Review: Starcraft: Flashpoint + New Article

Review: Flashpoint

“Flashpoint” is the latest Starcraft novel by Christie Golden. Intended to bridge the gap between Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion, it picks up immediately after the final scene of Wings of Liberty and depicts Jim Raynor’s rescue of Sarah Kerrigan and her subsequent recovery.

Cover art for It’s a solid book, and if it doesn’t necessarily have any mind-blowing moments, it doesn’t give one a lot to complain about, either.

The first thing you’ll notice about “Flashpoint” is that it hits the ground running, and it rarely lets up its breakneck pace in its three hundred or so pages. It almost starts to feel a little rushed at times, but stops just short of that.

The other main thing that is immediately apparent when reading this book is that Christie Golden has once again perfectly captured the game’s characters. When Raynor speaks, I can hear his fringe world drawl in my mind. Even minor characters like Egon Stetmann feel like they stepped right out of the game and onto the page.

But while many minor characters get their moment in the sun, “Flashpoint” is ultimately the story of Raynor and Kerrigan before all else.

Sarah Kerrigan moments before being captured by the ZergOne thing I am very grateful for is that, while it is clear that Kerrigan is once again Sarah and not the Queen of Blades, it’s also clear that she is not the same woman she was before she was infested. How could she be? She has billions of lives on her conscience.

Sarah finds herself lost in depression and self-recrimination, and as time goes on, these feelings give way to endless rage…

But I don’t want to give too much away.

In addition to the aftermath of Sarah’s return to humanity, “Flashpoint” also features a number of flashbacks (No pun intended?) to the early days of her relationship with Jim Raynor, and these flashbacks are one of my few complaints about this book.

I’m not overly fond of the revelations/retcons about Jim and Sarah’s earlier relationship — they’re not bad; I just found my own “head canon” more impactful — and they don’t really add that much to the story, making the plot feel a little disjointed.

If I had to find something else to complain over, it’s that there aren’t really a lot of “wow” moments in this book. It’s consistently good throughout, but I didn’t often find myself thinking, “OMFG this is so awesome.”

Sarah Kerrigan battling the ProtossI’m reaching to try to maintain a balanced review. The truth is that “Flashpoint” gives one very little cause to complain.

While not necessarily a criticism, something else that should be noted is that this book is very clearly the bridge between two games. It’s not entirely fair — or accurate — to call it filler, but don’t go expecting any conclusive story resolutions. This is a piece of a story; it’s not a complete story in its own right.

Overall rating: 8.8/10 Not ground-breaking, but a very solid read that I would recommend to any and all Starcraft fans.

New article:

My latest WhatMMO article is Top 6 MMO Features That Would Enrich Reality. Here’s an excerpt:

“Although there could be downsides. It would be a bit awkward if everyone you know one day received the message, ‘Bill has earned the achievement: [World First! Best Friend’s Sister].'”

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