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Shadowrun 22: Dead Air (1996)

Shadowrun 22: Dead Air (1996)

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3.41 of 5 Votes: 1
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0451453751 (ISBN13: 9780451453754)

About book Shadowrun 22: Dead Air (1996)

I like to evaluate a book based on three criteria: plot, characters and writing style. This book scores highly in all three. The plot/story was good. up til the last few pages there were things I had not figured out yet. This is no small challenge as I am a pretty good figurer-outer kind of guy. We have revenge. We have untidy alliances and betrayal. The sort of stuff that makes life horrible and fiction wonderful. Of the three, I rate the character development the least. It was good, very solid, but just a hair below the other two. When a major protagonistic character dies, you're gonna' lose points here (which you gain back elsewhere if you do it well). There were a lot of bodies to keep your eye on... thus a list at the start of the book. Some were developed better than others. A few of the seemingly major players didn't quite get the pages I'd have liked to see. A couple others a bit more than I needed. I imagine this is a "your mileage may vary" sort of thing. The writing style was very polished. Which honestly surprised me. I don't read a lot of "based on a game world" type literature. Or expect what I do read to be great. Also, when I wind up reading a book because I know the author, I set a pretty low bar. I didn't need to bother for Jak. This book is well written. It reads well. the exception tot hat is something inherent to the genre. I was overwhelmed with countless gadgets, gizmos, technologies and magics that left me feeling like I was trying to play checkers with an opponent who was playing chess. This caused me to get a slow start on the book, but once I got a hundred or so pages in, I got a little more comfortable with the world I was reading in and the writing style overcame the challenge.Lastly, the only other thing that took away from the book for me was the "prevalence of easy". No matter what was needed done, there seemed to be an easy way to do it. This happens a lot in the more imaginative genres. I like to refer to the police radar/radar detector race in way of explanation. Better radars beget better detectors beget better radars, etc, etc, etc. In this story the ability to bypass rules seems overwhelmingly beyond the ability to enforce. I suspect this is true of the whole Shadowrun world and books, but only know for sure about what I've read. On the other hand, over explaining or developing too many constraints to overcome can bog down a story and kill pacing. I think Tom Clancy is a brilliant writer, but he does this too much for my liking. So where is the balance? To each one his own I guess. It's just one more piece of the pie that is a totally personal thing.I would not recommend this book to realists. It's way too out there, full of magic, elves, trolls, and diverse interesting technologies. Probably not to the impatient who don't already know the Shadowrun world. You'll give up trying to keep up with all the jacking in, flying motor bike and astral projection kind of stuff going on.I do recommend to someone who plays or reads Shadowrun. Fans of science fiction would like this, and fans of speculative fiction should love it. Fantasy fans will be right at home with all the dwarfs, trolls, elves, elementals and whatnot wandering about. Not to call names, but if you are already called a geek or a nerd by others, this could fit well on your bookshelf.

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