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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!
What an excellent book for Starcraft fans! For fans of Christie's character driven stories in the Blizzard universes, this is an absolute MUST HAVE! It's got a bit of everything in it: tons of action, adventure, great dialogue, mystery, suspense and heart touching romance!

The story transitions well from the immediate aftermath of Wings of Liberty to set the...
Published on November 10, 2012 by Luna

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars SC2 Universe
This book wasn't exactly a page turning machine. Throughout the entire book I half expected more epic battles but only got high speed chase scenes. Overall I would recommend it to starcraft fans and no one else really.
Published 11 months ago by James Hassell


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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, November 10, 2012
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This review is from: StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Starcraft II (Gallery Books)) (Hardcover)
What an excellent book for Starcraft fans! For fans of Christie's character driven stories in the Blizzard universes, this is an absolute MUST HAVE! It's got a bit of everything in it: tons of action, adventure, great dialogue, mystery, suspense and heart touching romance!

The story transitions well from the immediate aftermath of Wings of Liberty to set the stage properly for the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion set. Many characters, both major and minor, have their motivations and personalities shown in spotlight to create a much more personal journey than has been explored in the previous games. Of course the main characters you would expect make appearances: Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, Matt Horner, Valerian and Arcturus Mengsk. More importantly, many of the series minor characters are also explored, including Mira Han, Rory Swann, Egon Stettman, and previously unknown members of Raynor's Raiders. The character driven plot gives a much greater sense of a "universe" than Wings of Liberty could on its own, giving the games setting more depth in hindsight.

In my opinion, though, the highlight of the book was not its wonderful, character driven plot to set up Heart of the Swarm, but the tantalizing looks that it gave to the past, concerning the relationship of Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan. The book goes into detail about just what Jim thought upon meeting Kerrigan for the first time (the famous "You pig!" and "Yeah but you were thinkin' it" line), their first date, Jim's deepening feelings for Sarah as she expresses her true emotions and motives.

While I have mentioned many of the character driven elements of the book, that is not to say that it isn't still set in the Starcraft universe! There are still fantastic action scenes in the book: plenty of gunfighting, battles in outer space, chase scenes and the like! The difficulty is that I caught myself having to re-read many of these scenes because the spoken dialogue between the main characters are just too captivating! Readers, I know it's difficult when the story is just so ridiculously engrossing, but slow down and take your time to read through the actions scenes as well! They really help to set the scene for just how much trouble Jim, Sarah and crew are in than the dialogue alone can convey!

To round out my review, I would like to add that I have touched very lightly on the plot elements, and I neglected to mention some of the more important things at all because I do not want to spoil the book for you. I have not mentioned the most tender moment of the franchise so far, the suspense involving the reveal of Raynor's true allies and enemies, or the sinister plot underlying the franchise expanded upon ever so slightly in these pages.

I have been a fan of literature since I was young, and a great fan of Christie Golden's work for Blizzard since I discovered her. This book, in my opinion, will rival her novel about Arthas Menethil as the masterstroke of her career so far. Going into the novel I had many idolized ideas about who the characters and their feelings towards each other. I was pleasantly surprised, at the end of my reading, to find that my ideas about the characters were not only correct, but enhanced by the backstory presented to us. To me, the mark of a great book is one which can not only present a beautiful overall scene, but also colors in the small details to create a full picture. In this book, the Starcraft universe is our canvas, and the complex characters fill in all of the wonderful details.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, March 1, 2013
You need to be a fan to like it definitelly. It's a little slow at times but overall a great prelude to HOTS (the book basically covers what happened after Jim leaves Char with Kerrigan)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's amazing!, November 9, 2012
This review is from: StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Starcraft II (Gallery Books)) (Hardcover)
I'll be honest, I did not expect to enjoy this book. I was afraid it would be a side-story, unimportant. But I was absolutely wrong! Damn, the book is amazing. I have not finished it yet, but what amazes me about it is that it is written very well, the characters talk like they do in the game, and the story is very important, and interesting! It is the key story from two seconds after the ending of Starcraft II, to the beginning of Heart of The Swarm. If you care about the game, buy it. If you like sci-fi, buy it.

