Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth
The cover of Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth.
Author Christopher Golden
Series Uncharted
Publishers Del Rey Books
Publication date October 4, 2011[1]
Media type Print (Paperback), eBook
Pages 352[1]
ISBN 978-0345522177[1]

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth is a novel written by Christopher Golden, published by Del Rey Books as part of the Uncharted series.

The novel follows treasure-hunter Nathan "Nate" Drake and antique-dealer Victor "Sully" Sullivan following the murder of one of their acquaintances, the archaeologist Luka Hzujak. Nate and Sully unite with Luka's daughter Jada as they attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding Luka's death.

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth was published on October 4, 2011 to a mixed reaction from reviewers, who praised the novel for staying true to the Uncharted series, but said that it lacked the excitement of the Uncharted video games.


[edit] Development

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth was first announced on October 28, 2010. In the press release announcing Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth, Del Rey Books discussed certain aspects of the novel and the author, Christopher Golden.[2] When Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth was featured at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2011, more information about the novel was made available.[3]

Golden worked closely with Naughty Dog and Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig while working on the novel, which he considered to be a positive experience.[4] Golden has said that he "had a blast" writing the novel,[5] and has stated the reason for the novel focusing on a set of lost labyrinths is due to his longstanding interest in the subject.[4]

[edit] Plot

In October, in an area of Ecuadorian rainforest known as El Oriente, treasure-hunter Nathan "Nate" Drake infiltrates drug lord Ramón Valdez's compound in order to steal an artefact. Nate has been hired to steal the artefact by the local Cuiqawa tribe, who believe the artefact to rightly belong to them. During his heist, Nate rescues the kidnapped Alex Munoz, the daughter of the mayor of Guayaquil.[6]

After returning the artefact to the Cuiqawa tribe and returning Munoz to her father, Nate flies back to America. Arriving in Chicago, Nate receives a cryptic phone call from his old friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan regarding a murder. After Nate meets up with Sully in New York, it becomes apparent that the murder victim is Luka Hzujak, an archaeologist that Nate and Sully are both well-acquainted with.[6]

Fearing that she too is in danger, Sully has kept Luka's daughter Jadranka, more commonly known as "Jada", in hiding. However, with Nate's arrival, Jada sets out with Nate and Sully to find her father's murderer. Jada believes her stepmother Olivia and Olivia's employer Tyr Henriksen, the Norwegian CEO of a weapons manufacturing company, to be behind the killing, but first Nate, Sully and Jada visit Maynard Cheney, an expert on labyrinths, the field that Luka had been researching before his death.[6]

However, when Nate, Sully and Jada arrive at Cheney's office at the Museum of Natural History they find him dead, having been murdered just moments earlier. After receiving some information from Cheney's assistant, Gretchen Welch, Nate, Sully and Jada leave before the police arrive. Returning to Luka's apartment, they find it on fire and are ambushed by a group of unknown enemies in an SUV. Nate, Sully and Jada are able to escape and make the decision to head to Phoenix Innovations to confront Henriksen and Olivia. However, Olivia is unavailable and the trio make the decision to go straight to Egypt and meet Gretchen's brother Ian, who is coordinating the excavation of the labyrinth of Sobek at Crocodilopolis.[6]

After arriving in Egypt, Nate, Sully and Jada have dinner with Ian, who informs them of the work being carried out at the excavation site. After Ian leaves at the end of the meal, Olivia appears and greets Nate, Sully and Jada. Olivia seems very upset at the death of Luka, but Jada believes this to be an act and storms out of the restaurant in disgust. Nate follows Jada out of the restaurant, arriving just in time to see a group of thugs assault Jada and attempt to kidnap her. Nate and Sully engage the thugs in a gunfight, but soon a group of hooded assassins arrive and kill the thugs in cold blood, before telling Jada that she should return home. These hooded assassins are later revealed to be the Protectors of the Hidden Word, an enduring society set up to keep the secrets held within Daedalus' labyrinths.[6]

The next day, Ian meets Nate, Sully and Jada at the labyrinth of Sobek. Ian informs the trio that Henriksen has just bought out the company in control of the dig, and is now there to follow the progress being made, along with Olivia. Making their way deep into the labyrinth system, the group make the discovery that after Crocodilopolis and the labyrinth of Knossos in Crete, the third labyrinth they need to investigate is in the Akrotiri excavation site on the Greek archipelago Santorini, also known as Thera. Furthermore, the labyrinth of Sobek also hints at a fourth labyrinth - the historical breakthrough that Luka had made before his murder. However, before the group are able to act on this, the Protectors of the Hidden Word appear in the labyrinth and kidnap Ian. Nate, Sully and Jada are unable to save Ian and must make their exit, coming across Henriksen and Olivia as they make their escape.[6]

Nate, Sully and Jada make their way to Santorini and there they investigate the Akrotiri excavation site, which was partly destroyed by a volcanic eruption many years ago. Through notes made by Luka in his journals, the trio are able to make their way to the centre of the labyrinth, where they discover that the mythical fourth labyrinth is in China. After making this discovery they begin to exit the labyrinth, but as they make their escape they are confronted by Henriksen, Olivia and Henriksen's bodyguard Corelli. During this confrontation, the two parties are attacked again by the Protectors of the Hidden Word, who drag Sully off into the darkness. With the revelation that the final labyrinth is in China, Nate and Jada reluctantly agree to work alongside Henriksen and his associates to find the labyrinth.[6]

