It’s finally out! The first ever official Minecraft novel – Minecraft: The Island, written by Max Brooks, bestselling author of World War Z. Below is a quick but detailed review I did after recently reading this novel (which came out on the 18th July 2017)…
So what is Minecraft: The Island actually about?
‘I wouldn’t except you to believe the world I’m about to describe, although your reading these words means you’re already here. Maybe you’ve been in this world for a while but just discovered this island. Or maybe, like it was for me, the island is your introduction to this world. If you’re alone, confused, and scared out of your mind, then you’re exactly where I was on my first day. This world can seem like a maze and, sometimes, like a bully. But the truth is that it’s a teacher and it’s trials are just lessons in disguise. That’s why I’ve left this book behind – so my journey can help you with yours.’
The above is a little teaser from the book’s back cover – oooh, interesting, I know! It’s written from the point of view of the main character, just like the whole book; Whether that be Steve, Alex or someone else… It’s a mystery! Having spawned in a strange, blocky world – the world of Minecraft! – we find the main character confused and scared. With no food, safety or experience, and trying not to drown at the same time, there’s really nowhere to go… or is there? “That’s gotta be land, I thought, trying not to get my hopes up. It could be a mirage though, a trick of the light or some mist or… That’s when I saw the tree.” “Land!” I shouted. “LAAAND!”
As he finds the island and descends into its deepest and highest points, his heart fills with hope. He slowly learns what it really means to survive alone in this strange world. Because, well, how hard can it be? Very as it turns out – especially with no knowledge of the world’s strange physics and rules; Hunger and monsters following in his footsteps; And no one but a cow to talk to…
What’s the plot like? How is it written?
The Island will bring back your earliest memories of Minecraft. It perfectly captures the confusion and fright of your first night or the joy of crafting your first ever weapon. It has a great, easy to follow storyline, and with 22 chapters there’s plenty for everyone! For those wondering, the book costs around £12.99 new; or around $15 for any US readers. But can, of course, be lower, especially after everyone calms down about the new novel!) The book is also available on ebooks, which costs less than a paper copy; And might soon be translated into different languages, for the international fans. Might? I’m certain it will – fingers crossed!
It’s another cleverly written fun-packed read by Max Brooks. Both for unexperienced Minecraft players to learn from, or for professional players to enjoy. But you’re sure to be hooked and submerged into the storyline; No matter whichever you are, whatever your age etc. Fans of fiction will surely enjoy this book set in Minecraft’s strange universe, but it might (hopefully!) interest non-fiction followers as well. The book acts almost as an up-to-date guide for your first few days of Minecraft, and I’m sure that newbies can learn a thing or two from it. (But using only the book alone to help you survive your first night is not recommended..!)
The author goes from writing a book about zombies to an official Minecraft novel in a swift motion. The descriptions in the book accurately picture a Minecraft world, while realistically describing someone’s journey through it. Having read the book myself I do admire the way the story progresses to reveal yet another catch or twist; With problems and bumps in the way sprinkled on top! It’s got great examples of what can but also cannot be done in the world of Minecraft, as the laws (or not laws!) of this strange world unfold with the story.
Rounding off – Is The Island worth reading?
The book Minecraft: The Island really stands out from its brothers Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island and others. Not only does it describe a video game world – although just as well and vividly as a real world – but it uses easy to understand modern-day language, and has a fun side to it. Although one of the very few drawbacks would be that actually unless you know Minecraft well, some of the words and scenes described in this book might be a bit confusing! Very, very few drawbacks – I fell in love with this book; can’t think of any more problems with it..! So rounding up…
The Island – A vividly described, action-packed novel with a funny side to it; That Minecraft regulars and newbies alike should enjoy. I’m hoping that many of you would have read it (Or want to do so in the near future, since you’re reading this review!). If so, then if you’ve got any ideas or comments about the book or this post, feel free to leave your own thoughts or reviews in comments. I might include some of your points in this post if you, for example, said something I missed!
Oh, and one last thing – this post was all about the book, not it’s author. For an interview with the author, you can look on minecraft.net (although the post might be quite far back, depending on when you look for it…) It answers common questions about the idea for the book, his thoughts on it and Minecraft itself, and many more! And for anyone wondering, the thoughtful cover was made by artist Ian Wilding, who was interviewed on minecraft.net here.
Image credits: minecraft.net