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''[=BioShock=]: Rapture'' is a tie-in {{Prequel}} to the video games ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'' and ''VideoGame/BioShock2''. It was written by John Shirley and released by Tor Books.

The novel goes into detail about the numerous events mentioned in the games' ApocalypticLogs. After UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, billionaire tycoon Andrew Ryan designs the underwater city of Rapture to escape; not just from the looming threat of atomic devastation, but from the control of those he percieves as parasites who unjustly steal the profits of the working man (while, at the same time, denouncing the protests of workers' unions as "leeches" demanding a handout). Seeking to prove his personal values effective, Ryan invites the best and brightest from various fields to live with him in this underwater utopia--chief among them Bill [=McDonagh=], a former low-rent plumber who was elevated to Ryan's chief building engineer when the latter was impressed with his work ethic.

At first, things in Rapture seem to be going exactly as Ryan envisioned--a society free of taxes, with artists and scientists alike able to pursue their research without having to deal with the constraints of government. But several problems soon arise: an increase in population leads to a need for more housing; when a less educated group of people are brought in to build new housing, they soon find themselves unable to find more work and are thus left to fend for themselves. This creates a large underclass, many of whom are desperate to make ends meet--desperate enough, even, to join the underground smuggling ring which imports forbidden items from the surface world. Resources run short when the initial residents do not feel like being totally self-sufficent. A lack of regulation on industrial process causes chemical leaks which slowly compromise Rapture's structural integrity.

As civil unrest grows in the midst of all of these circumstances, the situation is made worse with the discovery and widespread distribution of [[PsychoSerum ADAM]], a genetic modifier which grants its users extraordinary powers, but at the price of addiction and mutation.

Eventually Rapture erupts into civil war, and the city falls apart until it reaches the shattered condition in which [[VideoGame/BioShock1 the player will later discover it]]. The book follows this decline into anarchy, told from several perspectives along the way: Bill [=McDonagh=], as he watches the utopia he helped build lose its way; Frank Fontaine, cutthroat gangster who seeks to exploit Rapture's secrets [[ItsAllAboutMe for his own criminal gain]]; Chief Sullivan, the beleagured head of Rapture's security as he tries to keep doing his job in an increasingly-deranged environment; Bridget Tenebaum, the brilliant-yet-troubled scientist who discovered ADAM in the first place and [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone later comes to regret her actions]]; and Andrew Ryan himself, as he [[NeverMyFault stubbornly clings to his beliefs]] even as it becomes clear that they are flawed, and causing Rapture to steadily collapse...
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* AdaptationalHeroism: Dr. Sofia Lamb, the BigBad of Bioshock 2, is depicted here as showing a greater degree of empathy towards her followers compared to her more detached attitude in the game to come.
** StartOfDarkness: Of course, it can be argued that this was before the upcoming civil war hardened her, and before the discovery of ADAM gave her the idea for her [[AssimilationPlot later goals]].
* ApocalypticLog: We find out it was Ryan who persuaded everyone to keep recording audio dairies, [[{{Irony}} so that generations would see how awesome Rapture was and would end up becoming.]]
** In a sense, the novel itself could be one for the story of Rapture.
* AscendedExtra: Bill [=McDonagh=], a secondary PosthumousCharacter from the first game's diaries, who is as close to a hero as the book gets.
* AssholeVictim: The book has a few over the course of its run. A few notable examples include:
** The cutthroat owner of a grocery store and a trash collection outfit drives a rival grocer out of business by dumping his own garbage in front of the rival's store, gloating about it when Ryan refuses to help. It's hard to pity him when said rival takes a gun and shoots him.
** Greavy, one of Rapture's city council, speaks quite dismissively of the misfortunes of the working class who are suffering in Rapture. He's practically ''asking'' for death from Splicers, which is exactly what happens.
** [[spoiler: Cavendish, a DirtyCop of the highest order, gets gunned down by fellow officer Karlosky.]]
* AteHisGun: [[spoiler: Sullivan.]]
* BodyHorror: Attention is called to the deformities that Splicers suffer from, along with the destructive effects that Plasmids cause when used on their victims. And that's not counting the experimental subjects that Plasmids were tested out on, of which special mention goes to the... ''thing'' in the Special Studies room...
-->Clinging to the walls opposite Fontaine was something that might've once been human. It was as if someone had taken human flesh and made it as malleable as clay--bones and flesh made pliable--and plastered it onto the wall.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Bill tries to escape and fails, resulting in his execution, but his wife and daughter make it to the surface to live a happy life.]]
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: Implied In the last meeting between Fontaine and Ryan, as Fontaine subtly tells Ryan to stay out of his way, or he'll make him and Ryan knows exactly what's going on.
