Book Review – Myst: The Book of Ti’ana By Rand Miller with David Wingrove

Title: Myst: The Book of Ti’ana
Author: 
Rand Miller with David Wingrove
Illustrator: 
Tom Bowman
Format: 
Hardcover
Published: 
1996

The Book of Ti’ana is the second of three Myst novels which tie-in to the popular 90s computer game.  I bought the books for my brother when they were new and am just now getting around to them myself.  The Book of Ti’ana takes place at least a couple decades before The Book of Atrus, and covers the history around the destruction of D’ni while centering on Atrus’s grandparents.

Anna is a young woman living alone with her father in the desert, near Tadjinar (a made up seemingly Middle Eastern city).  It’s not clear in which century or decade, but technology is advanced enough for them to have a sophisticated understanding of minerals.  Meanwhile deep below the surface of the earth lies the great civilization of D’ni, who 50 years ago almost dug their way up to the surface of the earth and then changed their mind at the last minute.

I liked parts of this book, but over all it was dry, slow, and heavily political.  Anna is a likable and admirable character as is Aitrus (who apparently needed an extra letter, so we don’t confuse him with his grandson), but the secondaries were simplistic to the point of being dull.  The first section is 63 pages long and could have been either ommitted or heavily condensed.

The writing is solid.  If you are already a Myst fan, this provides more solid answers to a lot of little mysteries, but I’m not sure how well the book would stand up on it’s own.

The hardback in particular is lovely like the other books is this set.  Some of the illustrations seemed like odd choices of details to illustrate, but they are nicely executed.  I think you could read this book before The Book of Atrus but if you only read one, I’d say The Book of Atrus is superior.

Overall,  I’ll give it a 3 out of 5.  Okay as a Myst supplement, but the story got a little lost in the world building.

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