Dishonored: The Corroded Man offers a foreboding glimpse back into Dunwall
It is fifteen years since the Rat Plague ended, and Emily Kaldwin sits on the throne of the Empire with her father and spymaster, Corvo Attano, acting as her mentor and right hand man. But all is not well in Dunwall. Another power, touched by the Outsider, comes from the frozen lands of Tyvia, and he bears a familiar power with a new edge that threatens to plunge Dunwall back into darkness.
When I played Dishonored the first time around, I have to admit, I was disappointed. The game had a look that it had advertised that just didn’t seem to match up to what was provided. The backstory though was interesting and this novel provides more lore to follow down the rabbit hole. Dishonored expands its alternate Europe, imbuing it with its own flavor of supernatural lore. The supernatural power Corvo bore gets stranger with Adam Christopher penning it convincingly and grittily. New characters arrive with powers, only they seem more powerful and operate through alternate manifestations.
Some of the old faces are back again as well on the side of the opposition. The remnants of the Whalers gang rally around their a new and terrifying boss calling himself a ‘corroded man’: a strange and occulted hulk wrapped in a greatcoat, swaddled in bandages that cover a nightmare quilt of scarred flesh. His power mimics that of their former leader, Daud, but in powerful and terrifying capacity.
Action, intrigue, and dark magics are all written with equal ease. This is not Adam Christopher’s first rodeo – he uses his experiences with his successful books like Empire State and The Burning Dark to great effect, plying his craft further to make something a little above the average cut for a novel based on a video game property. Many novels based on such premises can feel like a checklist of game tropes to be hit – but this manages to avoid that.
Between the combination of Christopher’s talent, an engaging game mythos, and convincing characters, The Corroded Man manages to cut through the dross typically found in the genre and get through to something that not only highlights the feeling of the Dishonored games, but also tells an interesting story. I’d recommend it to those both familiar and unfamiliar with the games themselves if they’re looking for a little something to tide them over before the release of the game.
Final Verdict: 3/5
The Corroded Man, written by Adam Christopher, is published by Titan Books. It is available now in print or ebook format. RRP: $7.99. Materials for this review were graciously provided by Titan Books.