Uncharted, Christopher Golden, Del Rey, ISBN 0-978-345-52217-7, $15.00, 322 pgs.

English: Uncharted's series logo Italiano: Log...

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Nathan Drake is a treasure hunter, rogue and all around good guy.  On his way back to the US from a near escape in South America he gets contacted by old friend and often business partner, Victor (Sully) Sullivan.  Seems that Sully’s old friend, a world famous archeologist has just been found murdered in Manhattan.  Teaming up with the dead man’s daughter, the three decide to figure out just what the old man was up to.  soon, they are dodging assassins, traveling the globe, quipping and fighting it out as they search for three long lost labyrinths.

I have to admit right here that I did not finish the book. It did try, honest, a couple of times.  But, the writing and the editing kept getting in the way.  Here’s a couple of examples.  The book opens with a wild jeep ride through the jungle, the  kind where the driver barely manages to keep control.  To make things worse, the jeep is being chased by two more jeeps full of bad guys who are shooting at them and bullets fly all around.  So, what better time than for the driver of the jeep to have some witty conversation with the passenger?  Did I mention it’s a long conversation that continues as the chase gets more and more intense?  Here’s the next problem a few pages later, and I quote “…walked toward Drake with his gun held down at his side.”  Two sentences later we get this, again, I quote “He pulled a pistol from an armpit holster and strode over.”  Must have done that with the hand not holding the gun at his side I guess, although it’s really not clear.  And, yes, the two sentences are about the same character.  And there’s more but that should give you some idea of the quality of writing/editing here.  I say writing/editing because it’s not clear where these issues arose but they certainly should have been caught by either the writer in a final draft process or through the use of final readers, or the editor.  These kind of errors are like being poked in the eye with  stick.  Every minute I need to spend going back and re-reading passages because I’m confused is time I am being pulled from the story.  Not good for narrative flow.

Perhaps it’s because this book is based on a video game and perhaps it was just rushed to publication but errors of this nature are not really excusable.  And maybe it’s the whole video game thing that entices the writer to think they can write very visually, because certainly the scene with the jeep in he jungle can be done on film or in a video game.  But it does not work in print.  You can, in one sentence describe how horribly difficult it is to drive and then in the next sentence have the driver take all attention off the driving to banter with the passenger.  James Bond can do it, sure, but we also see that situation unfolding so we can see it happens in a way that works visually.

I certainly can not recommend the book based on what I read.  On the other hand if you are a big fan of Uncharted then maybe you want to take a shot at it.  Regardless, this is one book that it would make some sense for you to read a few pages before plunking down three Lincolns.

To get your own copy, click here: Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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