Book – Arrow: Vengeance

Arrow: Vengeance

Steve Taylor-Bryant expands his love of the Arrow TV series to a new medium as he reads Titan Books' tie-in novel, Arrow: Vengeance by Oscar Balderrama and Lauren Certo...

Oliver Queen returns from the dead to create his persona as the Arrow. Yet others work in the shadows to fashion his downfall… and plot the destruction of all he holds dear.

Also a survivor of Lian Yu, Slade Wilson’s ultimate goal is Oliver’s doom, and he recruits Isabel Rochev, whose hatred for the Queens knows no bounds. Brother Blood, while seeking to do what is right, also finds himself inextricably tangled in Wilson’s machinations.

This is the untold story behind the rise and fall of the Arrow.


Books based on successful television shows can be a bit hit or miss but they most definitely have their place. Without Doctor Who books, those 19 years without the show would have been even darker times and during that period I discovered some great writers that I maybe wouldn’t have read otherwise. Which brings us to Titan Books latest release based on my favourite DC comic book show, Arrow. I am a big fan of the show, Stephen Amell impresses year on year and the characters they introduce are done so well that you can’t help but admire the show’s writing team. Would that love transfer to novel form though? Well, yes. Yes it does.

What Oscar Balderrama and Lauren Certo have done is take the story from Season 2 of the show and clear up some the gaps that the story had on screen. They’ve looked at it from the point of view of the characters that aren’t played by Stephen Amell and, to be honest, it’s very clever and gives much fanboy delights. I really liked Season 2, Sebastian Blood, Isabel Rochev and the force of nature that was Slade Wilson were all impeccably played out on screen but obviously, because the Green Arrow is the star of the show, the series unfolded from Oliver Queen’s perspective. Writing the novel from the eyes of the others was superb. Rochev got more of a look in than was happening in the show which, it turns out, is crucial to Arrow lore, especially when the reasons why Isabel wanted to hurt the Queen family are properly explored, and these sections of Vengeance are incredible to read as a fan. The section from Sebastian’s point of view was sad and informative and his reasons behind becoming Brother Blood are explored in a level of detail not afforded on the show. His skewed moral crusade has you nearly believing in him and he has a lot more depth in the book which really enhances my understanding of a character that I didn’t quite ‘get’ when viewing the series.

The final section of the book comes from all of the points of view mashed together and is quite an intense read, as you know some of the scenes on the page but are learning about them from another perspective gives you an edge of the seat feel. Add in the newer scenes not from the show and it’s quite the finale.

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned Slade Wilson and his point of view much. This is by design. It is impossible to talk about Slade’s first section in the book without excitedly spewing words onto the page or filling your head with massive spoilers, but let’s just say this…

You have to buy this book if you are an Arrow fan.

Image - Titan Books