Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Voyage Cyber Monday Video Game Deals Shop Now HTL

Format: Mass Market PaperbackChange
Price:$8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2010
Dead Space: Martyr is a much-needed good omen for the future of the video game novel. A lot of other video game developers would do well to learn from Visceral Studio's careful, loving treatment of their Dead Space IP. Visceral has expanded their hit 2008 horror game into several comic books and an animated film. They seem to recognize that fans have a hunger for the universe and story they have created. And they love that universe and story enough to want to make the cross-media expansions of the Dead Space IP worthwhile endeavors.

This horror novel is Exhibit A of Visceral's careful management of their IP. They hired someone who could actually write, not some hack who spits out something that reads like a video game walkthrough with slightly better vocabulary. Hiring Brian Evenson was a terrific choice. Video game developers take note: when you want to cash in on a novel that your fans will buy, at least take a second to find somebody like this guy, who can actually write.

Martyr is a prequel to the original Dead Space, set hundreds of years before that game. The novel covers the discovery of the original Marker and ultimately gestures towards the beginnings of the Church of Unitology. Michael Altman may not turn out to be quite who you'd expect him to be, given the reverent way you hear his name used in the games and comics, but that's part of what makes this read so much fun. Evenson doesn't deliver some punched-up version of the text logs you read in Dead Space. He's made a unique and interesting story that doesn't insult your intelligence and will surprise you along the way even if you know where it has to end up.

This is a skillfully crafted narrative that is full of paranoid, horrific, violent and gut-wrenching moments. If you're a huge fan of the video game, you'll be reading this to fill in the back-story. You'll be pleasantly surprised to find that it's actually an absorbing read in its own right.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2010
I just finished reading Dead Space Martyr. Absolutely amazing book, both as a tie in to the story of Dead Space but also as a stand alone scifi horror book. I beat Dead Space (the game) about 3 months ago, watched the animated movie, and then found myself craving more. I read it in three days, and I'm craving more. I've never read a comic, but looks like now I'll have to jump into those to get more of the story while I wait for Dead Space 2 to release on my birthday, January 25th. Happy birthday eh?

But again awesome book, I love how it does the game justice and then some. The best book I have ever read that tied into a video game universe.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2012
The world of Dead Space is one filled with disturbing mystery. To be honest, it is fascinating. However, when playing through any of the Dead Space games, it is easy to get confused about the Markers, the Church of Unitology, and all the government conspiracy. I know I did, which made me all the more glad after I read through 'Dead Space: Martyr'. A lot of gaps were filled, and any reader interested in Dead Space will be satisfied after learning about the events that started the rich lore we have come to know and love in the video games.

The author, Brian Evenson, is no stranger to horror fiction. Looking at his novels and short stories easily reveal that. As a result, his perturbing style of writing blends well with the macabre universe of Dead Space. After playing through both DS1 and DS2 numerous times, I can honestly say that Evenson takes the gory imagery in the games and perfectly blends them into writing. On top of the gore, Evenson captures the psychological elements that can't be missed when dealing with the Marker. I often found myself nervously thinking about where my mind would go in certain situations of the book, sometimes hours after reading a few chapters. Overall, the writing is fast-paced and very easy to read. However, it retains the feel of a horror novel in that you get that dreadful sense of a downward spiral all the way through, that disconcerting calm before the terrifyingly violent storm you know will inevitably come.

The story follows Michael Altman, the very ironic 'founder' of Unitology (does, "Altman be praised," sound familiar?). Fans of the series will learn about the origin of the Marker, how the government was involved in its discovery and subsequent research, as well as an in-depth understanding as to how the Marker affects both the mind and human flesh. Though unlikely, reading this before playing the video games would give someone a great start in understanding Dead Space. I would even go so far as to say that fans of horror or suspense would enjoy reading 'Martyr', with the understanding this is no Stephen King novel.

On that note, those expecting a George R. R. Martin-esque book will be disappointed. The plot is strong, though the book is a quick read. The character development is also well done; I found myself attached to both key characters, like Altman and Hammond, and less important ones. I felt the very real feelings of relief at some points and sadness at others as some characters met tragic conclusions.

