Sunday, May 20, 2018

James Review -- Far Cry: Absolution

This week I decided to review Far Cry: Absolution by Urban Waite. 

The story begins with bar owner Mary May Fairgrave attempting to convince the sheriff of Hope County, Montana, where the novel and the Far Cry 5 game that this serves as a prequel to take place, that the recent death of her father in a car crash wasn’t an accident. She believes the crash was arranged by the Church of Eden’s Gate which her father had long opposed. Her brother Drew has joined the church and their father had been on his way to inform Drew of their mother’s death and attempt to convince him to return home when he died. After the sheriff refuses to help, Fairgrave sets out to meet her brother herself, but soon finds herself forced into a wreck by Eden’s Gate forces and on the run.

Hunter and trapper William Boyd is a fringe member of Eden’s Gate who joined the church after his wife and daughter died and rarely attends services. Lonny, his usual contact in the church, approaches him seeking aid in killing a bear that had attacked a ranch recently claimed by the church. Boyd explains why he feels the effort is futile, recounting a story about his military unit’s failed efforts to kill a tiger during the Vietnam War, and Lonny departs planning to attempt to kill the bear on his own.  However, Lonny soon returns, claiming that Mary had been injured in an accident, was lost, and needed to be found and helped. Boyd was friends with the Fairgrave family before joining the church so he agrees to join the search.

But as the pair travel, Boyd finds signs that the church has become cruel and forceful in the years since he has joined it. And when they find Mary, Lonny attempts to shoot her only to be stopped by Boyd, with Lonny falling to his death as he and Boyd struggle. Eventually, Mary is captured by the Church and Boyd sets out to the town of Fall’s End seeking help for a rescue. But during the rescue a secret and a plot darker than either Mary or her rescuers could imagine will be revealed…

I give this book 7 out of 10. I enjoyed the action sequences and a view of Hope County before the game begins was interesting. However, I feel there were a number of flaws. First was the lost opportunity to learn about the beginnings of Eden’s Gate. Rather than getting a detailed history of how the cult started before turning into the force from the game, all we get is Boyd, an early convert thinking about how much things have changed. And many of the characters introduced in the story have little personality and little or no background, with some characters that had vital roles in the tale not even having full names given.  Also, the early parts of the story make strong implications about the events that led to the death of Boyd’s family, only for a twist to throw the implications out. I feel Boyd’s story would have been better if the original implications were correct.

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