Starcraft II: Heaven’s Devils is one of the novels released prior to the game in order to provide insight into the back story of some of the “new” characters in SC2. While the book works well as a standalone story, it is definitely catered towards fans of the series, and would be very difficult for someone without knowledge of the game to jump in. Lucky for us, we are all fans of Starcraft, so when the author mentions a Firebat or Goliath, we feel joy instead of confusion. That being said, there are tons of little trivia bits that are fun to read about as a fan of the game, and learning about Jim Raynors life, and what made him the man he is today is pretty awesome as well.
Heaven’s Devils begins with the story of Jim Raynor growing up on a backwater rural planet, and eventually joining the Confederate Marine Corps. after seeing his first Goliath. After the reader learns about Raynor, the book branches out into a number of different characters, beginning with Tychus Findlay, the marine all of us recognize from the very first trailer for Starcraft II. Although I won’t spoil it, it’s pretty obvious that Tychus and Raynor meet up, and eventually become the friends that we see in all the gameplay footage of the upcoming game. A few other characters are introduced, but many of them are pretty unremarkable and rather static and often very predictable. While there are a few cool characters, its pretty clear cut who we are supposed to like, sympathize with, or despise, which makes it a pretty easy story to follow, without any real plot twists or unexpected turns.
That being said, the real strength of Heaven’s Devils and why anyone would want to read it is not because of the plot or characters, but more because of all the little Starcraft tidbits packed into every page. When Jim Raynor hops on a Vulture in the book, we don’t really care whats going on but we think more along the lines of “Omg Omg a Vulture from the game!” This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you can really tell that the novel works more towards pleasing fans with bits of trivia and facts rather than presenting a real story. As both a huge Starcraft fan, and a huge fan of reading “real” books, Starcraft 2: Heaven’s Devils was both awesome and irritatingly generic at the same time. Not to say the book is horrible, but you can really get the same sort of effect by reading Starcraft wiki entries and pleasing your inner nerd that way instead.
One thing that was definitely cool about the novel was the artwork in the front and timeline in the back. The artwork shows a number of pictures of Jimmy Raynor and his companions that are “taken” in the plot of the book, which makes it a nice visual treat while you read along. The timeline in the back outlines the entire general sequence of events for Starcraft, which can be good to jog your memory or even learn some things about the universe that you didn’t know before. All in all, an easy and predictable read, but still worth the money for the cool story of Raynor’s past and all the fan facts thrown into the mix. While it doesn’t compare to standalone novels, what video game books ever do? If you are a fan of the amazing universe that revolves around the award winning game, than don’t hesitate to fork over the money for this expansion into Starcraft lore.
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Article from Gamersyndrome.com