Thursday, February 6, 2014

Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag Review

This Week I decided to review Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag by Oliver Bowden. This will be both the first time I’ve reviewed a novelization here, and the first book I reviewed which didn't involve at least some form of spacecraft. The story is told as a series of flashbacks with the main character telling the story of his life thus far to a figure identified later in the book. The novel opens several years before the game, starting with Edward Kenway as a young farmer who dreams of adventure. He tries to rescue a drunken maid from being kidnapped but ends up being saved by the daughter of the maid’s employer. This eventually leads to both love and marriage, then Edward is approached by a man seeking recruits for a privateer vessel whom is impressed by what he’s seen of Edward. Edward is considering accepting the offer when the farm belonging to his family is attacked. He is told that if he leaves aboard the privateer his family will be safe and departs. Eventually he encounters Edward Teach, who would later become legendary as Blackbeard, then becomes a pirate himself after the war ends and most privateering ceases. In time he stumbles upon a plot by the Templar Order, and aides them. He soon realizes that it was Templar who led the attack on his childhood home and sets out to try and hinder their plans. Eventually he is arrested for piracy than freed by the Assassin Order which has been greatly damaged by his aid of the Templars then continues his quest to prevent the Templars from gaining control of an ancient alien artifact of great power.
I give this book an 8.5 out of 10. It provides some interesting theories about some of the great mysteries of the Golden Age of Piracy and the storytelling techniques used are interesting. Unlike some of the Assassin’s Creed stories this one doesn't rewrite what is known of any major events or battles in the area and period it takes place in, though there is one point which implies the existence of a form of medical treatment over a century before it was developed according to history. I feel the book would have been better though if it had shown more of the ocean battles and raids Kenway had participated in rather than ignoring many or just mentioning them in passing.

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