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Metal Gear Solid 2: The Novel: Sons of Liberty Paperback – November 24, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Original edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345503430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345503435
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Between 1996 and 2002, Raymond Benson was commissioned by the James Bond literary copyright holders to take over writing the 007 novels. In total he penned and published worldwide six original 007 novels (including Zero Minus Ten, Never Dream of Dying, The Man with the Red Tattoo), three film novelizations, and three short stories. An anthology of his Bond work, entitled The Union Trilogy, was published in October 2008. Benson's book The James Bond Bedside Companion, an encyclopedic work on the 007 phenomenon, was first published in 1984 and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award by Mystery Writers of America for Best Biographical/Critical Work. Benson has also written non-Bond novels: Face Blind (2003), Evil Hours (2004), and Sweetie's Diamonds (2006). The Pocket Essentials Guide to Jethro Tull was published in 2002. Using the pseudonym "David Michaels," Benson is also the author of the NY Times best-selling books Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (2004) and its sequel Tom Clancy's Splinter CellOperation Barracuda (2005). Benson's latest venture is an original series of "rock 'n' roll thrillers." The first title was A Hard Day's Death, published in April 2008. The sequel, Dark Side of the Morgue, was published in March 2009. He is also the author of the sixth "Gabriel Hunt" adventure novel, Hunt Through Napoleon's Web.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One


"The Hudson River . . . We had classified intelligence that a new type of Metal Gear was scheduled for transport. The whole thing stank, but our noses have been out in the cold too long . . ."

Solid Snake stood on the middle of the George Washington Bridge in the torrential downpour, overlooking the water below. The tanker U.S.S. Discovery was approaching and nearly at Snake's "Point of No Return." Snake looked out from under the hooded rain poncho and eyed the traffic on the bridge moving in both directions. Just headlights. No other figures on the walkway. If any people in vehicles saw him, they'd think he was just another suicide statistic. No cause for alarm.

That thought made Snake smile wryly.

Visibility was close to zero due to the heavy rain and high winds. The tanker was just a big, black shape moving along the river.

Time to go.

Snake unzipped the poncho and shrugged it off of his body, revealing the dark sneaking suit that was his trademark uniform, the same old gear he had used during the Shadow Moses affair two years earlier. The uniform showed signs of repair in several places, and there were no protectors in place. Snake was armed only with a Beretta, worn on a hip holster.

He adjusted the goggles over his face, careful not to disturb the signature blue bandana that was also as much a part of his body as the black hair on his head and stubble on his face. Snake checked the small parachute's harness and confirmed that it was snug. He then shimmied up the slippery supports using gloves that were made of special fabric that induced friction even when wet. He climbed onto the rail, stood upright, found his balance, and stretched out his arms to prepare for the dive.

The Discovery's deck moved into position directly below the bridge.

Snake leaped off and the AOD-Automatic Opening Device-caused the stealth parachute to blossom across his back. From that point on he was invisible to radar, sonar, and the naked eye, although the sheets of rain streamed off the parachute wings and drew its outline in the night sky. But no one would notice.

As graceful as a seagull, the former FOXHOUND operative managed to avoid the gusty effects of the wind and glided safely to the ship's deck. He landed lightly in a crouching position, facing the ship's stern. The impact of the landing rendered the stealth camo ineffective, so Snake was forced to deactivate the stealth function and become visible. He cut himself loose from the parachute and attached the wings to the filament on his back. The parachute, fragile as an angel's wings, sat on the filament and tightened with the ship's movement-its other end was tethered to the bridge railing high above. When the wire was fully taut, Snake released the gear; it disappeared into the murky black sky, carried off by the filament. The retractor reeled in the parcel and the pack came to rest unseen in the safety of the bridge.

The helicopter pilot struggled with the controls but kept the aircraft steady as it hovered over the bridge and the tanker below. The storm made it extremely difficult, but the pilot was a good one. He had to be, considering who his passenger was.

The man in the seat behind him had night-vision binoculars to his eyes and was focused on the tanker's deck.

"Our boy is right on schedule," he said. Involuntarily, he drew the six-shooter from the holster on his belt and twirled it in his left hand, gunslinger-style. Just as quickly, he shoved the revolver back into the holster and then reached up to twist his long mustache. His long yellow-white hair came down to his shoulders. He had often been told he resembled the legendary General George Custer, something he considered a compliment. After all, Custer had been a valiant, brave soldier of the U.S. Cavalry.

Revolver Ocelot watched Snake stand on the tanker deck. He lowered the binoculars and then spoke into his cellphone, "He'll know soon enough."

Snake moved behind the windlass and activated his Codec. He punched in the memorized frequency on the device around his wrist and waited for the face of his partner to appear on the Codec's screen.

"This is Snake. Do you read me, Otacon?"

The Codifying Satellite Communication System incorporated anti-wiring coding, digital real-time burst communication, sonar utilization, and radar. Normal communication was instantly codified, compressed, and transmitted in a burst of one microsecond in length. However, Snake could receive it in real time, unscrambled and decoded. The nanomachines in his body received the transmission and stimulated the small bones of his ear so that no one would hear the sound but Snake. And he could contact his partner with a speed-dial button corresponding to a code frequency. If necessary, he didn't need the actual Codec on his wrist. The nanomachines could provide a conduit for conversation in his head, hands free.