Overall, it's amazing (so far)!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good SC novel, October 27, 2013
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As someone who specifically seeks out video game-related literature (such as Halo, Diablo, Starcraft, World of Warcraft, Gears of War, and other series), this is the sort of novel that is only natural for me to come across at some point. It was good, but not particularly amazing or anything -- still, it filled in some gaps on the Starcraft 2 storyline, which was something I appreciated since I like to learn about all the lore behind such games.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read. However I feel the game doesn't fully acknowledges the book, March 19, 2013
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Overall the writing and the story is good. The author tries to give us a deeper understanding of the main characters motives and feelings.
My only gripe is not about the book itself and isn't directed towards the author. My problem is that during the game, I don't feel like the characters acknowledge the events that happened during the book. During Hiperion mission the dialog between Horner and Valerian pretty much ignores all of what happened on Dead Man's Port. I would have hoped that the writers would pay more attention to these details and gave us a more coherent universe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, February 10, 2013
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Picks up the story quite well. Not a "classic" by any means, but for the SC2 fan, there's enough to bridge the gap between games. Some big stretches, but hey, it's fiction.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!, November 12, 2012
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First time reading a Starcraft book and it was great! Makes me wish the next x-pac would come out for SC2 already I buy the games for the story and the multiplayer is a bonus. Thanks for a great book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book with few missed opportunities, January 27, 2013
This review is from: StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Starcraft II (Gallery Books)) (Hardcover)
First I would like to lay out my potential biases for-or-against this book. I'm really into Starcraft universe, but mainly through the games and online wiki pages. This is the first book on the Starcraft universe(besides from game manuals) I've read thus far. I do read regularly, but my topics of interest in books were mainly history/politics/philosophy than fictions of any sort. My primary reason for purchasing this book was the new Heart of the Swarm cinematic trailer. After seeing such epic trailer, I really wanted to satisfy the itch to find out just what happened after Wings of Liberty. I figured that the odds are, I would have a decent time reading through this. Worst case I would be reading a total cheeseball of a story about characters I liked, which would still be fun.

Now that I laid out my background, here is my opinion on the book itself. Overall I had a great time reading this book. It gives much needed explanation to make sense of some really lackluster character motivations in WoL.

SPOILER ALERT

For me, the prime example is Valerian. If you played WoL without reading any of the outside canonical materials, his whole motive of "let's cure Kerrigan so I can show people what a great leader I can be" sounds extremely naive to the point of complete foolishness. Why not just use the artifect to weaken her to kill her? Once Golden tell us that Valerian is aware of the prophecy, his plan suddenly makes a whole load of sense. This revelation, along with the rest of first three chapters of the book, IMO, is so necessary that I want to praise Golden and criticize Blizzard. To Golden, thank you for making better sense of the whole messy final arc of WoL. To Blizzard... why would you leave out such an important information that help make sense rest of WoL to outside of your main storytelling device, that is the actual game? Whatever their reasoning is, the first three chapters alone made me appreciate my purchase of the book as a Starcraft fan.

Another messy plot dynamics of WoL that was better fleshed out here is Acturus-Tychus-Moebius-Valerian connection. If you played SC, BW then WoL without reading any of the books like me, the aforementioned connections is just messy. First, Acturus releases Tychus as a spy/assassin. Tychus then gets hired by Moebius to collect the artifacts. Moebius is collecting artifacts because of Valerian (also maybe because Narud is Duran and wants them for currently untold purposes), who is suppose to do this in secret from Acturus. This puts Tychus in middle of pretty much everyone, which is a huge problem in surprise-focused arcs like the "Media Blitz" in WoL. That doesn't get resolved in this book, but Golden at least simplifies this convoluted 4-way mess by turning Moebius into treacherous group that was actually in league with Acturus.

