Knee-Deep in the Dead – Beginning of the Invasion

Another book is done! Writing this now reminds me of the time I tried to read another DOOM novel that took a different approach but I think this one is a much better story that is an ode to the classic games. There are four novels and this is the first one.

The moment I started reading I determined immediately that Flynn Taggart is Doomguy guaranteed. I mean who else would he be?! He’s a lot more chatty in this book but still prone to go berserk when permitted.

At first, he’s in a UAC facility he believes to be on Mars but it’s actually Deimos and the place is overrun with, that’s right, demons. His priority is to find Arlene, his long-time friend who is also stranded at the base during the attack.

The action scenes are well-written in this book, though once the characters know how to deal with demonic threats, they can go by quickly in less than a paragraph. There’s also a comedy side to it as the author writes from Doomguy’s perspective. I don’t ever recall him being Christian but because he was saying Mary and Jesus a lot, it made me question that. He was also coming up with names for the demons he encounters. Eventually, this becomes a game he plays with Arlene after successfully tracking her down.

Even though they were giving names to the demons based on their appearance, my brain automatically registered them just as what they were in the games. They were calling Cacodemons pumpkins, Lost Souls as flying skulls, Barons of Hell were hell-princes (I loved the part when the first one appeared inside that room where Arlene etched a warning for him outside and then another one attacked them inside that dark labyrinth, like Theseus against the minotaur), and a Cyberdemon would be a steam-demon!

The only ones that got names equivalent to the games were zombies, Pinkies, and imps. Even the first Cyberdemon that made an appearance had an intense build-up, maybe not as exhilarating as the Lazarus Labs but enough to prevent me from putting the book down.

Aside from Doomguy himself, Arlene was badass too. I even thought she was going to die a couple of times but thank goodness for that Soul Sphere! I also liked how she was comparing what they saw to anything eldritch from a Lovecraft story much to Doomguy’s chagrin because he didn’t know who that was or what eldritch meant. As a Lovecraft fan, that made my mouth fall open.

I swear there is so much gore I pictured in this book even when they walked into that tunnel before finding Ritch.

Simple story, stop the invasion, if you’re a DOOM fan then I don’t have to tell you what the final battle was like and who makes an appearance. Let’s just say there are more demons towards the end a certain mastermind.

It’s not a complex story so don’t feel like you missed a ton of details if say, your mind wanders while reading. But I can picture the events quite vividly.

Enjoyable book adding to the DOOM lore that makes me feel like I’m playing the games again. I can’t wait to start the next.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.



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