While Nate and Jada fly to China with Henriksen and his associates, an employee at Phoenix Innovations carries out research for the entourage and concludes that the labyrinth is beneath Nanjing, and the labyrinth is "Diyu", what the Chinese consider to be Hell. Arriving in Nanjing, Nate and Jada are introduced to a squad of mercenaries led by a man named Perkins. The entourage then make their way into the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, where Diyu is said to be. While advancing through the labyrinth, it becomes apparent that it is Olivia who has masterminded the whole operation, as Corelli and the squad of mercenaries are loyal to her rather than Henriksen. As Olivia orders Nate, Jada and Henriksen to be executed, Nate kills Corelli. However, before the mercenaries can respond they are attacked by a large number of Protectors of the Hidden Word. The Protectors kill a number of mercenaries - including Perkins - and give Nate, Jada and Henriksen the chance to escape from Olivia.[6]

Nate, Jada and Henriksen continue on through the labyrinth system, and are soon attacked by a small group of Protectors of the Hidden Word, and Ian and Sully are members of this group, having been disguised and influenced by a concoction. However, this discovery is made too late and Henriksen shoots and kills Ian. Nate and Sully grapple for some time before Nate is able to subdue Sully. Following this, they continue on into the heart of the labyrinth, where they are attacked by the "Minotaur", a man physically and mentally changed by a concoction made from the white hellebore flower. Olivia arrives with the remaining mercenaries, who help slay the Minotaur, before the group moves on to confront the Mistress of the Labyrinth and the final Protectors. During the ensuing conflict, Henriksen is killed along with the Protectors, but as Olivia gorges in the gold that surrounds her, she sets off a trap that floods the labyrinth. Nate, Sully, Jada and a mercenary named Suarez escape the labyrinth as Olivia is dragged beneath the water by a previous and ageing Minotaur. The group are able to escape, although Suarez dies from the wounds suffered in the labyrinth.

Five days later, Nate, Sully and Jada attend Luka's funeral back home in New York. At the funeral, Jada talks of Nate and Sully as being her family, and Nate and Sully respond by telling her they'll always be around. However, Sully then informs Nate of a new job that needs to be taken on in Peru. Although Nate is initially reluctant, wishing to take time off from his treasure-hunting, he agrees to go to with Sully.[6]

[edit] Characters

  • Victor "Sully" Sullivan is another one of the book's main protagonists. An antique dealer, Sully contacts Nate following Luka's murder.[1]
  • Jadranka "Jada" Hzujak makes her first appearance in the Uncharted series. Following her father's death, Jada aids Nate and Sully as they venture around the world in an attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding his murder.[1]
  • Luka Hzujak is the archaeologist whose murder sparks the events in Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth. While carrying out research for Tyr Henriksen, the CEO of a weapons manufacturer, Luka makes a huge discovery. It is this discovery that eventually leads to his death.
  • Tyr Henriksen, appearing for the first time in the Uncharted series, is the Norwegian CEO of Phoenix Innovations, a weapon manufacturing company. After hiring Luka to carry out some research for him, the archaeologist makes a large discovery and ceased working with Henriksen.
  • Olivia Hzujak is the widowed wife of Luka and the stepmother of Jada. She is employed by Tyr Henriksen at Phoenix Innovations, and is often at odds with her stepdaughter.

[edit] Publication and reception

In the initial October 2010 press release announcing Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth, it was stated that the book would be published in Fall 2011.[2] The publication date was later specified as October 4, 2011 on author Christopher Golden's official website.[1] Several days before the novel's release, on September 30, an excerpt containing the first four chapters of the novel were uploaded onto the online publishing service Scribd.[7] This excerpt was positively received, with gaming website dot Pixel Games calling it a "must-have for any Uncharted fan." The preview also praised the novel for maintaining primary protagonist Nathan "Nate" Drake's witty and sarcastic nature, while also providing an internal dialogue that reveals more about Nate's character.[8]

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth was published as planned on October 4, 2011. Following the publication, it received mixed reviews. Website A Temporary Distraction gave the novel three out of five stars, praising the novel for staying "true to the Uncharted/Indy formula", but also saying that the novel "never reaches the heights of its interactive equivalent."[9] Educational website Educated Earth gave a similarly mixed review, saying the novel is "a fun read", but also "nowhere near as thrilling as the video games."[10]

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth" on Christopher Golden's official website
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Original Uncharted novel in the works from Del Rey Books" on Joystiq
  3. "UNCHARTED 3 at San Diego Comic-Con 2011" on PlayStation.Blog
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Interview Christopher Golden (English version)" on Uncharted France
  5. "Coming Soon: UNCHARTED: The Fourth Labyrinth and UNCHARTED from DC Comics" on PlayStation.Blog
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Golden, Christopher (2011). Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth. Del Rey Books. ISBN 978-0345522177.
  7. "UNCHARTED:THE FOURTH LABYRINTH by Christopher Golden, Excerpt" on Scribd
  8. "Book Preview – Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth" on dot Pixel Games
  9. "Book Review: ‘Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth’ by Christopher Golden" on A Temporary Distraction
  10. "Uncharted: Fourth Labyrinth Review" on Educated Earth

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