The Book of Atrus (Myst, #1)

ISBN: 0786881887
ISBN 13: 9780786881888
By: Rand Miller Robyn Miller David Wingrove

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About this book

Based on the best-selling CD-ROM game, a fantasy novel fills out the lives of the game's characters, tracing the strange apprenticeship of Atrus to his father, Gehn, who wields the power to create worlds. Reprint.

Reader's Thoughts

Sasha A.

I played the Myst game series growing up and LOVED them. Never thought they'd make a book series too. When I found this book I was delighted !! It covers all the plot holes that the game left, and it has beautiful character depth. I'm so delighted that the the science (in a way) of creating a world from books (literally) has finally been explained !

Karleen Farrell St.Germain

Not only did I master the games but I enjoyed the book series too. Don't read them if you expect game dialogue. These are ingeniously written stories about amazing worlds that is written into living books and the ones who have the power to do this. It is a twisted mind blowing plot and you need to be paying attention to gain all the insight of the yet unwritten worlds by these good characters.


I feel like this book will only make sense to those that have played both the Myst and Riven computer games. If you liked the games, you'll love the books. If you've never played the games, you'll probably feel very under-whelmed.Now after re-reading this I feel that I need to dig out my cd-rom of Myst. Some of the timelines don't seem to make sense in this trilogy, especially in relation to the plot of the videogames. (Wasn't the plot of Myst based on Atrus' two sons? And you play as Catherine in the game? I can't even remember the storyline of boot up the games then ey?). But, good background info and extra plot material for those of us who love the D'Ni world.Now, onto Book 2.

Déborah Muñoz

Reseña completa y más en www.escriboleeo.blogspot.comLa verdad es que es un libro muy entretenido, tanto por su originalidad como por sus personajes. Está todo muy bien pensado, aunque en principio es un poco desconcertante porque no entiendes qué pasó antes. Me gusta el personaje de Atrus, aunque me parece demasiado infantil e inocente para la edad que se supone que tiene. El padre es odioso desde el primer momento y Anna, aunque me cae bien, me parece algo extraña.La idea de acceder a otros mundos mediante la escritura de libros especiales me parece fantástica y original, casi diría uqe brillante.En cuanto a la forma de escribirlo, me ha parecido magnífica, aunque algunos cachos se me hicieron algo pesados por la falta de acción.


** spoiler alert ** One of my favorite books ever!I was a late comer to the Myst series of games, but I fell in love with them at first play. When I discovered that there was actually a book series, I was both ecstatic, and a bit apprehensive. My previous experience with game (or at least, movie) based books was not very good. They seemed to lose something in the translation.Not so with the Myst books! My favorite part of the book was Ana, Atrus' grandmother. She was wise, and kind, old and yet adventurous. She was the kind of person I wish could have been my teacher in school. Instead of simply repeating the facts of Writing (and life, science, etc) to young Atrus, she encouraged him to form his own theories and opinions, often asking him "What do you see?". In her, we see the development of Atrus' kind personality, and his love of learning.Then along comes Gehn. Ah, Gehn, how I love to loathe thee! The antithesis to Ana, Gehn swoops in to take his son (Atrus), and spirit him away to teach him the Art of Writing. But Gehn is twisted, and his knowledge incomplete. He is insane and tyrannical, ruling Atrus' life with an iron fist. Perhaps the most heartbreaking scene was when Gehn threw the Inception book (Atrus' first world) into the fire, declaring it worthless. We see the terror that is Gehn, and we learn to hate him, just as the protagonists of the series do.


If you liked playing the Myst games, but wanted to know more about Atrus and how Myst came to be, then I definitely recommend this book to you. This is the story of Atrus and how he learns the art of writing Ages. This will give you a greater understanding of Ghen and Catherine (from Riven) and how they each affect Atrus's writing.For someone reading it as a stand alone book with no prior knowledge of Myst, it may be confusing. I absolutely adore the Myst world, and was so excited when I first saw this in the bookstore. Even though that was years ago, I still find myself fascinated with this story.In short, if you love Myst, you're probably going to like these books. I would start with this one first, as it's probably the best of the three. The second book tells the story of Atrus's grandmother and the third, the story of a world that isn't mentioned in any of the games (but is a great read, nonetheless).

Colleen Venable

Fans of Shadow of the Winds and Inkheart would LOVE this book. This sort of book kills me: Books based on something that existed before but are themselves STUNNING, yet will never get credit due to being a "product" of something. I read this since it was a friend's all-time favorite book. I am not a lover of fantasy, nor have I ever played the MYST games (somehow made it through the 90's being a total nerd but never playing). It took me a good halfway through to understand and appreciate the beauty of what I was reading. I've been warned not to read the next two books, but this as a stand-alone SHOULD be considered a true stand-alone. A really great read.


I read this book as a kid and went back to see how it held up.The first half was intriguing enough, especially if you're a fan of the games, but the last half felt very rushed. Nonetheless, it was fun reading the origin of Atrus as well as his relationship with Gehn.If you're a Myst fan, I'd say it's worth it (and a very easy read). If not, you're not really missing out.


