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Gamertell Review: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Endgame novel by David Michaels

by Jonathan Gronli on Jan 4, 2010 at 03:53 PM

sc conviction

Title: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Endgame
Author: David Michaels
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Release Date: December 2009
Price: $9.99
Pros: It’s good to see the other side of the story.
Cons: Not quite the same punch as other books though it still works, Fisher seems like he invited himself into the story.
Rating: One thumb up and one thumb sideways, 85/100, B, *** out of five.
Overall: It’s a new view on a franchise, which is a dangerous gambit. It works for the most part.

Splinter Cell: Conviction was supposed to get two novels. Luckily it did especially after the average the book by the same name. Splinter Cell: Endgame is that second book. Here’s how it stands up.

Suspicion of Success

The book starts off simply. One of the Splinter Cells on his first mission is getting tortured and is saved by someone from the shadows. You realize by the start of the second chapter that something has gone wrong for the Third Echelon.

That’s one of the things that this book does well. Where Conviction started off slow, Endgame starts with hammering blows. It feels more like the franchise that we’ve come to know and love. It also brings a new view to the events of the storyline, which is always a good thing. After all, if you’re following the same person through a franchise that deals with a lot of people, you’re going to get somewhat tired of the same view.

It’s also doing a lot of good since you rarely get the view of the hunters in a Bourne-style storyline. So there is some attempts at giving the franchise and similarly plotted stories a breath of fresh air. It also usually works. So there really isn’t that much of a problem with it.

Too Much is Not Enough

Sure, it brings in a breath of fresh air and doesn’t pull any punches. However, that’s also its failing. While’s it’s dealing with a shifting narrative, it’s also trying to pack in a lot more action into the story. It brings up about five or six main characters and you only really care about one. It’s sad when some of the main characters are more comedic relief than actual spies and trained killers. You even care about Sam Fisher more than the main characters of the book and he’s only introduced about halfway through the novel. Even still he doesn’t play a major role until about 20 pages after he’s introduced and we’re talking about a storyline that’s dealing with hunting Fisher. He seems more like he’s inviting himself into the story and that the novel itself could be rewritten as a new, standalone Splinter Cell novel that has nothing to do with Fisher.

So the things that seem to drop its quality down are the fact that they’re focusing more on the action than on developing the majority of the characters. It’s also putting a minor role to one of the biggest characters in the book to the point that it could be rewritten without the character and it would still be a compelling story that would’ve left more room for developing the team of operatives that’s made. Throw out the story regarding Fisher and focus on the story that the team of Splinter Cell operatives trying to hunt down the mole that the Third Echelon is being plagued by.

Firing Up the Masses

It’s a fine book and, if you read both Conviction and Endgame at the same time, you’ll get a higher appreciation for the scope of the story.

These books will appease the Splinter Cell fanbase until the release of the game, being passable espionage stories that gives you both sides of the story.

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Comments
  • Travis said:

    The entire Splinter Cell series is a hit, Conviction and Endgame just have a little less classic spy stuff in them. The Series began with fisher being a tough guy relieing only on his military training. However as the series progressed fisher became half Specops soldier, Half hitman. Conviction turned him into just a hitman which don’t get me wrong was cool, I just like the Third echelon agent a little bit more. Engame though has changed the perspective and in many ways it’s still the hard hitting franchise it used to be, just now we have to deal with the new fisher.

  • Avatar for Jonathan Gronli

    Don’t get me wrong. Conviction and Endgame do work. It’s just that Endgame works a bit better. Rather than giving us the feeling that “we’ve been here before,” Endgame ended up breathing some new life into the novels. It was a different perspective that gave a fresher look at Fisher. I mean Conviction is essentially The Bourne Identity mixed with 24 if originally thought of by Tom Clancy and followed up on by David Michaels. If you’ve read The Bourne series, the rest of the Splinter Cell books, any of the 24 novels and watched any season of 24, you’ve read Conviction ahead of time.

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