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 tried my hand at doing, after recently reading this novel (which came out mid July 2017)…
So what’s this Minecraft: The Island actually about? (no spoilers, I hope!)
‘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 read by Max Brooks, with both serious and fun bits to it. Both for unexperienced Minecraft players to learn from, or for professional players – or readers – to enjoy! But you’re sure to be hooked and submerged into the storyline; No matter whichever you are. 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 a guide for your first few days of Minecraft, or a story of how one may happen. Newbies might 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. Although zombies do exist in Minecraft, in case you didn’t know! The descriptions in the book accurately picture a fictional 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 drawback would be that actually unless you know Minecraft quite well, some of the words and scenes described in this book will be a bit confusing, I guess! Very few drawbacks, as I can’t think of any other issues with it at the moment…
The book has vivid description, or ‘imagery’ if you’re into literacy. Action and fun are married together to form the storyline of the novel 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!
And while on the subject of reviews, I don’t know about you but I’d probably rate this book 8/10. “Would reccomend to a friend”..! And for any international readers, I’m sure it’ll be translated into some other famous languages soon, being an official Minecraft novel; currently a drawback? Well, at least English is so-called the most known/spoken language in the world, so that’s good!
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 (try searching the internet for “minecraft interview: Max brooks”!) It answers common questions about the idea for the book, his thoughts on it and Minecraft itself, and many more! And for anyone who noticed, the thoughtful cover was made by artist Ian Wilding, who too was interviewed on minecraft.net here. If you fancy more reading. Well, but that’s all here, I hope I did well enough!
Image credits: minecraft.net