I am not a Metal Gear Solid (MGS) fan. Thanks to my brother’s passion for the game, my knowledge was expanded to the identities of the Twin Snakes, Otacon, Ocelot, and especially the one and only handsome Raiden. That’s all! Don’t ask me for more! Raiden is my only interest. But then, when my eyes caught the title MGS among the pile of worn-out books at an old bookstore in Thailand, the book was brought home without hesitation. Well, one day, my bookshelves will be filled by video game adaption novels – my other precious collection beside BJDs and tea. Anyway, that’s how I stumbled into this unexpected novel.
Even though the book will serve as a part of my collection, I never buy a book just for its cover. Somehow it would be a crime to the author in my way of thinking, wouldn’t it? And beyond my expectation, the good is really really good.
The readers don’t need to be a fan to understand the first part of this complicated franchise. In the very first chapter, we were introduced to the Les Enfants Terribles project, in which our hero Solid Snake and his future nemesis Liquid Snake were cloned from their father’s gene, the legendary soldier Big Boss. The story began 30 years later, after the Outer Heaven incident when our already-retired Solid Snake was dragged back to a secret mission at Shadow Moses Island to rescue the world, which adapted closely to the game itself. Sound typical, right? It is! This first novel doesn’t have many things to say but mainly as a guide to the complex world of political schemes, which would be opened tremendously in later games. In this book, we would follow Solid Snake in his dangerous mission against Liquid Snake and witness his amazingness along the way.
As other video game adaption novels, MGS was very well written: very tidy, neat, and well organized. The sentences were smooth and easier to read than other novels that I’ve read. Though without complex sentences as well as difficult words, every scene was still vividly described, very entertained, and very engaged. Only through words, the readers could effortlessly vision Snake’s amazing military skills as if a movie we’re watching. Additionally, all chapters were short which I personally more comfortable. Whenever I started to read, I always tried to stop at the end of the current chapter but usually went on at least three more before the night was getting too late.
From left to right: Laughing Octopus, Psycho Mantis, Revolver Ocelot, Liquid Snake, Sniper Wolf, Vulcan Raven.
Prior to this book, I haven’t ever developed any affection for Solid Snake due to my lack of understanding about his personality and the storyline at a whole. Never before Snake appeared to me with such attractive demeanors: witty, talented, collected, and humorous. Other characters were also fabulously built with cool nicknames and fantastic abilities, like Laughing Octopus, Gray Fox, Spycho Mantis, Sniper Wolf, Vulcan Raven. Some of their skills seem to be unreal, but they perfectly reflected the creative insanity of Hideo Kojima (of why we love this game).
Last but not least, though as simple as a dull action movie, the novel still sharply conveyed the idea of it’s us who decide our life, not by God or the genes we’re carrying within. We are what we want to be.
I would definitely buy the other two novels when I get back to Canada.
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