* BrokenPedestal: Andrew Ryan becomes this to Bill [=McDonagh=] by the novel's climax, as he steadily becomes the same kind of corrupt totalitarian leader that he built Rapture to escape. [[spoiler: However, Bill still can't bring himself to shoot his former benefactor in the end. It comes back to bite him.]]
* CallForward: Pretty much every character except Andrew Ryan makes a comment about some flaw in Rapture that will eventually make it the mess Jack finds it to be in by the time of the game.
** When Bill [=McDonagh=] first meets Sander Cohen, Cohen invites Ryan to a gallery show specializing in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tableau_vivant tableau vivant art]] that he is holding in Greenwich Village. This, perhaps, is the precursor to the [[WaxMuseumMorgue host of plaster-coated corpses]] that the player later finds in Fort Frolic.
** One character comments about the old [[VideoGame/BioShockInfinite Comstock mining empire.]]
** One of Gorland's former aliases is "[[MasterOfDisguise Wang]]", referencing Fontaine's late-game boast that he "was even a Chinaman for six months".
** When discussing the potential of subliminal brainwashing and hypnotic commands, Fontaine asks Dr. Suchong if it would be possible to command a kid to snap his beloved puppy's neck. In one of the auido logs in the game, [[spoiler: you learn that yes, Suchong was able to do just that.]]
** In the novel's climax, Bill's family is menaced by a member of the Saturnine cult that's popped up in Arcadia--the initial Houdini Splicers that the player will face in the first game.
** We see Sophia Lamb's rise to power as she takes control of [[TheAlcatraz Persephone]].
* CanonForeigner: Elaine and Sophie [=McDonagh=] have no counterpart in the games, presumably so that the reader will have at least a couple of major characters in the book whose fate is genuinely uncertain.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: [[spoiler: Frank the conman kills the ''real'' Frank Fontaine so he can steal his identity and fishing business, which he uses to get into Rapture.]]
* DecoyLeader: [[spoiler: Frank gets Steinman to make one of his henchmen to look like him so he will take the bullet in the upcoming raid and Frank can go underground as Atlas.]]
* DirtyCop: [[spoiler: Cavendish, who is implied to have started the process of kidnapping the children of lower-class people to turn into Little Sisters.]]
* DoomedByCanon: [[spoiler: Every character except Elaine and Sophie [=McDonagh=].]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Mariska and Samuel Lutz after seeing their daughter as a Little Sister via overdose, along with Sullivan who shoots himself over the guilt of killing Anna Culpepper.]]
** Likewise the shopkeeper who has his business being run into the ground by a rival who also owns the trash collection company and thus refuses to pick up the trash from the former's store to drive him out of business. When Ryan refuses to help, The shopkeeper shoots the rival then turns the gun on himself.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: ''Several.''
** Andrew Ryan is first introduced railing against miners on strike, then expressing his dread over the looming threat of atomic devastation.
** Bill [=McDonagh=] morosely considers his poor lot in life, but encourages himself to carry on nonetheless as he enters Andrew Ryan's apartment to fix the plumbing.
** Chief Sullivan enters Ryan's office after a long day, and just wants a drink and the chance to put his feet up; but nonetheless delivers his report to "the Great Man" (his private term for Andrew Ryan, which he himself uses half-seriously, half in jest).
** Frank Fontaine is conning a guy out of his business while using an alias.
** Sander Cohen is starring in a show of questionable quality, and is described as craving the spotlight whenever he can get it.
** Sofia Lamb dispassionately asks some piercing questions about Rapture to Andrew Ryan.
** Tenebaum approaches the fisheries for lab specimens while recalling how her last job ended when she [[WorstAid performed an injection]] [[GroinAttack on a man's more delicate region]].
** Dr. Steinman absently reflects on how he "hears the voice of Aphrodite" while considering his latest plastic surgery, wishing he could operate further to satisfy his sense of perfectionist aesthetics.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Fontaine is at first genuinely creeped out by the methods Suchong and Tenenbaum come up with for producing more ADAM. He gets over it when he realizes how much money can be made, however.
** He also gets angry when Ryan implies that Fontaine [[NotWhatItLooksLike putting so much interest in young girl orphans]] [[PaedoHunt is because of a sexual nature]].
* EyeScream: Poor Blinky--at least, that's what Sander Cohen calls her, while putting out a cigar ''in her eye''...
* TheFettered: Bill throughout the book. He sees everything going wrong, but can't bring himself to turn against Andrew Ryan--partly out of loyalty to the man who gave him a chance, and mostly out of concern for [[AdultFear what'll happen to his family]] if he's arrested.
* FirstTimeInTheSun: [[spoiler: Sophie [=McDonagh=].]]
* ForegoneConclusion: Rapture is not going to last. It even says so on the back of the book.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Alot of it to later events in the story as well as the games
* FourLinesAllWaiting: The narrative switches between Andrew Ryan, Bill [=McDonagh=], Frank Fontaine, Sander Cohen, Brigid Tenenbaum, Sofia Lamb, Sander Cohen, Dr. Steinman, Sullivan, and occasionally minor characters.
