In the Blood by Matt Burns – Short Story Review [Eroldren]

In the Blood - Mr. Jack

Eroldren give his thoughts on the first installment on the new wave of short stories for the upcoming StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm expansion.

“An entertaining comeback story to pull our attention back on the Koprulu Sector’s troubles by exploring a grity viewpoint among Deadman’s Port’s misfortunate.” – The Founding Fields

A little while ago Blizzard Entertainment revealed to us the first brand-new StarCraft II short story as part in line of their promotional short story series for their forthcoming release of the Zerg campaign Heart of the Swarm. Due this coming March 12th Heart of the Swarm will pick up the storyline of Wings of Liberty that left us off in 2010. Following Sarah Kerrigan’s lead, formerly the Queen of Blades now deinfested, she works to reunite scattered broods and advance the Zerg Swarm while trouble brews for the war-torn Korpulu Sector. Vengeance is at hand.

Anyway, with that said I’ll be covering this ongoing series throughout the coming weeks as the excitement for Heart of the Swarm grows with each passing day. It’ll be my share of contribution to the hype.

When his cold-blooded master Ivan steals a trio of zerg larvae to sell for a handsome sum of money, the street urchin Vik must struggle against both his oppressor and his own cowardice and seize his chance to leave the slums of Deadman’s Port behind.

So “In the Blood” is from Matt Burns and he’s name would sound like a familiar name for readers alongside a few regular others who penned a number of Blizzard’s online short stories here-and-there. Like “Collateral Damage” and “Charge of the Aspect” (or any other short story for that matter) this new addition is packed with to intrigue the reader. Plus, I did notice again that the curious theme of sorrow apparently seems to be still a running theme throughout in his other stories. Not that I’m complaining though, he’s at least keeps it entertaining and fresh.

We’re brought back to Deadman’s Port, a junkyard mission setting that any player of Wings of Liberty’s campaign bound to recognize (sadly there’s no sign of Mira Han or her mercenaries),  but “In the Blood” telling a quite darker atmosphere than before. It’s true the place is indeed a neat looking environment visually, however, its one we don’t really want to be caught in. Usually what we’ve seen of Deadman’s Port so far only been the lives of well-off crime lords and their lackeys, but sitting out there in the city’s background we players know it’s a cruel and  dangerous place for the common man. Although that’s not to say there’s still some shred of resilience of hope and goodwill around here despite the dreadful conditions. Vik’s story as street grub is our first real upfront account into it.

Although it’s was a bit of a rocky start to read “In the Blood” I managed to fall into a focus mindset and breeze right on through without too much hinder. And the cast here are no way bothersome; they bring out emotional investment of sorts along with their general character development. The conflict surrounding over the stolen larvae was as well an interesting insight alongside some extra Zerg-related subjects being reaffirmed in-universe.

Basically all I’m saying here is that I really enjoy reading it and perhaps even you. Besides, can you reject reading fiction for free?

Me being a follower of tie-in lore I scope out for lore tidbits and that I did. Although there’re just couple minor references established in Deadman’s Port’s seeded history or earlier novels its nice picking them out. For a side note, being aware of the matters surrounding Project Blackstone, an mystery StarCraft II ARG partially leaked, did notice the neat little tidbits seeded throughout Matt’s story. It makes me wonder perhaps how the remaining short stories may possibly interweave Project Blackstone into their background stage. Regardless, what is in store for us ahead I’m ready and waiting for the rest. More lore and zerg!

Overall Verdict: 9/10


Eroldren, a SFF follower of both tie-in media and original works, enjoys rereading books frequently. So be warned, he might bring out sometimes his share of older and heavy duty titles alongside the newcomers.


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