Eroldren continues his spotlight review over Blizzard’s Heart of the Swarm short story series.
“Bit of a mixed bag of storytelling intrigue yet somewhat lacks that StarCraft enthusiasm I found reading in previous short stories.” – The Founding Fields
Well Alex Irvine returns to write for StarCraft after his most excellent “Command Performance” and his memorable Drenthe character I was looking forward to read his second entry with. However, my high expectations for the “Great One”, alongside the general basis that I’ve been having fairly a positive experience with the overall lot of short story series wasn’t quite entirely satisfied.
Marine platoon Torch Seven drops onto the faraway planet Vygoire to find out what happened to a science outpost there. The planet is supposed to be zerg-free, and it is… mostly. But as it turns out, Torch Seven has enemies other than zerg.
Early on while reading this short story, in some manner I caught onto some that mystery vibe from the Doctor Who episode The God Complex and “A Ghost Story” from the fourth StarCraft: Frontline manga volume which I like seeing. Alongside that note, perhaps even a touch of Lovecraftian influence. However, as strange as it was that I do see how an outlandish world like the “Great One” presented us here could exist within the StarCraft universe on the other hand, the story itself didn’t really want to click with me.
Not to say that “Great One” didn’t keep me entertained in this outlandish environment but nearing the latter half of the short story grew into a blur which I found myself somewhat lost in the narrative. The pacing of Alex Irvine’s short story held up for the most part aside from a couple dragging moments and our lead character Sgt. Norwood Drake was another decent one-shot character, except the overall story seem to lack enthusiasm of sorts which I couldn’t pick up to have a more enjoyable experience. Even with the “Great One” being part of a small handful of StarCraft mystery stories, it took several rereading attempts before I manage to understand what was happening. And even so at the same time the ending for this story really felt inconclusive to some degree, leaving me in turn a bit of an unsatisfied reader to reflect back on what I’ve just read. Only with the ongoing Project Blackstone series do I see we’ll eventually get our outcome from the seeds sown in “Great One” would I find some gratification.
Until next time,
Overall Verdict: 7/10
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.