The chief amusement of this book was that it made me nostalgic for all of that time that I wasted as a teenager playing the game on which this book isThe chief amusement of this book was that it made me nostalgic for all of that time that I wasted as a teenager playing the game on which this book is based -- but hey, it was an awesome game, so, y'know, I enjoyed reading this a lot.
It wasn't The DOOM Comic of yore (comic reading link, youtube dramatic reading), of course, which is and always will be the DOOM adaptation against which all others must be compared, and I think that where it missed most of its mark was that, unlike the comic, the book tried to take the "oh noes, demons are invading our space station" concept in a semi-realistic way -- which meant that this was basically the novelization of the protagonist's trauma and mental breakdown mushed awkwardly with the demands of the plot that the protagonist blow a lot of demons the fuck up. These things can mesh instead of mush -- see, for example, Alien -- but this book seems a little too self-conscious of its genre conventions to really get you into the head of the protagonist where you need to be to make that work, at least if you're me. (I will grant that most of that self-consciousness was probably necessary for the nit-fixing of the original game elements for semi-coherent world-building.)
Speaking of the protagonist, though: a lot of this book was the sensitive exploration of the feelings of the protagonist (a Marine named Fly, short for Flynn) for a fellow Marine named Arlene, who appears in person about halfway through the book. When Arlene isn't present, she's a kickass Marine who runs through the station well ahead of Fly, killing things, blazing the trail, and making Fly generally feel second-best; he spends his time day-dreaming about what great friends they were and how all of the Marines respected her so much. When she appears, Fly immediately goes into macho protect-the-little-lady mode, which the book obliges by setting Arlene up to be rescued a couple of times. And, of course, it's Arlene who's all we-must-rescue-the-homeworld in order to inspire Fly to do his part in the fighting. I think that the story of Arlene and her sidekick Fly would have made a much better book, especially because any concept of "chain of command" was pretty much blown out of the water from page one, so it wouldn't matter that Fly technically outranked her.
Or maybe I just need to go digging through my old backups to see if I have a copy of DOOM which can be installed on a modern computer so that I can blow up a few demons of my own.......more
In its time, I'm sure this was merely a mildly amusing kids' book. Photographs of cats with funny captions, however, are definitely in right now, makiIn its time, I'm sure this was merely a mildly amusing kids' book. Photographs of cats with funny captions, however, are definitely in right now, making this book unintentionally hilarious....more