"Loud and clear, Snake." Otacon, aka Dr. Hal Emmerich, was probably the closest thing to a "best friend" that Snake had. They had met during the Shadow Moses ordeal and since then had been working together. Although he was younger than Snake, Emmerich's brains and science background were the perfect pairing to the operative's more physical approach to things.

"Kept you waiting, huh? I'm at the sneak point," Snake said.

"Everything going okay?"

"The stealth camo's busted. Landing impact."

"We must have overused it. Sorry, but you're going to have to deal with it. You're not in the military anymore."

"Right. I didn't plan on relying on this gadget anyway," Snake said with not a little sarcasm in his voice.

"Hey, the private sector's not so bad, is it? Privacy guaranteed!"

"I'm happy as long as no one gives me any more unwanted gifts."

"You mean that thing with Naomi?" Otacon didn't have to bring up the fact that Snake was still carrying the FOXDIE virus that he had acquired during the Shadow Moses incident. Thanks to Naomi Hunter, FOXHOUND's chief medic at the time. Whether it had been for Snake's own good or not was still a question.

"And I can't say I miss the chattering nanny," Snake added.

"Oh, Mei Ling's not so bad."

Actually, Snake had found FOXHOUND's communications officer rather cute, a manga character come to life. She did talk a lot, though.

"That reminds me," Otacon continued. "I have to get in touch with her again about that new Natik flashware."

"Diverting toys from the SSCEN again? Give her a message from me. Someone will find out, sooner or later. She's better off assuming it's sooner and quit while she's safe."

"Too true. Okay, Snake, let's get to work."

Snake heard the faint sound of a helicopter. He looked up but couldn't see anything through the rain and darkness.

"You know how the technical specs of Metal Gear were sold on the black market after Shadow Moses?"

"All Ocelot's doing," Snake answered.

"Exactly. And now, every state, group, and dotcom has its own version of Metal Gear."

"Not exactly a classified weapon for today's nuclear powers." Snake still had dreams-and sometimes nightmares-about his encounter with the gigantic, mobile nuclear weapon-launching system that walked like a Transformer come to life.

"This new one seems to have been designed to wipe the floor with all the other models. The only consistent description is that it's an amphibious, anti-Metal Gear vehicle."

"And that explains why this one is under Marine Corps jurisdiction?"

"Right. The mission objective is to make visual confirmation of the new Metal Gear being transported by that tanker and bring back photographic evidence. But I want you first to go up to the top level of the infrastructure, to the bridge. That's Deck-E. We need to find out where the tanker is headed."

"A little reconnaissance, huh?"

"There's too much we don't know about this new prototype. Capabilities, deployment method-we don't even know how close it is to completion. If we know where the testing arena is, I can start to draw some reasonable conclusions."

"All right, I'll head to the bridge ASAP."

"Try to avoid confrontations! Our goal is to collect evidence on Metal Gear development and expose it to the world. It would be best if you could get out of there without alerting anyone."

"Don't worry. I know the drill. We're not terrorists."

"Very good. Don't you forget that you're part of Philanthropy now!" Snake could hear the pride in Otacon's voice. He mouthed the exact words as Otacon repeated them for the thousandth time. "We're an anti- Metal Gear organization and-"

"-and officially recognized by the U.N. I know! Recognized, but still fringe, Otacon."

"All right, all right. So, how's your gear?"

"Seems to have survived the jump."

"Your weapon is a tranquilizer gun converted from a Beretta M92F. It's a little hard to work with, because you'll have to reload after each shot since the slide locks."

"It's better than scavenging at the site. It's got a good suppressor, too."

"The chemical stun will take effect in a few seconds and last for hours. You can take down an elephant with that thing. The effects of the anesthetic round will vary depending on what part of the body is hit. We're talking about a difference of tens of seconds between hitting the limbs, chest, or head. Check out the laser sighting, too!"

Snake grunted his approval.

"As for the equipment . . . " Otacon did a quick scan of Snake's suit using the Codec sensors that were built into it. "Cigarettes? Snake! What's wrong with you?"...

More About the Author

As of Spring 2013, Raymond Benson is the author of thirty published titles. These include the new BLACK STILETTO series (www.theblackstiletto.net) featuring a 1950s costumed female vigilante: THE BLACK STILETTO (2011); THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE (2012); and the newest chapter, THE BLACK STILETTO: STARS & STRIPES (2013). He also wrote six original JAMES BOND novels (now collected in the recent anthologies THE UNION TRILOGY and CHOICE OF WEAPONS and available separately as Kindle books). His backlist of original thrillers are available as Kindle books: EVIL HOURS, FACE BLIND, TORMENT, ARTIFACT OF EVIL, and others. His classic reference book from 1984, THE JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION, is now a revised Kindle book. Raymond is also a prolific tie-in writer: he penned three James Bond film novelizations, the first two best-selling TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL novels (for the latter he used the pseudonym of "David Michaels"), and with John Milius he wrote HOMEFRONT: THE VOICE OF FREEDO. He also produced novelizations of other popular videogames--METAL GEAR SOLID and METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY, and HITMAN (HITMAN: DAMNATION). There's a lot more, so if you want the full story visit the author at his website... www.raymondbenson.com!

