Saturday, 7 June 2014

Tomb Raider The Lost Cult: Fanfiction At It’s Best

A Review By: Amelia

Fanfiction is hit or miss: sometimes it’s amazing, sometimes it’s tripe, and, of course, more than often, it’s full of graphic sex between characters that should not be having graphic sex. Seriously. They should not be having sex… But anyways, what was I saying? Oh yes, sometimes fanfiction is amazing and I can tell you now, Tomb Raider: The Lost Cult is just such a fanfiction!

After destroying years of his research on the ancient Méne cult, archaeologist Professor Frys is murdered by an unknown assassin. Lara Croft knows her colleague must have stumbled upon a dangerous secret–and someone took his life to ensure it would remain in the shadows. She jets around the world and quickly discovers that what’s happening is much bigger than she could have ever imagined as an ancient and deadly cult hopes to bring about the end of the world.

E. E. Knight grew up in Minnesota but now lives in Oak Park, Illinois. He tried journalism, photography, retail jobs, and software development before discovering he could get paid to make up stories and put them down on paper. Aside from The Lost Cult he is also the author of the Vampire Earth series.

The characters of the piece are Borg, an incredibly buff and famous mountain climber that lost his arms in an accident but continues to climb with the aid of two very high-tech prosthetic arms. Ajay, Lara’s former friend and failed protégé now turned evil cult activist. And–of course–Lara Croft, infamous archaeologists/tomb raider and all-round gun wielding, ass kicking, bitchingly awesome woman!

Ajay and Borg are very well-rounded original characters and seem very fleshed out within the piece. The backgrounds of the two characters are believable and realistic: maybe even more than Lara Croft’s own background. You will never see Ajay and Borg in another piece of Tomb Raider work (be it comics, videogames, books, etc.) but within The Lost Cult they fit with the plot well and interact with Lara like they’ve been with her since the very beginning.

As for Lara herself she’s done amazingly well. When you look at the videogames that the books draw her character from you really do realize how little you learn about Lara within them. Honestly, within the first game she just felt very cookie-cutter character: like, this is what we know about badass characters now let’s add tits and now they’re female. She’s evolved mightily since then within the videogame world, but for authors to write books about her from those first few games is very impressive. In The Lost Cult you’re immediately presented with a Lara Croft that is not only intelligent and knows how to kick ass, but has regrets about her past and actual human emotions surrounding things like loss and betrayal; she even shows sexuality beyond just having big tits as she develops ‘crush’ like feelings for Borg and often finds herself thinking how she’d like to get to know him beyond working with him. E.E. Knight took a character that was cold as ice and made them into a human: even more than that, Knight was able to explain why in other instances Lara needs to come off as cold as ice.  

All in all The Lost Cult is a seriously amazing book. The story is compelling and exciting as Lara runs around the world to protect it from a cult hoping to raise primordial gods–I mean, what’s not to like there? Knight more or less pits Lara against Cthulhu and that’s awesome! Plus he’s managed to create new characters that fit within the Tomb Raider universe really well: so well that characters that are brand new will seem like they’ve belonged to the Tomb Raider franchise for years. Even more than that though, Knight took a character that’s already been developed and delved even further into her with whole new angles to look at Lara from and be creating compelling reasons as to why she would act this way given what we’ve seen of her in the videogames!

My final thoughts on Tomb Raider: The Lost Cult are that it’s amazing considering how it’s literally just a fanfiction about a videogame franchise! The author pulled off something really remarkable and really just went above and beyond what I expected, especially with his portrayal of the characters. Honestly, it’s an amazing piece of fiction and fans of Lara Croft’s exciting exploits should not miss out on this book!

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