After better understanding the universe a little more, I can't wait to see how Dead Space develops in the future. As I said before, a lot (if not all) of my questions dealing with the Marker's origins and capabilities were answered in 'Martyr'. This is essential for anyone who is a fan of Dead Space. Go buy this book -- it's just as much an adrenaline-packed roller coaster as the games.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2010
Dead Space: Martyr sets the origin of the Marker, the Necromorph outbreak and the founding of the church of Unitology. It gives the story about Michael Altman, who is seen as a prophet by the church of Unitology. The story that is about 400 years before the events of Dead Space and Dead Space Extraction.

The book reads quickly away and leaves you wanting to play the games again. It also talks about convergence, something what, judging by the trailers, will be a theme in Dead Space 2.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2010
This book is a must read for fans of Dead Space especially those planning on getting Dead Space 2. The startling backstory of Unitology and the events surrounding the Black Marker will leave you shocked, and you will never think of the ever holy Michael Altman the same. Note this also comes in digital form if Kindles are your thing. Hopefully more Dead Space novels by the same writer will be released soon.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2013
Ok, I've never played any of the Dead Space games, bought this book on a whim one day when I was bored and have to say I was impressed! There were a few weak points in the story, and I'm not sure $7.99 for an ebook is a fair price, but I have to say this was a good purchase and a good scifi/horror read, tore through it in one sitting on a rainy day!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2014
I have watched Aftermath and Downfall. I have played Dead Space 1, 2, Extraction, and 3. I enjoyed the motion comic. Reading this book felt like a punch in the face, not necessarily in a negative way. The never ending threat of necromorphs goes hand-in-hand with dealing with Unitology nutjobs, and more often than not you hear something along the lines of "Praise Altman." Sort of like a meme, such as the Unhelpful Teacher Meme, you start to put a specific face (in this case a name) to your hate and frustration. Turns out we are completely wrong. I don't feel I would be upsetting anyone by saying Altman and Isaac are cut from the same cloth. Strip away the engineering suit and the work benches and they essentially become the same character, although Isaac never had a water level (you'll get it).

Martyr feels fairly similar to Downfall when it comes to the pacing, a lot of focus on people losing their minds in the beginning and a bloody roar of chaos at the end. One could translate this directly to a film and provide the perfect canvas for a franchise that could provide the horror fans so desperately want while not making it crucial to the wider audience to have played the games or know the entire background to understand what is going on. Although I imagine if Hollywood had their way Martyr would be more akin to the 2011 release of The Thing as oppose to the 1982 release. Not so much in ratings, but an introduction of how we got where we are only released years after a more action/horror movie has become a part of movie history.

Martyr is a great stand alone novel for anyone who likes drama, horror, aliens, and anything sci-fi. Sometimes you watch a character grow and you end up loving him. With our protagonist, you take someone you absolutely hated, watch him evolve into Mr. Everyman, and watch him become the hero you can shed a tear for. The details about the necromorphs are so intimate that they suddenly become more horrifying by definition than by appearance. Perfect for anyone who already loves Dead Space and a gateway drug for anyone who enjoys a great book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2014
I think EA made a good choice with Brian Evenson (a.k.a. B.K. Evenson) as the author. The man has a history of books that share many thematic elements to the Dead Space franchise. Also, he was once a Mormon, so this makes the fact that he is writing about how a cult is started just that more interesting. Their is an air of subtle philosophy and intrigue to the franchise, and their is the Dead Space disturbance factor. The book also keeps the franchise tradition of not being the least bit scary. However, the book is incredibly intriguing, just like the games. The Marker is a very interesting focal point for the series, as trying to comprehend how the Marker thinks is simultaneously futile and instrumental to how you view the franchise as a whole. The Marker is a sentient being, and watching the way it manipulates people is fascinating.

For those unfamiliar with the book, it is all about how Michael Altman formed the Church of Unitology, and how the Black Marker was cloned. The way it plays out is totally different to how you perceived it when you heard about it in the games.
It has been said before, but Altman is not the man you perceived him to be. Unitologists in the games always had a air about them when they talked about Altman, and used the phrase "Altman be Praised" frequently.

