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on 28 April 2011
You may be surprised to learn that this, a tie-in novel to a computer game not out for several months, is excellent. While best for fans of the original Deus Ex game or those interesting in the new Human Revolution, James Swallow still manages to tell a tight, gripping tale of conspiracy in the far-too-close future and make it believable. You can believe everyone's motivation, both "good guys" and "bad guys" (although neither really apply), and it keeps you interested all the way up until the end.

While it ties in to the events that begin the upcoming Human Revolution (although that game's protagonist Adam Jensen barely has a cameo here), and original Deus Ex fans will get a kick out of the appearances and references to that game (Swallow is clearly a fan), anyone looks for a good starter to the series will be satisfied with Icarus Effect... and eager for more.
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VINE VOICEon 24 January 2015
Set just before the events of Human Revolution this novel explores the world of the Tyrants and their recruitment process. A world-weary warrior by the name of Ben Saxon is chosen to be a Tyrant but has too much of a conscience to effectively do the job. Meanwhile a rogue-agent on the lam ends up teaming with him to put things right.

As much as I like this novel there are two fatal flaws to its story that lessen the enjoyment. First of all none of your favorite DE heroes are in this. There's no Adam Jensen, no David Sarif, no Malik. These are all new characters. Second is the fact that because all of the villains are the villains from Human Revolution they do no die or get their comeuppance at the end, leaving the reader feeling dissatisfied and let-down.

There are a few good moments but the atmosphere, intrigue, and familiar faces from the video game are all absent, which hurts it significantly. Worth reading if you are a huge DE fan, though.
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on 1 December 2011
I really enjoyed reading the "Icarus Effect", bearing in mind that I started this book with no high expectation to find a sci-fi story of the most engaging kind. I am a fun of Deus-Ex, I liked HR so I was simply looking for more details related to 2nd characters and general pre DX world. The book is easy to read, I wasn't surprised by the author choice of introducing 2 characters and 2 perspectives (this is a tecnique used often even by Agatha Christie to make 2 sotrylines convey at a crucial point after building up a climax of events for each). I warmth towards both the main characters, and even if the "bad" and the "good" guys were defined with clear cut colours, I thought that everything fitted the purpose of the book. The only, truly, truly, truly disappoinitng aspect was the ending. I will never understand why authors decide to litterally throw away one of the most important moments of the reading experience. "Icarus Effect" does just that and it truly annoyed me. This is why I have given it 3 stars.
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on 25 September 2014
This is a really great tie-in book.

The story's set in the near-future world of the video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. We even get a little Adam Jensen cameo, for those who've played the game, which is a nice nod.

Without going into too much detail, the story's great and the characters are awesome here. It switches POV from Anna Kelso, a Secret Service agent, and Ben Saxon, an ex-soldier turned gun-for-hire working for Belltower. Both of their respective stories are compelling and it all comes to together nicely when their paths intersect about two thirds of the way through the book.

Personally, my favourite character has to be Anna Kelso. She carries herself in a certain way and it's not often we see strong female characters that aren't oversexualised or aren't total badasses. I feel Swallow has written a female character who isn't just a male action hero with a vagina, as some may say.

James Swallow works a lot with his descriptions. Particularly the brutal and realistic depictions of fist fights and gun fights. While this is great and helps me paint a picture in my mind's eye of the scene that's unfolding, I sometimes found it hard to "see" what was going on precisely. Either it's my lack of comprehension or Swallow's fast-paced action descriptions, but anyway, you can you usually get the gist of what's going on.

I do have some small gripes with the book, however. Throughout, Anna Kelso is referred to as Anna, but now and then the author will refer to her as Kelso (even when it's her own POV we're experiencing), sometimes in the same scene or page even, which was a weird. I think this should have been kept consistent.

Another editorial oddity that kinda threw me was the fact that Swallow often used "said [name]", instead of the typical "[name] said". It was odd and was a bit off putting as it wasn't even consistent throughout. These are little things and don't reflect my review score, but I just wanted to note them.

Overall, you're getting a good read here. It may appeal more to people who've played the video games, but I'd say its worth a look, even for someone who's just into action stories with great characters and a bit of sci-fi (mostly augmented humans with cybernetic limbs or neural implants) mixed in.
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on 16 January 2014
I actually enjoyed this better than playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I think that's probably because my imagination created a better atmosphere. But yeah this is a good read, especially if your already into Deus Ex. One thing that kinda bugged me though is the author has a slightly annoying habit of over-describing things, which, although that should be a good thing, it ends up making you wait a couple of extra words to find out what he is actually trying to describe, which I found kinda annoying. Would be interesting if anybody else felt that. But still, great atmosphere, great narrative, great book!!!
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on 16 November 2013
If you are a fan of the deus ex games and of modern day futuristic stories (thinking ghost in the shell stand alone complex) then this book is for you!

Loved how James took me back to playing the first deus ex game and then modernised it as well!

Thank you and looking forward to the sequel
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on 13 May 2014
played all the games cant wait for the new PS4 release, this did not dissapoint, i need something to take while i went away, abit of futuristic cybog action, just to get me out fo he real wolrd for a little while, amazing story and tales throughout, must buy for any cyber junky and Deus Ex fan !
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on 22 September 2013
Got this to read on holiday. Love the story in the Deus Ex games so thought this would be good. It is a really easy read and you don't need to know anything about the Deus Ex background. My 11 year old step-son is reading it now and also loving it.
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on 3 March 2016
If you are as immersed in the Deus Ex storyline (the first game as well as Human Revolution) as I am, this book will press all the right buttons for you.

I imagine it seems a little irrelevant if you don't know your in-game history.
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on 2 June 2016
Not a bad read. Fits in well with the whole deus ex world. A few nods to human revolution and the original game. I think even if you havent played the games its a pretty good read. Action, covert, conspiracies, etc.
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