By: Corey Lack
So, I recently read the book, “The Last Descendants” by Matthew J. Kirby and I have to say that I now realize that just because I love the original material a book is based on, doesn’t mean I’ll like the actual book. The premise of the book is about a teenager using a bootleg animus in an attempt to find evidence that his father was innocent in committing the crime of robbing a bank and murdering someone. In the process, he stumbles upon the secret war between the Templars and the Assassins, finding out that one of his ancestors crossed paths with one of the Pieces of Eden. As a result, he and a number of other teenagers go into a shared reconstruction in order to find the mysterious Piece, hoping to do so in order to keep it from both the Templars and the Assassins. The reconstruction takes them to the 1863 Draft Riots in New York City during the height of the Civil War.
The premise, when I first heard it, sounded like it could be interesting as I’ve liked the Assassin’s Creed series since playing the first game. That said, people who find the most recent games boring would change their tune if they read this book. There’s no really build up, no suspense as to the introduction of the characters to the war. It just kinda plops both the reader and the characters in the middle of it about two chapters in. Additionally, the period the memories take place, well, it makes sense that they needed to find a point in history people of such different backgrounds could intersect, but they could have potentially chosen one a bit more exciting.
Speaking of the characters, Owen, the one that started the series of events, seemed like the one the story would focus on, but then suddenly the reader has to get used to four new characters that literally come out of nowhere. This is all before Owen had been sufficiently developed. Even by the end, none of the characters had really any personality. There was nothing to draw the reader to them.
Honestly, even my fellow Assassin’s Creed fans should not read this book. It read like something below a young adult-level book and had no personality to the writing or the characters. I’d call it almost childish if it wasn’t about a bunch of people trying to kill each other. But, nothing I can say really redeems it, so I’d give it 2.5 hidden blades out of 10.