But enough about problems with WoL... More on Golden's book, Flashpoint does a great job in making sense of Kerrigan's motivations for upcoming HotS. We all knew she was not going to become Queen of Blades again because Blizzard just used entire game's plot to turn her human-ish (what a complete waste of entire WoL plot would have been if she would just revert back to being the Queen of Blades!)... so that left few questions such as how would she emotionally deal with all the carnage she caused and what her goal is now that she's less zerg-like? Flashpoint explain both through her love for James Raynor and her desire for revenge against Acturus. But instead of just turning that into a form of info-dump, Golden walks us through various phases of Kerrigan's emotional 'growth'. She would start off as a trauma victim, ridden with guilt and self hate. With Raynor's help she becomes more, erm, functional over time. It is here where Kerrigan-Raynor relationship is much better fleshed out through flashbacks, and I agree with few other reviewers on this site, this is probably the best form of character growth in this book and it's just really good. She goes through a rather rapid surge of recovery at the Prometheus base arc but by this point, all of the pieces about Kerrigan as a character is in place and her transition into a super warrior doesn't feel rushed at all. Rather, it felt welcome.

Two other characters, Valerian and Mira Han, felt bit cheesy in their overall goodness but I feel hesitant to fault this book for. Valerian had much of his character fleshed out in previous books, or so I am told, and his depiction in Flashpoint is suppose to be true to the framework laid out before Golden so there is that. Mira Han is largely motivated by her true-yet-playful love towards Matt, and her 'allegiance' to Raynor is true to the character but bits of informations about her tertiary good works, like giving food to refuges, feels like it came out of nowhere; doesn't hurt the story at all, but it felt just bit cheesy. Even so I feel hesitant about marking it down as a fault because the universe and story so far had enough bad guys as it is, did we really need to turn everyone into some sort of grim-dark survivor? Maybe to some, but I don't think it's necessary and bit of cheesy-goodness doesn't really hurt.

My issue with the book is that I feel like it missed out on a HUGE opportunity early on. When Acturus and Valerian is faced off against each other early on, the fleet that Valerian brought with him follows his order to fight against their Emperor to protect the former Queen of Blades. The crew of Bucephalus and maybe few other captains would be understandable, but the whole scale of things was basically a civil war breaking out. If I understand the lore correctly, resocialization is only for the marines/firebats/marauders (basically infantry/meatshield) so I'm assuming that all of the captains under Valerian's command freely decided to stick with him against their emperor. This pushed suspension of disbelief bit too far for me. And by missed opportunity, if you ever saw the remake of Battlestar Galactica or good books on topics of revolution/rebellion/coup-de-ta, you should see the ample opportunity for the mind games that both Acturus and Valerian would be forced into with various captains of battlecruisers as they would have to vie for their loyalty. Perhaps it would be too "off-topic" but I felt that it could have made for great read.

So there you have it, IMO Flashpoint is a great read. It missed few opportunities but it still help iron out the overall lore and tells the tale of Raynor's Raider's escape, new allegiances forming, and most importantly, Kerrigan's transformation through her love for Raynor and her hate towards Acturus.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first Starcraft book I have read... and Was NOT dissappointed, November 28, 2012
This review is from: StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Starcraft II (Gallery Books)) (Hardcover)
I don't normally read books that tie into games, but seeing how I am a Starcraft fan and are eagerly awaiting the expansion (Heart of the Swarm), I thought I would give this "bridge" a shot. I must say that Christie Golden can write rather well. I bought the book for a fun read, and that's what I got plus more. The author did a great job portraying the characters you interact with in the game accurately, and even goes into some detail on their back story which I found helpful because I haven't read any other previous books dealing with Starcraft. The action was nicely done, and the plot minimal but still entertaining enough, Flashpoint was an interesting character-driven book. So, from a skeptic of cross media tie-ins, I am impressed and will be looking forward to reading whatever else she writes in the series, and perhaps others prior to this book that I haven't before.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read! Couldn't put it down!!, November 10, 2012
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This review is from: StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Starcraft II (Gallery Books)) (Hardcover)
Just finished this, the most recent StarCraft novel and I absolutely loved every moment of it!! I love StarCraft and all the lore books, and this book was no exception. I would recommend this book highly to anyone interested in a well written sci-fi novel, let alone all those who love the StarCraft universe, its story and characters. Christi Golden has written another wonderful novel, and I hope she continues to astound her captive audience in the future. In short, you should not be reading this review right now, you should be reading Flashpoint!
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StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Starcraft II (Gallery Books))
StarCraft II: Flashpoint (Starcraft II (Gallery Books)) by Christie Golden (Hardcover - November 6, 2012)
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