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Empyrean Age by Tony Gonzales - book review

astoriaastoria Member UncommonPosts: 1,677

When I was at Borders recently, not currently having anything to read, I happened to see two EVE books. I decided to pick both up since I found nothing else caught my eye. I confess I have read many more emails from corp leaders than mission text in EVE. I had never read anything by Tony Gonzalez (not by the way the same Tony G. who is a tight end for the Atlanta Falcons), but read this book first as it was published first.


One thing I noticed upon examining the cover was that someone could easily have picked up this book knowing nothing of the EVE the MMO. I kept this in mind while reading it. I was impressed with the way the author put game mechanics into a plausible sci-fi lens. An innocent reader could well have envisioned the Neocom, the map screen, and the ship skills as cybernetic/genetic manipulative processes, independent of EVE online UI.


The book has a complex plot, involving all four major factions in EVE. Shady deals, spies, corporate takeovers violent and covert abound. A naïve reader will be immersed in the lore of the four factions. An experienced EVE player will likely be even more anxious for 'walking in stations,' after reading this. The initiate will find perhaps a greater thrill when they discover, only midway through the novel, the origins of the humans beyond the deprecated EVE gate.


Another talent Gonzalez has is making no character a clear hero or villain. More than an abstract painting than a portrait, the novel sucks you into a chaotic world where you don’t know where to place your loyalties.


I intend to share this book with a colleague who knows nothing about EVE Online. I think she’ll enjoy the book and I am quite curious if she is able to discern its origins. I will update if I get a chance.


"Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga


  • MalcanisMalcanis Member UncommonPosts: 3,297

    The book was a decent read, and pretty entertaining, but numerous glaring grammatical errors did spoil it somewhat for me. With half-decent editor, this book could have been  lot better than it was.

    Still, if you enjoy playing EVE, it's well worth reading.

    Give me liberty or give me lasers

  • TyphadoTyphado Member Posts: 177

    It was a very nice book. Both of them are in fact, I prefer the second one more tbh.


    One thing I don't like is how they have detached large chunks of the story from gameplay. While I expect this in a lot of games I wish eve of all games would actually let us get involved with the backstory in more ways than just "warp here and shoot x"

    Into the breach meatbags

  • MalcanisMalcanis Member UncommonPosts: 3,297

    Incarna... one day.

    Give me liberty or give me lasers

  • HYPERI0NHYPERI0N Member Posts: 3,515

    I liked it for how it portrayed the common dust of eve. It helps show just how small, insignificant and frail such things are.

    Another great example of Moore's Law. Give people access to that much space (developers and users alike) and they'll find uses for it that you can never imagine. "640K ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

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