A prequel to the events of the smash video game hit Dead Space 3, we follow Earthgov Sergeant, John Carver who’s wife and son are attacked by fanatics trying to liberate the Marker site where she works.
Racing to solve the clues his wife left behind, Carver teams up with Ellie Langford, survivor of an earlier necromorph outbreak on the Sprawl, and EarthGov Captain Robert Norton.
Together they unlock deep secrets about the Markers in an epic adventure that will help determine the fate of mankind.
Greetings to ill and sun-dried,
Today, I give you the third of four reviews by Heather Royston of books published by Titan spinning off from the video game Dead Space. Without further ado, here’s Heather’s take on Dead Space: Liberation.
Signed in human blood,
Sean Lee Levin
Having still not started playing the Dead Space franchise (gimme a break, my day job takes up all my time!), I had to look up the storyline to know where Dead Space: Liberation takes place. This book is a direct set-up for the events of Dead Space 3. We open with John Carver talking to his wife on his comm from his patrol. It seems things are not at all well at home for the Carvers. Damara is making it clear that John either starts putting the family first, or there won’t be one to worry about. In the middle of it all, Carver stumbles upon a targeting laser, which he quickly discovers is pointed straight at the Marker his base is meant to be protecting. He desperately tries to call home to tell his wife to grab their son and head for shelter just as a missile hits the base. He rushes back as fast as he can, only to find the site decimated. The newly formed Necromorphs are soon upon him. Carver takes them out with barely a flinch. He heads towards home to find his family, and instead finds a group of Unitologist soldiers and their commander. He is captured, and interrogated about who was working on the Marker. Things escalate from here, from his escape, to discovering his family’s fate, to being rescued by Ellie (a character from Dead Space 2), and their battle to escape a station full of Necromorphs and the Unitologists who are hunting them down for the information they carry.
This is the first Dead Space book that I’ve read that was not written by Antony Johnston. This time around the reins were given to Ian Edginton, who seems to have done a fine enough job with it. The story itself is easy to follow, one can easily figure out who all of the characters are. This volume did not have the character biographies in the front, unlike the other books, but the plot was pretty straightforward, and Edginton did a good job with exposition in the pages. There were only two problems I had with the story: the characters never suffered hallucinations nor any of the other symptoms of being in proximity to the Marker, and the Necromorphs felt like they had been forced into the pages at points and they were far too easily dispatched as opposed to the other stories. I know that isn’t the focus of the story, but it is pretty central to the games, so I thought their placement in things was a little weak here. It also moved really fast, so I felt like certain plot elements were cut short or cut entirely, perhaps to have a few panels of Necromorph fighting.
Christopher Shy once again did the art for this book, and I am a little disappointed with it. He retains his style, but it looks like he did this while pumped up on energy drinks or something. There is an intensity that is present in this book that wasn’t there in Salvage, but it makes many of the panels harder to see than they should be. I don’t normally mind taking a closer look at a panel to catch the action – you normally see more details – but there are a few panels here that look almost like someone spilled a glass of water on the pages and blurred them. There is slightly less detail put into most of the faces, which I found to be the most disappointing part of all, since he did such a fantastic job with the last book. I did read an interview where he said he was much happier with the art he did for this volume than the last, but I’m wondering if he got to see the finished product before he said that. I’d love to see what the original pages looked like. The gallery in the back of the book does highlight some of the best pages of the story but a few of them are also among the not so good. Once again though, he did a fantastic job with the lettering.
Final Thoughts: Dead Space: Liberation seems to play an integral role in furthering the plot of the game series, but overall isn’t anything to rave about. Upon noticing a typo or two, I’m really not raving about it. I’m still looking forward to the last book on my stack and after that, I’m starting the game for sure! I give Dead Space: Liberation 3 out of 5 Tentacles.
Heather Royston – Assistant Editor/Reviewer