bjorn
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad read at all. Starts off a bit wonky, and I always feel silly when reading books based on games, but it picked up nicely. Some elements from the games felt like they were forced in, but it didn't really affect much.
Glyn
-slowly builds, makes sense how and why shit pops off
-works well with game lore, in terms of Marker's effects
-parallels between (view spoiler)
-enjoyed the easter egg that one of the background characters is named Ishimaru, that Dead Space 1's ship is named after him
-frustrating to read in that you're like DON'T DO THE THING, but they keep doing the thing
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Jason
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for all fans of Dead Space
Caylynne King
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Agathokles
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew Talamini
I haven't played the game. But this is some top-notch horror. As somebody who's struggled to write good hallucinations, I can tell you that it's not easy. A lot of horror writing has bad hallucinations. This? Good ones. Super creepy, woven sensibly into the character's psychology, not a huge amount of difference from the 'real world' to make it obvious, and then the character is bleeding out and doesn't quite get why. We're not fooled, but we're completely convinced that the character is fooled. ...more
Michael
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ALTMAN BE PRAISED

This holy record of the church of Unitology has been archived in one of the mausoleum ships. There it is studied, that we may follow its holy lessons.

But it has not always been safe! The blasphemous notion that Altman would FIGHT against the Marker is ludicrous... yet, we refuse to make further alterations. Know only that his is the word - the word of the deathless faith - the only true faith.

Unitology.
Kris
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It started really good but halfway it got really boring. The story went downhill due to its predictable plot twist and dialogue. This was supposed to shed some light on one of my favourite gaming franchises out there but I ended being extremely disappointed. It doesn't satisfy Dead Space fans, horror fans or even sci-fi fans.
Kaine Andrews
Well, if you're a fan of the video game series, this is probably worth a peek. If you're not, it's probably not going to do much for you. The idea is that the author is trying to give you some backstory for how mankind first got interested in the Marker (some form of pre-human monolith that generates nearly limitless energy) and the founding of the Church of Unitology (the group that worships the Marker, believing it will bring them to transcendance.)

I personally don't think the book
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Gregory
Jan 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
I’m a big fan of the Dead Space series of games. They’re some of the best sci-fi/horror games in the genre, being a love child of Shinji Mikami’s Resident Evil 4 and Ridley Scott’s Alien. But I absolutely hated Martyr. It doesn’t seem as though B.K. Evenson was even a fan of Dead Space before he wrote this, or if he did any research at all. The book is so disconnected from the rest of the franchise, it could’ve easily been associated with any other property and would’ve fit just as poorly.

The
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Nikki Ellix
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars.

“It was not human, but seemed as though it once had been. It’s neck looked like it had been flayed free of skin, the reddish pith underneath flecked with white splotches, oozing slowly. What looked to be eyes were only empty sockets covered with veined, opaque membranes. The jawbone seemed to have vanished entirely, leaving only a flap of loose skin and a hole where the mouth should have been.”

My friend recently got me hooked back on sci-fi/horror core and in doing so, leant me
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Khaled
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Altman be praised!"

I've cursed Michael Altman's name under my breath many times when dealing with his crazed followers. I was shocked to find out the truth. This book is a bit slow, but it tells a strong story and escalates extremely fast in the fourth, fifth, and sixth sections. This is probably one of the darkest books I've Read recently, but that really fits the universe it's from. I expected nothing less. It delightfully revels in violence and gore. I think my biggest takeaway was the
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Pseudonym for author Brian Evenson.

Other books in the series

Dead Space (5 books)
  • Dead Space
  • Dead Space: Salvage
  • Dead Space: Liberation
  • Dead Space: Catalyst
“Marker be praised,” said Harmon. And then he added, “Altman be praised.” 3 likes
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