I’m going to write this review with the summary first and everything else second. Why? Because my recommending this book to you comes down to one thing; do you play World of Warcraft? If so, then you will want to read this book, and you will probably really enjoy it. If you don’t play World of Warcraft, then you’ll be utterly lost, bored and confused.
If you have even the vaguest interest in video games then you will likely be aware that in about 5 hours (from when I am writing this, so a few days ago from when this is published) World of Warcraft’s third expansion will have hit stores and shattered the world of Azeroth.
I won’t give you the run down on the game, that’s not what we’re here for, but in short, a great Cataclysm happens and shatters the location for much of the game.
Christie Golden’s book ‘The Shattering’ is the prelude to that cataclysm, and explains much of the new lore that will be evident within the game, minus the actual reason for the cataclysm which I actually thought was a clever idea. This story is character driven and based very heavily upon characters that you will want to have read about before, or at least played in-game.
I was disappointed with the almost rote manner in which Golden placed the book in the world of Warcraft. It felt almost as if she had a list of in-game items that she was to refer to directly so as to make the book feel authentic, but in the end only made it feel contrived. I kept being pulled out of the game when I read the characters eating “Dalaran Sharpe” or riding across an entire continent in a lazy afternoon/paragraph. There needs to be some liberty taken with the game world to make it a more realistic and entertaining literary world.
That being said, in two areas this book shines.
First of all, the book prepares those of us who are playing the game for the expansion. It’s a lot of fun to read the book and then enter the game and see the results of what you have just read. Elves and orcs are turned against each other, the tauren are decimated and geographical locations throughout the “old world” are changed.
Secondly, the book does a great job of putting us in the mind of the characters. I am actually a little worried about going back to the game, for fear that the simple 3D renderings and rote dialogue of the characters will spoil what are very well rounded three-dimensional characters. You care for the outcome of their lives, and are impressed with their actions.
All in all, it’s a good book, but see the opening paragraph for anything else.
Review by Joshua S Hill
6.2/10 from 1 reviews
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