Many of the books based in the starcraft universe focus on colonists and those on the fringe worlds. This book however lets us look into the heart of the Confederacy. The first section of the book thrusts you into the life of one of the old families, Mengsk and leads you through some of the most significant years of Angus' life. You get a good picture of how good things were for the Megsk household on Korhal and witness the beginnings of a new order. The next section entitled Arcturus leads us through this enigmatic mans teenage and early adult years as he battles to make a name for himself out of the shadow of his father. However, he is dragged back into the political battles of Korhal and a dramatic event triggers the formation of the man we know from the first game. The final section of the book introduces Valerian, Arcturus' son and he, like his father is desperate to be respected on merit not on birth. The characters are rich and true to other lore. Valerian appears in the Dark Templar Saga by Christie Golden and you can see this is clearly the same man, but now understand his backstory.
I recommend this book as it gives a unique view of Terran life, that of privilege and power, something you simply don't see in most of the literature which looks at the front line battles and barely habitable fringe worlds of the Koprulu sector.
This was a wonderful read that is very well written, but then it is written by acclaimed British author Graham McNeill. The story follows the life of Arcturus Mengsk, from his academy years on Korhal to his time with the Confederacy Marine Corps and the birth of his rebellion against the Confederacy.
The book gives a good insight into the Mengsk family, Arcturus' father, Angus, and his mother and sister. A rebellious teenage Arcturus refuses to follow in his fathers footsteps (and his challenging the corrupt Confederacy) and leaves his home on Korhal to become a marine. Events change throughout the book and he is drawn into the conflict his father helped to create.
The second part of the book sees Mengsk become a prospector and learn of his son, Valerian, and sees Arcturus take up his fathers cause and become emperor of the dominion after his crushing defeat of the Confederacy.
Starting from his teens, the book follows his life up to the end of the first StarCraft game, just before Brood War. Characters in the novel include an appearance from Captain Edmund Duke, later General Duke, a brief cameo by Samir Duran and Arcturus interactions with Juliana Pasteur, the mother of his child.
The book is full of detailed environments and good character interaction and dialogue and gives an interesting look at Terran life before the arrival of the Zerg and Protoss and especially the life of the Mengsk family.
The only downside to the book is that it does not cover some key events of his past before and during the game, such as his interaction with Sarah Kerrigan, how he caught up to her, rescued her, and got her to fight for his cause. Or how Arcturus come to see Zerg in confederate labs a year before their invasion in the game, or what had caused him to be near Mar Sara to help the magistrate and meet Jim Raynor on the first game. These are only minor things but would have been a good addition to the history of Arcturus.
Overall this is a very enjoyable read, recommended for any fan of the game. The book would be great even if you had never played or heard of the game, the writing and story are very strong in their own right and makes for a very good Sci-Fi novel.
From all the books from the blizzard franchise, this must be the one i like the most. I think it is because of thefact that the story isn't just a carbon copy from the actual game. For instance, arthas from warcraft is exactly the same as the actual game, so there was nothing really gripping me whilst reading.