For me, there are 2 kinds of books I enjoy. Ones that are well written, and ones with great ideas. This is the latter. While the writing wasn't atrocious, it wasn't spectacular either. However, the ideas will be in my head a long time, running my imagination on the possibilities. I believe you could write a very long series on all the possibilities. The characters are currently few and that allowed some focus on very diametrically opposed approaches to the possibilities. I very much enjoyed the adventure, and though I am a fan of the original game, I am not a fanatic; so there were good surprises in leading up to the ending.


This was a quick read - Unfrotunately I read it awhile back so I don't remember the characters names. Its about a boy who's father abandons him at the time of his mothers death. He is raised by his paternal grandmother in a dry isolated sand cave niche. While still young his father suddenly returns and takes him away to live with him in another abandon world deep in the earth's interior. The book is really about this boy learning to be independent from his "not so nice" addicted father and learning to create worlds but writing instructions in an ancient language in special books. It was an intresting book for the premise of the ideas but not one of the best written books I ever read. It seemed to be over just when the plot was intresting me. Maybe I need to read the rest of the series. But really the 1st one didn't grab me enough to be motivated to find them.


This is a simple story of Atrus and he descent into the island known as Myst. The novel follows him as he develops from boy to man; confronting on his megalomaniac father Gehn and how the only thing he really leads is the decay and the destruction of D'ni. Event though Gehn locks Atrus up and is pretty evil he does teach Atrus skills like how to move through worlds with books etc It's just a good book to get lost in. It makes me want to start playing Myst which is so dated it might have to take a special computer to play it on. I'm really curious now about the video game I'm sure it's out-of-this-world. -this is a good book to re-read since it has complications in the story especially with love interests.

Taylor Kinnicutt

Once again I find myself drawn to the series of Myst. Its lore, its wonder and the shear, mind bending thought of how someone thought of this in the first place. The book opens in the sandy deserts and the life of a young Atrus, still a boy and far from the happenings of the first Myst game. After a loving, peaceful life in the desert presided over by his grandmother, Anna, a strange figure appears at their quiet desert home. A tall, pale man who claims to be Atrus's father, Gehn. After 14 years, he has come to take Atrus to the fabled city of his heritage,D'ni. After Atrus's first impression of his father he decides to descend into the earth with this man, leaving all hes known behind. Once in the great city all Atrus knows is replaced with the lost culture. The language, the alphabet even the day cycle. It is then that his father reveals the real purpose of bringing him here. He is to learn the Art of Writing, a powerful and incredible art of writing worlds(known as Ages) into existence! Amazed by this science, Atrus begins to learn his father's ways, "to become gods" as he says. But its all to soon the Atrus realizes that What his father knows is a corrupt and evil shadow of what the art is. Instead of writhing Ages that he envisions, he takes phrases he likes from ancient D'ni text and tacks them together, creating worlds that are unstable and doomed to destruction. The "Mad God" Gehn, is not what Atrus wanted him to be. So with the help of a girl named Cathrine, a local of one of Gehn's Ages, he plots to trap Gehn and rid the world of his disregard for what the Art stands for.Atrus, weather he knows it at the time or not, gets puled into a man vs. man conflict, centering on his problems with his father. While Gehn wants Atrus to rule by him as a god and rebuild the D'ni empire as an empire of 1,000 slave worlds, he is unsure of how it goes against what his grandmother had taught him. While he tries to understand his father and learn what he teaches, what he teaches is evil and soulless. When Atrus comes to the realization that bis father's knowledge is corrupt he attempts to fix what he has done, only to find that he was being used all along, a tool to save Gehn time. With Atrus's struggle comes the importance of his observations, and the way the Miller writes the scenes is spot on. You imagine it just as he draws it every few pages. His vision instilled on the whiteness of the page as if it were the window in a Linking Book. As with the other books in the series the point of view changes can be confusing at points, but overall it is an flawless crafted series. I completely recommend it to anyone who wants to swim among the stars or be lord of a thousand worlds.

Albert Einstein (andrew)

1 book in myst series. awsome, awsome, awsome. i just checked it out from the onterio library because the cover looked good but wow did it ever turn out to be good. the imagination that went into this is simply amazing i recomend it to anybody!

Juan Valera

There are fantasies that contain entire worlds; geography, character backgrounds, and invented language syntax are all accounted for and invented in regards to the story. All are meticulously crafted and engineered by Rand Miller. Myst is one such story; the sheer depth of the story and the characters is astonishing; this is a case of the iceberg principle where the vast majority of the interactions between the characters involve aspects of them that the reader doesn't even know. Miller has fleshed out the character and knows why the character acts or speaks a certain way, and the reader only ever sees the product of all this character work, not necessarily why. Entire governments, systems of organization, even machinery and engineering concepts are included behind the scenes of the book. You as a reader do not need to see all the background research that went into making the book so detailed, but you as a writer need to take a page out of Miller's book and create your world thoroughly. It may seem like too much work with too little gained for it, but your readers will notice that there is more than meets the eye, and this is the mark of a truly imaginative and detailed book.


On a gut level, I really enjoyed this book. I read it back when it was new and the game was all the rage, and I had fond memories of it, which a rereading didn't belie. However, if I'm honest, I can't give it any higher than five stars. It has an incredibly slow beginning. About a third of the way into the story, a new character is introduced, and that is when the emotional drama picks up speed. So that's one star off. And the book does rather depend upon the reader's affection for the game and its universe, so that's another star knocked off.But what the hell, I still liked it, and I'm looking forward to the other two, although it will probably be a while before I get to them.

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