The latest book that I finished is based off of one of my all time favorite video games. This book, Bioshock: Rapture, is a prequel novel based before the video game happens. Before I really talk about the plot of this book or go into my review, I’m going to talk a little about the video game because that will provide some insight to the book.
Bioshock takes place in 1960. The protagonist in the game is named Jack. After his plane crashes in the Atlantic, he finds shelter in a lighthouse. Upon entering the lighthouse, he discovers that it’s a secret entrance to Rapture. Rapture is an underwater city created by Andrew Ryan. When Jack discovers the city, he finds that the city has deteriorated. Atlas, a man in Rapture becomes Jack’s guide as he explains what has happened to the city. One cause of the city’s destruction is plasmids. Plasmids are drugs that you inject that give you powers such as shooting electricity, throwing fireballs and telekinesis. These plasmids are really what caused Rapture’s downfall. Over the course of the game you meet characters and discover what really happened to this broken city.
This book starts before Rapture was created. Major characters in this novel include:
Andrew Ryan: Ryan is the creator of Rapture. He creates Rapture because he believes that the world will die at the hands of a nuclear holocaust.
Bill McDonagh: McDonagh is a British engineer and he is recruited by Andrew Ryan to help create the city and protect it.
Frank Fontaine: Fontaine is a criminal who sneaks his way into Rapture. He is the main antagonist in the story along with Andrew Ryan. Ryan and Fontaine are constantly fighting over the right to rule Rapture and this causes conflict within the novel and impacts the city.
Brigid Tenenbaum: Tenenbaum is a geneticist. She helped create the plasmids and the ADAM responsible for the destruction of Rapture. She was also a scientific assistant in the concentration camps in Germany in World War II.
As a huge fan of the video game, I knew I had to read the book. The book itself starts off slow. It introduces key characters and it takes a long time before Rapture is built. Once Rapture is built, the book starts to get interesting. More characters in the video game are introduced and slowly Rapture is starting to deteriorate. I really liked how most of the characters were portrayed. Andrew Ryan seems like a good person at first, but he refuses to let anyone leave Rapture and this causes most of the citizens in Rapture to start revolting. As violence increases in the city, Ryan refuses to address the issue. I consider Ryan to be a dictator and as much as he preaches free speech in the city, he refuses to listen to people who don’t agree with him. I also really like Bill McDonagh. He is an interesting character because he knows that Rapture is slowly going downhill, but he respects Andrew Ryan. This internal conflict is shown throughout the story and I found it really fascinating to read about.
When reading the book, I was kind of shocked at the back story behind Brigid Tenenbaum. I always saw her as a hero when I would play through the game, but reading the book, I don’t feel that way about her. She has experimented on innocent people and has killed people in the name of science. To her, this is beneficial because she finds out more about the human population. However, I don’t really consider her a villain because she does end up helping the little sisters in captivity.
My goodreads rating is three stars. I liked that this book gave new insight on the world of Rapture, however I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the video game, but if you’re not interested in Bioshock, you wouldn’t find this book interesting.