I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Crisis Protocol book Shadow Avengers by Carrie Harris, 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 this cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.
What is Marvel
Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!
Marvel Crisis Protocol is a tabletop skirmish miniatures game from Atomic Mass Games based on the Marvel comic characters, with its starter set conations five of the Avengers (Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Black Widow) and five of the Kabel (Barron Zemo, Red Skull, Crossbones, Doctor Octopus and Ultron).
I own the core set and its well worth investing into, if you fancy it you can purchase it from my Element Games affiliate link!
This novel starts up a few months following the first book in the series Target Kree by Stuart Moore with Doctor Strange having kept a group of heroes, he calls the Shadow Avengers, to investigate and deal with ongoing threat of Dormammu, a mystical being who desires to bring the entire multiverse under his control, and the Aconyte universe is now square in his sights.
The story kicks off with Spider-Man finding Loki and Venom battling around an OSCORP chemical tanker, pumping a strange green goo down into the water supply.
This leads Doctor Strange, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Black Panther, Wong, and She-Hulk going up against Loki, Venom and the Green Goblin as they investigate a series of mysterious portals opening in Wakonda and New York City, and figure out what these have to do with Dormammu and his sinister plans!
The last book in the series was difficult to review, but as a result it makes this book easier to review, it feels in many ways like the kind of campaign you yourself could play at home, and at the same time, is a really enjoyable story.
Yes, its rather obvious where the story was going, it wasn’t exactly filled with unexpected twists, other than the origin of the stories Asgardians.
But it was very fund to read, very cinematic in nature, and I could easily see this being the novelisation of an animated film, the locations were very well described and I felt like the locations were very real and you could almost feel being in a crocodile filled swamp at one point!
The heart of this book is Ms Marvel, and she really brings out the best aspects of all the charcters, even managing to break through Doctor Strange’s arrogance, and I found using her inexperience in the Avengers as a place for us to sit in her shoes, to be really good and very similar to the introduction of Kitty Pryde to the X-Men.
And the relationship between her and Spider-Man was fantastic, a teacher/student relationship slash big brother/little sister.
I really enjoyed this book and actually went out and bought the physical book as a Christmas present for one of my nibblings about halfway through reading it!
4.5 out of 5 stars!
Shadow Avengers is out now as an ebook and paperback!