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The Starcraft Archive Paperback – 18 Feb 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st Pocket Books Trade Pbk. Edition edition (18 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416549293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416549291
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 272,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book consists of four stories, three previously released novels and one that can only be found in this compilation (at least in paper form). The stories are written by four different authors and although follow the story of the game, they are not part of a series but standalone novels set in the same universe.

The first novel, Liberty's Crusade, is a superb adaptation of the first Terran campaign, complete with the introduction of a new and well developed character as the books main focus. The book deviates from the game only slightly and overall was a very good read, with good interaction with the main character and the characters from the game.

The second novel, Shadow of the Xel'Naga, is an original novel, set apart from the game on a far off backwater Terran planet. Unfortunately this book is the only real let down for this compilation, it was an oaky read, nothing special but had some good moments, ruined by the overly happy ending.

The third novel, Speed of Darkness, is another original novel, based loosely on the opening levels of the Terran campaign. The story follows a Terran marine who is thrown into a war zone as the planet desperately try to evacuate to escape the invading Zerg. There are a few contraditctions to the story but nothing that spoiles the novel or that of the game. The ending of this book, and the underlining plot twist, was wonderful, especially the ending, nothing spectacular, but a type of ending you really see anymore. A very good read.

The fourth and final novel, Uprising, was actually written before the previous books but was not release on paper until this omnibus. The story covers the actions of the Sons of Korhal, set before the events of the first game.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Starcraft fanatic fan, this is the best collection of novels. Once you read it, you will want to read it again and again.

The stories give another view from what the games give. It gives you an all-round view of the starcraft universe and the worlds people live in. 5/5. Perfect at a decent price.

They just need to start making anime series/movies.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Torres on 1 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Not the best science fiction writing out there, to be honest. I would have overlooked that, but the stories tend to take quite a few liberties with the plot of Starcraft and its backstory, which was kind of annoying. If you want to avoid a minor spoiler stop here but in one of them it turn out that it was the Sons of Korhal all along that lured the Zerg into Mar Sara using a Psi Emitter. I don't know if Chris Metzen was consulted on this, but I dunno, there is a mission in the original Starcraft were you get the plans for the Psi Emitter for the Sons of Korhal, well after the zerg are in Mar Sara, so that's a pretty big contradiction I'd think.

I suppose I was just disappointed by the fact that the stories don't seem to be as canon as they should be, and if the writing and plot is not very good, then it sort of takes all of the enjoyment out of the stories.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A nice Starcraft Anthology. 20 Feb. 2008
By Zer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good collection of Stacraft related stories--and has a pretty cool cover picture (though something tells me you aren't going to buy it just for that, eh).

It has all the good ones: Liberty's Crusade, Speed of Darkness (for me, and seemingly many, the best of the SC1 series) and, of course, Uprising; which I'm glad someone finally put it on paper, not only because it tells us about the beginnings of Sarah Kerrigan and the Sons of Korhal, which makes it wicked awesome, but also because it felt weird to read it as an ebook, at least for me.

However, as mentioned in the other review, it also has, ugh:-- Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Believe public opinion: it is bad. Anyways, you can just skip it, plus it doesn't have anything new; well, yes it does, but that's why spoilers exist, so you don't have to read the whole book and quite possibly cause youself serious injury--so yah, just skip it. They could've just added 'Queen of Blades' instead.

Now, back to topic: if you want a nice collection of some SC1 books instead of buying these three separately (I always found it more practical to have this one big book than all of those, anyways), plus the ebook, here it is.
It also has a cool intro by Blizzard's president, Mike Morhaime.
So, enjoy!
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
includes "Uprising" = good, includes "Shadows of the Xel'Naga" = bad 15 Dec. 2007
By Nerwen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The main reason I can see for buying this anthology would be to acquire a copy of "Uprising" by Mickey Neilson. The other three stories are out as individual paperbacks, while "Uprising" was previously released only as an ebook. The following paragraph was my review for "Uprising" at the time it was still available:

I really enjoyed reading the story. This book is an excellent prequel to "Liberty's Crusade" (also an excellent Starcraft book), beginning with the destruction of Korhal from Mengsk's perspective, to his rescue of Kerrigan and how she came to be working with him. The characters were developed wonderfully and given fleshed-out backgrounds from the few hints given in the game. (20 Mar 2002)

Sadly, I lost my copy of the ebook because it was locked to the computer it was downloaded on, with no means whatsoever to move it anywhere else nor make copies. I'd been looking forward to getting a paper copy of "Uprising" ever since. Unfortunately, my refusal to have any part in monetarily supporting "Shadow of the Xel'Naga" greatly outweighs my desire to have a paper copy of "Uprising", so I will continue to wait on the hope it will be published again later on in another format, without being saddled by that monument to unspeakably bad writing.

And I will also continue to hold out hope that someone commissions a rewrite of the "Shadow of the Xel'Naga" story premise by an actual competent writer, so we can pretend that the Gabriel Mesta version never existed.

"Liberty's Crusade" by Jeff Grubb is very good. It follows the plotline of the first set of Terran missions from the game, and includes all the same relevant dialogue bits that you hear as you play - but from a different vantage point: through the eyes of civilian reporter Michael Liberty. It's an intriguing new perspective on a familiar story.

