Acid Burns by Antony Johnston – Short Story Review [Eroldren]

Acid Burns - Mr. Jack

Eroldren continues his spotlight review over Blizzard’s Heart of the Swarm short story series.

“An interesting read of two parallel accounts that illustrates us the Roach’s origins and frightening nature.” – The Founding Fields.

Comic book writer Antony Johns seems like a fellow who’s done quite a bit of work in the the comic book and game industry. Whether it be his post-apocalyptic Wasteland series, Marvel’s Daredevil, Daredevil, Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series, Alan Moore comic adaptations, or EA’s Dead Space franchise, he’s somebody that seemingly understand the workings behind a expanded universe. Now dabbling into StarCraft territory Johnston’s first foray was a entertaining tale from start to finish.

When a sleepy Dominion listening post’s tranquility is disturbed by a zerg surprise attack, the base’s forces find themselves fighting against a terrifying enemy, bringing with it a deadly sense of déjà vu for the base’s commanding officer and her husband.

Kicking off “Acid Burns” is the husband and wife duo Captain Brach Treicher and Major Lee Treicher who are confronted with the reappearance of the Zerg Swarm and threatens Krakulv Base. Anybody who has been following StarCraft’s Project Blackstone website and/or its twitter accounts for its fictional staff will recognize Major Treicher name as Head of Security. But should readers except that her backstory be revealed how she became as she is today with the Project Blackstone personnel? No; well not entirely at any least. During the Krakulv sequences we’ve much more occupied with the Dominion’s ongoing battle engagements against the zerg and the pressure put upon our characters.

Alongside the Treichers we also dig into past with a 2501 flashback account of Illyana Jorres, security officer on the tiny planet of Garxxas for an outlying research team. Through her eyes (and a surprising zerg “guest character” of sort) we’re finally shown here the Roach’s background history as a newcomer that was discovered and assimilated into the Zerg Swarm. Johnston here brings out another taste of a StarCraft fantastical, but slightly dry story that makes “Acid Burns” noteworthy.

A few sections here-and-there did however slump for me being predicable storytelling in minor details in the action of the short story while terrans went up against the zerg. Nonetheless, the most part I can say “Acid Burns” held itself high, and the pacing, imagery used here kept me busy in reading everything word-by-word to see how things would end.

Until next time,

Overall Verdict: 8/10


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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