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Assassin's Creed: The Ming Storm - Review

*I received this e-ARC from Aconyte Books via Net Galley. All reviews are my own.*

Did you know Ubisoft Assassin's Creed gaming franchise extended to novels? I had no idea! So when I saw an ad to request Assassin's Creed: The Ming Storm by Yan Lei Sheng on NetGalley, I jumped on the opportunity immediately. I LOVE Assassin's Creed! I have almost every game in the collection. The nerd in me got way too excited at the possibility of a book version. Unfortunately, Game Creed didn't translate well into Book Creed, and I'm left wondering: what happened?

"China, 16th century. The Assassins are gone. Zhang Yong, the relentless leader of the Eight Tigers, took advantage of the emperor's death to eliminate all his opponents, and now the Templars hold all the power. Shao Jun, the last representative of her clan, barely escapes death and has no choice but to flee her homeland. Vowing to avenge her former brothers in arms, she travels to Europe to train with the legendary Ezio Auditore. When she returns to the Middle Kingdom, her saber and her determination alone will not be enough to eliminate Zhang Yong: she will have to surround herself with allies and walk in the shadows to defeat the Eight Tigers."

I purposely chose a tale that wasn't part of the gaming series to picture the story with my own imagination. Even though AC has briefly touched on Asian culture with Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Asia, it's nothing compared to The Ming Storm. Just like in any AC game, we're placed in a world filled with detailed culture, lost history, and a kick-ass character searching for truth. It even has footnotes on ancient texts and locations!

Reading the story is honestly just like playing the games, but it's missing something. I don't know if it's because I'm used to playing the games or if I need to hear an audio version of the narrative, but reading the story was a swing and a miss for me. There was so much description to digest, and it made it difficult to get through. Trying to picture the ways of an assassin fighting in trees and on abandoned bridges was rough. The story was interesting, and the concept of turning a video game into a book was also alluring, but I ended up DNFing at 43%. I spent more time napping while reading than enjoying. At least I got some good unexpected sleep in.

Overall I rated this story 2.5-stars. I can't recall anything that I read, and I'm sad because it takes place in one of my favorite Chinese eras. I really want to give AC books a chance, so I might try a story in audio form. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this novel, but I want to stick to the games after reading it.

Assassin's Creed: The Ming Storm is available now.

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