Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bedlam Book Review



Christopher Brookmyre

Little, Brown Book Group UK

Pub Date: Jan 21 2014

1/5 Stars


             Bedlam is the video game equivalent to Ready Player One.  Except that it isn’t half as good.  The story is at it’s best when the characters aren’t jumping from video game world to world.  The interactions are pretty good and even though the back story that is filtered in through the chapters is SO BORING, it practically put me to sleep by the end I could see the reason for it.  Perhaps, making it a little more interesting wouldn’t have hurt though.  The main problem seems to be that the author can mention names of video game franchises but probably didn’t have the rights and permissions to ACTUALLY use those worlds or the names associated with them.  Therefore, it is all just name dropping and everything else is just a long boring description of something that is “like” this or that video game world.  The ending is pretty bad as well, the whole main character with amnesia and turns out to be the chosen is pretty much the main plot here and it is really as rote as it goes.  I was even thinking that the majority of the plot might have been lifted from Neverending Story, the movie…  But I could be wrong on that, I didn’t actually look it up.  But it isn’t too far off.  For all the action in Bedlam, it is a very slow paced book on the whole and by the end other than the last two or three chapters you start wondering how much really happened over the course of the book.  If you want to write an homage to video games, you might want to be able to actually use the video games that you mention in the book.  Or maybe have the book set so far into the future that you can make up your own game and make it “like” the others and crack wise on that basis.  But this half step was horribly boring and so slow paced that if I wasn’t reviewing it; I wouldn’t have made it half way through.  Being an ex-video game journalist this book should have been right up my alley, instead it was more like slumming in a bad part of town.


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