It is also rather interesting seeing the Dead Space universe from the 2100's. Most of the technology from the games (RIGs, Kinesis, the mining tools) are absent, yet the book has earlier versions of those technologies. For example, instead of having RIGs inserted into the spine, people carry holopods, which are basically USB drives with Skype built into them.
I have to comment that the world - at least at the beginning - is very Crichton-esque. The book is basically Sphere, except instead the thing under the sea being a magic ball that grants super powers, it's a sentient rock that spawns alien zombies and causes hallucinations.
(Michael Crichton wrote Jurassic Park, Prey, Sphere, Airframe and NEXT)

However, there is one major caveat to this book. It is very slow going. The book is only 400 pages, yet is took me 26 days to finish, since I went into periods of stopping and starting reading the book. Be that as it may, I was distracted by Katawa Shoujo, so that might be a fault of mine rather than Brian Evenson. Nonetheless, I am happy for having read it. It was very interesting lore piece, and I would recommend it to Dead Space fans.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 27, 2013
I've been a big fan of the Dead Space series ever since they animated the fantastic graphic novels by Ben Templesmith and made them available on Xbox Live leading up to the release of the game. I love how there are so many stories that are available surrounding the overarching events of the series and that they all intertwine, some more loosely than others. The best part is that so few of these stories actually end where you thought they would.

Dead Space Martyr is the book of Genesis to the series and if you've passed it up so far, you're missing out. If you've played the games, even just the first one, I'm sure you've heard the name Altman tossed around. "Praise Altman!" this and "Glory for Altman!" that. I don't know about you but this only left me with questions. Who's this Altman? Is Altman their God? Is Altman some profit? Eventually in the game you find out that Altman is credited with starting Unitology, the religious basis for the events of Dead Space. But still, who is this Altman guy? Is he the stereotypical Jim Jones, religious zealot spouting Fire and Brimstone and New World Orders? Is he some profit speaking in tongues from trance like states? Is he some divine being descended from on high to usher humanity into a utopian world? Read Dead Space: Martyr and you will find out.

Dead Space: Martyr is Altman's story. Don't worry it doesn't read like a bible, it isn't even really religious. It's about a man, his wife and an ancient artifact off the coast of Mexico. It fits in perfectly with the Dead Space series. Brian Evenson does a fantastic job of translating the ever present feelings of dread from the games to print. Every victory comes at a cost. None of the cast of characters are safe or sacred. The primary characters are well rounded and you will find yourself feeling each loss and triumph they face. This is not fan-fiction, this is a brilliantly written sci-fi/horror novel by an author who both cares about and understands the source material. I would go so far as to say that even those that haven't played Dead Space may enjoy this novel.

This isn't going to answer all your Dead Space questions however. This is not the story of the origin of the Marker (make us whole again...). This is the story of how Unitology was started and how Altman is involved. While it won't answer all your questions, I still felt like I had a greater understanding of the Dead Space universe as a whole. If you are a fan of the series, even if you don't generally read, I cannot stress enough that you should buy this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2012
Michael Altman is about to find out the meaning of the old saying that "idle hands are the devil's playground". In the future the world is on the verge of a resource collapse that has reshaped the political climate of the world as the few remaining resources are fought over and the powers that be are always racing to find the next big advantage over their competition. In this new world fields such as archeology and geology are either put on the back burner or are used as a cover to find hidden resources that may have been over looked in the past.

Michael Altman is one of these researchers, but he yearns for the day when he can do "real" work that will make him feel like he is doing something useful. One day he detects an anomaly in a nearby ocean crater that was not there before. He isn't the only one though. The military is also aware that something has changed in the crater and they send a team out to find the cause. Their attempt ends in disaster but the final broadcast of the doomed team is intercepted by Michael and the other scientists that are watching the crater. Even though he is warned off, Michael feels that he has to pursue the truth and find out what lies in the crater.

Little does he know that the "Marker" that is discovered beneath the ocean's waves has waited a long time to be free. It will use whatever and whoever it can to achieve that goal. After all, all you need is a few dead heroes' to make a legend....

I'm a fan of video games, so I like these kinds of books since they usually fill in some backstory or give a different perspective on the universe at hand. Dead Space: Martyr is one of the better types of these books that I have read lately. By itself it is a decent action / adventure book. If you play the games it does add a little more to the story that the games tell. I won't go into to spoiler detail but it seems like the marker does just as much damage or more to those who survive its effects as those that it outright kills. All in all I recommend this to any one that is looking for a decent Action / Adventure book and those that want to learn more about the backstory to Dead Space. M.a.c
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Dead Space: Catalyst (Dead Space Series)
Dead Space: Catalyst (Dead Space Series) by Brian Evenson (Paperback - October 2, 2012)

Dead Space
Dead Space by Antony Johnston (Paperback - February 5, 2013)

Dead Space: Salvage
Dead Space: Salvage by Antony Johnston (Paperback - February 5, 2013)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.