Set way before the first game this prequel deals with the discovery of the black marker & the origins of the Church of Unitology. The Dead Space games have been very vague about the origins of the marker & light on details about the religion that has sprung up around it. In Dead Space 2 I was surprised to see just how much influence the Church had & I am glad this book deals with that subject.
With details about the effect the marker has on people & how that leads to a necro-morph outbreak the book does a good job of helping me understand it better. I knew that the marker could send people different ways, towards murder & violence, towards insanity & suicide or towards cult-esqe reverence.
The story is set around the character Michael Altman who first discovers a signal that suggest something is buried deep under the earth’s crust in a water filled crater. The discovery starts a chain of events resulting in him become an unwanted saint of a new religion that worships the marker & his eventual martyrdom to ensure he never tells the truth of what the marker does. His death is used to start the Church up officially & his discovery of how to replicate the marker is taken.
I liked it, I liked that it fitted well with what I already knew about the Dead Space world. In Dead Space 2 I saw that the Church of Unitology followers would give their lives to protect the marker & in this book that comes across as well.
• The middle of the book gets a bit sketchy on details. The Marker’s effect on a large group of people over a prolonged amount of time could have had more details.
• Sometimes the writing is a bit….well…..poor. the opening village bit is not so good but it does improve drastically.
My favourite bit in the book involves 2 men who take a submarine down into the crater to see what is giving off the signal. As they near the point one of them starts to go a bit cheddar cheese, seeing dead people & conversations with them. It’s pretty creepy & feels very Dead Space.
So overall it’s a really good attempt at adding some back-story to a well loved series. It has its faults but is quite an enjoyable read.
Dead Space: Martyr