Genre: Fantasy, Thriller
Source: a copy in exchange for an honest review
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This novel adaptation of Arrow’s season 2 was absolutely fantastic! The story is written from three different perspectives: Slade, Isabel, and Sebastian’s, and then the last section is all three perspectives brought together in the final battle. If you’re like me and it’s been years since you’ve watched the first couple of seasons of Arrow and you don’t remember what these characters look like or who they are:
|If you haven’t watched the TV show, then these images will probably mean nothing to you but that’s also okay|
The fact that this was written from the bad guys’ perspectives meant that we got to see the whole story from a whole different viewpoint. I love Arrow (the TV show) and this plot line is one of my favourites of all the seasons, but I have to say even knowing how the story plays out doesn’t take away from the experience. We see things in the novel that we just don’t see in the TV adaptation and in a way it makes us more sympathetic towards the ‘villains’ of the story.
I remember reading through the fight scenes and being able to image them so vividly. The writing is fantastic and captures the voice of each character so effectively that I never once lost track of who was talking. I also feel like the story reflected the characters realistically, while also building on the foundation provided by the TV show and bringing more to the world. I loved Slade Wilson in season 1, and when he turned on Oliver I felt a little (try a LOT) betrayed but after reading the story from his perspective, I understand a lot more how big of a role the mirakuru had on his actions (I still feel a little betrayed, though). Another thing that surprised me is how I actually began to feel sympathetic for Isabel. In the TV show I disliked her straight away and dismissed her but seeing a snapshot of her life before she became the Isabel we know from the show – and the events that led up to it – almost had me rooting for her, likewise for Sebastian. I mean, their plans were a little harsh but…
If I’m remembering this correctly, this plot-line is actually season 2 in the TV show. However, this story gives us a glimpse into what the characters are getting up to during the season 1 timeline (I think, hopefully I’m not getting this wrong since it’s been years since I’ve watched season 1/2), and that makes it all the more interesting because we hardly ever see all of the work and preparation that goes into the villain’s attack, usually we see the attack happen spontaneously in a manner that surprises the protagonist but in this story adaptation, we see all of the work that Slade actually puts into his revenge plan and how it all plays out and I was so absorbed in this aspect of the story because it just wasn’t something I’m used to and it added to the tension tenfold, and this is also how knowing how the story would end didn’t take away from the potential of the story in any way. Though I will say that since this is from the perspective of the villains of the season, I think it would work better as a companion novel to the season rather than just an independent read (though that could also work, too).
Disclaimer: photos etc. not mine.