Tracy Hickman's "Speed of Darkness" is awesome. The story is set in the Starcraft universe, but is a brand new story. Instead of having an epic scope like all of the other storylines, it focuses in on one small group of Terrans as they try to defend against the Zerg in one bunker. The characters, all of them new, are very compelling and given a lot of depth.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Underwhelming... 11 Oct. 2010
By KSABER - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
StarCraft Archive is a collection of four science-fiction novels set in the universe of Blizzard Entertainment's "StarCraft" franchise. Some of these stories are completely unrelated to StarCraft canon, while others are direct retellings of game missions. Sadly, most of these books won't be easy to follow unless you're already acquainted with the StarCraft setting.

Liberty's Crusade - 3 Stars - written by Jeff Grubb, this book starts real well. It introduces an interesting character, expands on the civilian life in the Confederacy, and takes a close look at technology, army organization, and many other small things that aren't explored in detail in the game. Unfortunately, once Mike Liberty gets hooked up with canon characters, the story devolves into a simple retelling of the Terran campaign from the original StarCraft, only with the protagonist being shoehorned into every important situation. It became bland and boring after a while. The average writing didn't help much, either.

Shadow of the Xel'Naga - 1.5 Stars - everything about this novel sucks. The literary "style" is atrocious. The characterization is one-dimensional and cartoonish. The dialogues sound like they were taken from a bad soap opera. The plot has no place in StarCraft universe and is idiotic to boot. The canon is butchered and misinterpreted to the point where it's obvious Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta's knowledge of the setting came solely from reading the game manual. The only reason I didn't give this book a pure 1 star is because it can be educational (every aspiring writer should read this just to see how NOT to write) and because, bad as it is, I still finished it in less then a week. Either way, you should avoid this novel - and anything else penned by these authors - like syphilis.

Speed of Darkness - 4 Stars - When I found out this story was written by Tracy Hickman, I was dismayed. I've read his "Dragonlance Chronicles" and hated them. So, naturally, I wasn't too keen on reading "Speed of Darkness". Now, I'm happy to say I was wrong. Hickman has improved. A lot. His writing is still pretty basic and his ability to maintain an atmosphere is uneven, but it's nevertheless much better then it was during his "Dragonlance" days. This is the definite best novel in the entire collection. It manages to be packed with action, while at the same time telling a sad story about a brainwashed grunt who commits one single act of heroism despite knowing that he'll never get any acknowledgment for it.

Uprising - 3 Stars - "Uprising" has three redeeming qualities: it's short, easy to read, and it expands a lot on Kerrigan and Mengsk's past, as well as adding some insight into the events preceding the first StarCraft. The novel itself is badly written, and filled with new characters and subplots that are never explored in any depth - Kerrigan's "romance" with the Asian guy in particular is quite bland and unnecessary.

Having read StarCraft, WarCraft, WarCraft:War of the Ancients, and Diablo archives, I've come to the conclusion that Blizzard doesn't care about the quality of the writers they hire (with the exception of Christie Golden and Mel Odom, both of whom did a great job with their WarCraft and Diablo books). The expanded universe novels are plagued by shoddy writing, canon inconsistencies, and often have little to do with the source material.

DISCLAIMER: I've given StarCraft Archive three stars not because each novel in the collection is a three-stars science fiction novel, but because the collection on the whole is a three-star science fiction collection.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2 very good, 1 ok, 1 very very very very bad. 12 Mar. 2009
By Carlos E. L. Augusto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just a "quick" review with my personal opinions, there are plenty others already if you look into the books one by one:

First and last books are really good. The first one starts slow, and I thought I wouldn't like it. I was wrong, it turned out to be the best of the compilation in my opinion. The main story in itself is not entirely new since it follows events on the original Terran campaign, but it's very well written and has much attention to details about the SC universe. You'll see yourself soon sympathyzing with the main character, and overjoying about the known characters acting like you would expect them to act. You can really hear their original game voices talking the lines :P
It's major problem is that it ends, much too soon.

The second book is just the contrary. WORST BOOK EVER, with all sincerity (and I can't live without a book to read in the everyday bus). In all aspects, it's gross: bad story overall, bad main characters, bad new characters, SC characters don't act like they should at all, no matching knowledge of anything SC, etc etc (read my review at the book link). Really, just skip this one. If you think of reading it because it may add something new and worthy to the universe (like I did after the first few chapters and kept doing until the end), even a tiny bit, know that you're wrong; it doesn't. It's hours of your life that'll never come back!

The third book is OK, so-so; it's not very engaging but it's true enough to SC. Has a few military acronyms thrown in that may lead you to Google, which I didn't like (small notes would solve the problem...). Worth reading if you're not too much picky.

The fourth and final book is also very good, almost as much as the first. It tells the story of how Kerrigan ended up at the hands of Mengsk, which in itself is the most promising plot. It also starts a bit slow, but after the middle it gets real good, and keeps up that way until the end. This book has a connection with the first, since it's a prequel to it. It's at the end for a reason though, and I also recommend reading it after the first and third books (don't read the second!).

All in all, it's not a very solid compilation, but I recommend it for the first and last books (which I would give 5 stars). I took one star off for the third book (which I would give 3 stars). I didn't take into account the second book (which I would give minus infinity), because I would have to give one star to the entire compilation if I did!

To Blizzard: you can say that you have only released mind-blowing games, but you really can't say that about your other products. How was a book like Shadow of the Xel'Naga approved?? It's utter crap and the authors clearly don't have a clue about SC! How about demanding of these other products the same love and high quality you give to your games?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice recopilation 27 Jun. 2008
By Sergio Pulido Tamayo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's a rlly good recopilation of books, I ddin't like "Shadows of the Xel'naga" but the other books were awesome.

Another good thing is that this (big) book is cheaper than buying all the other books separated.
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