Customer Reviews

It is like playing the game.
Juan Francisco
My son loved this book and started reading it as soon as he got it, which was Christmas day.
Brett Rumpelstiltskin
This isn't a bad book by any means, though a bit simple.
J. W. Mullins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Mack on December 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Hideo Kojima's Sons of Liberty is a beautiful and endearing story about finding your true identity and purpose in life and either following your life's chosen destiny or being brave enough to make your own.

...at least that's what one of the four people in the world who actually understands that game has told me.

For most of us, Sons of Liberty is either a highlight or the downfall in the series. The unanticipated introduction of Raiden gained some less than glowing comments from fans but didn't seem to affect the reviews of it from the media which were generally positive. Either way, it's so convoluted and wrapped up in eccentricities that instead of asking `Who is this Raiden kid and when do we get Snake back?' we should have been trying to figure out who the hell was going to explain this massive pile of intricacy to us.

This is where Raymond Benson's novelization of Sons of Liberty becomes handy.

(Uh, I'm going to warn for spoilers just for the hell of it but seriously...the game is 8 years old.)

Benson's adaptation, just as the game does, picks up about two years after the infamous events of Shadow Moses. Solid Snake, Otacon, and (loosely) Mei Ling have formed the NGO Philanthropy, an undecidedly respected organization focused on the elimination of the Metal Gear units that have been popping up like daisies due to the blueprints being mass produced and sold to anyone with enough money to buy them.

Information Otacon receives from an interestingly initialed informant called E.E. leads to Solid Snake hitching a ride Ethan Hunt style off the George Washington Bridge onto an oil tanker apparently carrying a Metal Gear unit in its holds.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Nasty on April 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Right away, Raymond Benson manages to take the dramatic, cinematic intro to MGS2 and turn it into boring garbage wherein he pointlessly changes details in the game to the point where nothing makes any sense and is no longer cool.

"The Hudson River . . . We had classified intelligence that a new type of Metal Gear was scheduled for transport. The whole thing stank, but our noses have been out in the cold too long . . ." (Who's saying that? How did the editor not catch how this random nonsense line is said and then is never followed up by any others)
Solid Snake stood on the middle of the George Washington Bridge in the torrential downpour (THE torrential downpour, the only one, ever), overlooking the water below. The tanker U.S.S. Discovery (no commas? no "named"? this seriously could not have been edited by someone) was approaching and nearly at Snake's "Point of No Return." (proper noun) Snake looked out from under the hooded rain poncho (is there a goofier name to use than that?) and eyed the traffic on the bridge moving in both directions (he was overlooking the water and then instantly rotates without the narrator saying he did so that he could see cars moving in BOTH directions, hopefully not in the same lanes). Just headlights (no cars attached to them). No other figures on the walkway. If any people in vehicles saw him (why mention 'in vehicles'? the only people physically capable of being there now are himself and people in vehicles unless they're being driven by ghosts), they'd think he was just another suicide statistic. No cause for alarm (nobody is EVER alarmed by SUICIDES).
That thought made Snake smile wryly (Snake loves it when people are indifferent to suicide).
Visibility was close to zero due to the heavy rain and high winds. The tanker (what tanker?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris on November 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Raymond Benson wrote another novel of the Metal Gear Solid series. Yet again, a great book that is described with beautiful sensory images that the reader can easily picture in mind with various characters. When I read this book, the author put the ALMOST EXACT same dialogue from the game to the novel. This is the sequel to the first Metal Gear Solid. A new character is also introduced. A "rookie" some people call him. When he is in the story, a new genre is involved with the story: Romance. Along with a few themes that can lead to love drama. A new weapon prototype includes a new weapons technology that was invented secretly by a group of terrorists. Overall, great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Krazykaleb on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're not a video gamer you will still appreciate the amount of complexity of the plot of MGS 2 novel. And if you love the video game and want more from the franchise you won't be disappointed.

It's Spy Espionoge and Sci-fi at it's best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Worth Beasley on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Received the book on time and the quality was as stated. Good extra packaging to protect it. I greatly appreciate it and would do business with this seller again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brett Rumpelstiltskin on January 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son loved this book and started reading it as soon as he got it, which was Christmas day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Campbell on December 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed Benson's romp through Metal Gear Solid 2's storyline. Yes, it's a pretty rote "walkthrough" of the game, but then again, Benson wrote the game's script as well so it's not too far of a stretch. While it doesn't do much in breaking down the philosophical babble of Raiden/Solidus/Snake's role with the Patriots (this is explained much better and concluded in MGS4, which I sincerely hope is being novelized soon), seeing it in print allows the reader to figure out the details themselves so long as they pay attention. In short, it's not War & Peace and certainly not a groundbreaking entry into the video-game novelization arena (I still think the first Doom novel by Dafydd ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver holds the top spot in retaining game canon and injecting a distinct personality missing from the game), it's a good read.
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