After my review of the official novelisation of Assassin’s Creed, I looked forward to reading Christie Golden’s Assassin’s Creed: Heresy (even if this book was released before the other). While I wasn’t a huge fan of the film tie-in, Golden’s writing salvaged an almost unbearable story.
This time around, we’re treated to the tale of Simon Hathaway, a high-ranking Templar who relives the memories of his ancestor Gabriel Laxart, who fought beside Joan of Arc. Fascinated and curious by Gabriel’s history, Simon is unprepared for what he truly uncovers. The secrets are dangerous and could impact his present and that of the entire Templar order. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Well, it is.
As expected, Golden’s writing doesn’t disappoint. She’s equally capable of writing great action scenes and carrying a thrilling plot. The way she weaves everything together is masterful, and there’s hardly a boring moment throughout. Unlike the novelisation of the film, this actually feels and reads like an Assassin’s Creed story – it captures the mood and tone of the game beautifully, even if it’s an all-new story.
Speaking of which, it’s good to see the franchise is moving in a direction that encourages new content; however, I do feel we are reaching a point where it might’ve gone as far as it can go. We all know the hook by now, and it’s starting to seem a little bit too routine and predictable. It feels like if you’ve read one AC book, you’ve read them all.
My biggest gripe is the editing of the book, which could’ve been better. For example, ‘smiled’ being used as a speech tag. Even though this doesn’t happen too often, thankfully, this is a rookie mistake for any editor to make. Also, there are a lot of sloppy instances of typos, telling (or overemphasis) rather than showing, and sections that appear to be missing. Did anyone proofread this before going to print?
Overall, Assassin’s Creed: Heresy should please fans of the series and even those who aren’t too familiar with the source material. Golden does a good job of keeping it simple and tying in all the folklore into an easy-to-grasp story. However, this book could’ve done with a stronger edit and maybe some better proofreaders.