* GilliganCut: When hearing about a emergency involving sabotage, Andrew Ryan guesses that Bill is already dealing with it. Cut to Bill (knee-deep in water) wondering how on earth he's going to deal with the emergency.
* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler: Bill Mcdonagh smiles as he's shot point-blank.]]
* GuttedLikeAFish: [[spoiler: Poor Diane, courtesy of Frank Fontain when she discovers his secret identity.]]
* HealingFactor: The Little Sisters. Indeed, a direct infusion of ADAM seems to induce this in someone who's badly injured.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Bill at end, asking that his wife and daughter go free since Ryan [[ExactWords only ordered for him to be arrested]].]]
* HonorBeforeReason: As Rapture begins to turn into a dictatorship, Bill [=McDonagh=] admits what's happening, but can't bring himself to abandon Andrew Ryan. [[spoiler: It doesn't last forever, though, and he finally decides to try and escape with his family.]]
* {{Hypocrite}}: Andrew Ryan becomes increasingly one. Even at the very start it is revealed that Ryan founded his empire on oil which he discovered purely by luck, even though he is so insistent on self-sufficiency. He abhors taxes, but puts a surcharge on the oxygen produced by his park when he needs to build more capital to compete with Frank Fontaine's rising business. He takes over Fontaine Fisheries by force. In the later stages of the book he is even using black market goods like pork and smoking cigars.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Said throughout the book, mostly by Karlosky but also by Sullivan and Bill.
* MercyKill: In a way. [[spoiler: After he's captured, it was ordered that Bill be pinned to a wall first then killed. However, Karlosky decides to give Bill a quick death out of respect for their friendship.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Security chief Sullivan goes through this after Ryan orders him [[spoiler: to drown dissenter Anna Culpepper in her bathtub. He kills himself shortly after he confesses to Bill.]]
** We see the start of Tenenbaum's attempt to redeem herself when [[spoiler: she rescues several Little Sisters and hides them away.]]
* MythologyGag: In a meta sense. Fontaine has a Plasmid that allows teleportation, but pulls it from the market because it makes its users more unstable than the rest. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen There WAS going to be a Teleportation Plasmid in the game, but it was cut for scripting purposes.]]
** This may also be a CallForward to the Houdini Splicers, who can [[SmokeOut vanish into thin air]] [[OffscreenTeleportation before appearing somewhere else]]. They're also easily [[EliteMook the most dangerous variety of Splicers]], being able to [[KamehameHadoken toss fireballs around]] in addition to pulling off their vanishing acts, [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity and they're at ''least'' as unstable as any other Splicer]] [[AfterTheEnd in post-Civil War Rapture]].
** It could be a CallForward to the Unstable Teleport Plasmid, which is a MindScrew from BioShock2.
* OneSteveLimit: If Sophie and Sofia are close enough to qualify as the same name, the book defies this trope by introducing Bill [=McDonagh=]'s daughter.
* OnlySaneMan: Bill [=McDonagh=], the closest thing this book has to a protagonist. Especially apparent when all the other characters start going from deluded to insane. Even moreso his wife Elaine, who points out problems with Rapture right at the beginning.
* PrisonRiot: Sofia's takeover of Persephone.
* {{Pun}}:
-->'''Andrew Ryan''': I'm going to show you a marvel taking shape southwest of Ireland. And I promise you that you will be...enraptured.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: During Ryan and Fontaine's meeting
--> '''Fontaine''': What I'm here for really is to tell you that if you leave me alone, I'll leave you alone. All that recruiting you're guessing about won't come and bite you in the ass. ''If. You Back. The fuck.'' '''Off!'''
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: Andrew Ryan eventually feels that only other people have to follow the rules of Rapture.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: [[spoiler: Diane [=McClintock=] and Bill [=McDonagh=]]] both decide to go against Andrew Ryan because their consciences tell them to.
* StartOfDarkness: For Rapture itself, and debatably Andrew Ryan.
** For Ryan, it could also be him witnessing his uncle getting murdered by Bolsheviks.
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: Bill to Elaine as more splicers start showing up in the city. It comes in handy during the infamous New Years Eve party.
* VodkaDrunkenski: Karlosky, who is always eager for a drink, but sober when on duty.
* WithDueRespect: Bill to Ryan near the end. It's a mark of how unstable Ryan has become since the beginning, where he openly invited Bill to criticize him.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: Ryan's, and, ironically, Fontaine's, entire reasoning throughout the entire book.
** Fontaine, at least, is pretty certain from the beginning that Rapture is going to collapse. However, he sees a mighty profit to be made in said collapse, if he plays his cards right.
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