(This review may contain spoilers).
I’d ideally give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. While it worked as a good tie-in novel (and I have a slight obsession with Slade, so it was nice to get an idea of what happened to him post-island), much of the second half of the book was just a rehash of the second half of season two of Arrow. While that would have been good for character studies, it didn’t allow me to feel much, if any, sympathy for Isabel’s character.
I felt the very first scene of the book, while a retelling of the scene in the episode, did a good job of showing Slade’s perspective. The fight scene between him and Oliver was quite intense to read, especially given how drastically their relationship had changed by that point.
I liked the fact that much of the first half of the book focused on Slade. It was interesting to see the effects of the Mirakuru lessened so as to be almost non-existent… though I maintain that, if he’d truly been free of the drug, Slade would have seen the events of the island differently. Considering his continuing obsession with Oliver, though, it seemed to make it clear that the Mirakuru hadn’t released its hold entirely.
I did have a lot of sympathy for Sebastian, even though I totally didn’t agree with many of the actions he took. I felt like his past in particular was glossed over and I wasn’t given much of a chance to see how much he was shaped after the death of his father. I did feel some sympathy for Isabel at first… but by the second half of the book, I’d lost most of that sympathy.
I didn’t really feel the second half of the book added a lot to the world of Arrow, or even to Slade’s character/personality/history. Virtually every scene was a complete rehash of the events of season two and even the emotions involved were ones fairly obvious from the episodes. I would have very much preferred getting more glimpses below the surface.
I would suggest reading the first half of this book, as it details the history of both Isabel and Sebastian and allowed me to learn about what happened to Slade after he escaped the island. But the rest of the book? Wasn’t as good as it could have been, I felt.