Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Splinters in my heart

After an undisclosed period of time, I stepped foot inside a public library again not long ago and fell in love with the joy that is reading. The ink on the pages, the smell of the bindings... they're enough to bring a man to climax. But enough "books are fun" bollocks, lets move on to something where I'm not taking the piss.

I've read quite a few books since I joined the fantastic community that is the library, but one book begged for a review above all others.

Tom Clancy presents Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, created by Tom Clancy.... TOM CLANCY

Written by someone who isn't Tom Clancy, Splinter Cell is the book about the video game character created by Tom Clancy in a video game series created by Tom Clancy that is owned by Tom Clancy.


Tom is known for being great at writing Americans vs terroists/communists stories, the majority of them follow the same line (Terrorists Steal Nukes or kidnap someone of importance) but he writes them so well and with lots of action that we can forgive him. I don't understand the reasoning for this unknown man to write a Splinter Cell book, you'd think if the big Tom himself won't bother writing it then you're not going to wow anyone by picking up Clancy's trash.

I love the majority of the Splinter Cell games, the latest one however did leave a bad taste in my mouth by having a boss battle right at the end, but all in all they beat the pants off Metal Gear Solid's brooding anime protagonist. And when I saw the Splinter Cell novel I thought at least it would be as entertaining as the games.

It wasn't.

For starters, the writer took all he knew about Sam Fisher and proceeded to toss it out the window, this book has alot, and I mean ALOT of inner monologue from Sam, because obviously most of the time he's hiding in a ventilation shaft and can't really engage in verbal conversation with anyone. Anyone who has played a Splinter Cell game has a fair idea of who Sam is, he's a no nonsense guy with just a hint of a dry sense of humour, he's methodical and brutal when he needs to be, everything you'd expect from a government saboteur/spy/assassin.

But the author of Splinter Cell turned Sam into something else entirely, cracking stupid jokes constantly and using words like "dude" and "hip" in the non bodypart sense. His humour is less dry and more pathetic, and he spends a good chapter or two thinking about boning his female Krav Maga instructor. All this while he's supposed to be on a mission. It's like the author took Sam, made him 20 years younger, threw out his elite military training and gave him A.D.D.

The plot revolves around predictible double crosses and a superweapon made in the middle of a shopping mall, there is also a kidnapping plot involving Sam's daughter where the author tries to get gritty with implied rape and torture but it just comes off as childish, something a 15yr old would write and then giggle at the word "breasts".

Splinter Cell, by somebody I don't care to remember, is an excellent example of taking a good solid character, and taking a big turd on his face. I recommend this book to teenage XBox enthusiasts who need to pretend to read at high school, just jump to chapter 18 where Sam's daughter talks about sex with some Islamic boy, feel free to draw willies on the pages.


Remy said...

"I recommend this book to teenage XBox enthusiasts who need to pretend to read at high school"

I'm pretty sure the book was intended for that audience.

Tom said...

But it wasn't in the YOUNG ADULT section in the library!!!