I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Watch Dogs Legion novel Day Zero by Josh Reynolds and James Swallow, 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 also friend with Josh on Facebook, however I am sure for him that’s more about connecting with fans rather than being one of my best buds, that said he is actually a really nice guy.
I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.
What is Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs is an action-adventure game franchise, published by Ubisoft, and there have been three games published since 2014, the most recent being Watch Dogs Legion, published in late 2020.
Watch Dogs feature protagonists who are hackers working against criminal underworlds, corrupt companies and rival hackers.
Watch Dogs Legion, takes place in a post Brexit London, in which Britain has rapidly declined, and a hacker collective known as DedSec works to clear their name after being blamed for a series of terrorist bombings.
Their main opponents are the PMC Albion, who they try to liberate London from, Clan Kelly, an east end crime family, and Zero Day, a cyber terrorism group.
Day Zero takes place a over a few days and features several characters who find themselves drawn into a murderous conspiracy, that they must get to the bottom of, or risk London falling into control of a private military contractor who have their own designs on the city.
Our cast of characters is Olly, a new DedSec recruit and bike messenger, Sarah, an ambitious young Labour MP who has an eye on the advancement of her own career, Danny, a former soldier, and now Albion employee, being lead down a dark path, and his sister, Ro, a former MMA fighter and enforcer with Clan Kelly.
A series of assassinations across the city drag our protagonists into a mystery and things are starting to spiral out of control, requiring the killer to be tracked down.
Ok I have yet to play the game, I did buy the Ultimate Edition when it was on sale after reading this novel, but I am aware that this is a prequel, and the game protagonists and antagonists only feature briefly.
But as I said I haven’t played it, so for me, its very much a cool intro to the universe, as I have yet to play the first two games either, but they are on my purchase list!
The book was very enjoyable to read, it took me a little longer than I would have like to read, but I have some personal stuff going on in my life right now which is reducing my reading abilities.
I personally think, this not being a retelling is actually a positive thing, because the plot didn’t feel like a video game plot, sometimes when tie-ins are a retelling, it just doesn’t work.
This book is a perfect meld of the two writers style, James Swallow, writes very tight, very ordered plots, and Josh Reynolds is a master of witty dialogue and unlike many books with two authors, you never really see where ones work begins and the others ends. It feels like the two authors have merged Tuvix style and created a work that takes the best of both of their talent.
My only criticism is that with so many characters, the development of those characters is not the best, and I would like to learn more about them. So I do hope that they return to the setting and what Olly, Ro and Danny in particular do next.
I find myself very excited to play Watch Dogs Legion, and I am very much considering buying the first two games first.
This is a very solid 4 out of 5 Stars.
Day Zero is out now in both ePub, paperback and as an audiobook from all good booksellers!
If buying online, I recommend the below, but if you have a local indie bookstore and like the physical books, go take your custom to them!
- Mood:- Tired
- Caffeinated Beverages Consumed:- 6
- In My Ears:- Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
- Tabletop Game Last Played:- The Mind
- Video Game Last Played:- Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection
- Book Last Read:- The Division: Recruited – Thomas Parrott
- Movie/TV Show Last Watched:- Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
- Current State of Projects:- T’au Breachers perhaps 60% finished