I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Tom Clancy’s The Division book Recruited by Thomas Parrott and published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.
So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.
I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.
Also, I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.
What is Tom Clancy’s The Division
Based on the Ubisoft game series of the same name, its set in the near future, the Strategic Homeland Division, known simply as The Division, is a group of government sleeper agents, activated to assist emergency responders and the armed forces, when a smallpox like virus, called the Green Poison or Dollar Flu spreads like wildfire across the US, causing the collapse in the government and society.
The job of the Division, is to combat lawlessness and find out the origin of the virus in an attempt to restore order and bring back civilisation.
This story follows a cell investigating why trucks carrying food to the eastern coast of the US have slowed to a trickle, in order to prevent the survivors of the plague from starving.
Having lost one of their trio before they get out of Washington D.C., they recruit Maria Kanhai, a young veteran and cyber security expert into their cell as they journey west to try and get to the bottom of the problem.
As they travel the huge distances on foot, they travel through an unforgiving world and come across ruthless factions who will do their upmost to hold power for themselves, and keep themselves on top regardless of how it impacts others.
I haven’t played either of the games in the series, and so I am approaching this from fresh eyes, and no doubt didn’t see any references from them.
But I am very familiar with the works of Tom Clancy, and whilst this book sort of resembles, them, it has a voice of its own that is distinct.
A world ravaged by a pandemic is something I think many of us are familiar with now, even if ours didn’t collapse into chaos!
The book is very fast paced, and there is always a concern about who is tracking the cell and why they are being targeted, sometimes, it feels like you are going from set piece to set piece, but the characters and their interactions does make it feel a lot more natural.
And speaking about the characters, they are all very well written, with flaws and virtues that feel very very real, and thus it helps keep you immeresed.
The Division paints a picture of a very bleak world where humanity has quickly devolved into groups that are only looking out for themselves.
I am going to give this 4 out of 5 stars, and I might have to buy the game next time Ubisoft have a sale.
Recruited is available now as an eBook or paperback and even as an audio book!