Book: Uncharted, the Fourth Labyrinth

"Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth" by Christopher GoldenNathan Drake, treasure hunter and risk taker, has been called to New York City by the man who taught him everything about the ‘antique acquisition business.’ Victor Sullivan needs Drak’s help. Sully’s old friend, a world-famous archaeologist, has just been found murdered in Manhattan. Dodging assassins, Drake, Sully, and the dead man’s daughter, Jada Hzujak, race from New York to underground excavations in Egypt and Greece. Their goal: to unravel an ancient myth of alchemy, look for three long-lost labyrinths, and find the astonishing discovery that got Jada’s father killed. It appears that a fourth labyrinth was built in another land and another culture—and within it lies a key to unmatched wealth and power. An army of terrifying lost warriors guards this underground maze. So does a monster. And what lies beyond—if Drake can live long enough to reach it—is both a treasure and a poison, a paradise and a hell.

Welcome to the fourth labyrinth.

I think I just read the equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie.

I’m a huge fan of Christopher Golden, I am. But I must admit that Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth is not one of his best works.

Based off a computer game, the novel reads a lot like a Tomb Raider movie, complete with double-crossing traitors and exotic locales… which makes sense, I guess, because the Tomb Raider movies were also based in treasure-hunting computer games.

There was a point, at the beginning of the novel, where I started to get high hopes for the story. The set up Golden gives the novel has the same feel as his other works, with fantastical mysteries spun off from real myths or historical events. But when the action begins, the creativity falters.

I mean, I do understand that you can only have so many iterations of backstabbing, and femme fatales, and jet-setting to far flung places just to find treasure. It’s been done in novels, in television shows, in movies, and in games, it’s not a surprise that the well’s almost dry.

Still, there are ways to make something common feel fresh. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m such a fan of Christopher Golden, because I do think he’s great at making normal seem new again. Which is why, I think, I’m disappointed with Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth.

It’s a good enough read, and it’s a page-turner—but it’s not something we haven’t read before. And I expected more.

But this is just me. Let’s see what other people have said about Christopher Golden’s effort to spin a story off the Uncharted game franchise:
Console Obsession
A Temporary Distraction
Critical Gamer

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