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Reader Comments (87)

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 9:14AM Audacious said

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@Ocho

I thought the Last Guardian was the only one that can't stand on its own two feet as an entertaining read apart from its source material. The rest are continuity porn that non-WoW fans wouldn't be interested one, which is my first problem with these books.

My second problem is knowledge of events therein are considered a given by the developers in at least World of Warcraft. If you haven't read some of the books, key characters and events appear and be discussed in the games that oblivious players have no context for. At least one raid in Wrath's entire context was provided by a manga I'm sure less than ten percent of the playerbase bothered to read.

But I'd be fine with all that if there was better quality control with their novels. As is, they range from subpar to terrible reads that only serve to turn me off an increasingly convoluted storyline.
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 9:16AM Audacious said

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@Audacious Well there's a typo. I meant to say that the Last Guardian was the only one that CAN stand on its own two feet as an entertaining read. It's the rest of the books that can't.
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Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 9:43AM DeftCrow said

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I have read every single chronicle and short story from EVE Online. Some are good, some are mediocre, once in a while you get a work of art.

Most of the time those stories explore the nooks and crannies of New Eden(EVE's background) outside the player's perspective. I've always liked those "slice of life" stories, as the writers do a good job organically deducing the course of characters and events that are spawned by both the lore and player activity.

I was hoping Incarna would be a stepping stone to actually being part of that "slice of life," but given how development on that part has stagnated, that would have to wait for at least a couple years.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 9:46AM Pyzlnar said

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Hmm.... Nah. I did read GW novels but those were special cases. I normally don't read game based books.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 9:49AM Poordevil said

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Playing Age of Conan got me reading the original Conan stories Robert E. Howard. It actually broadened my appreciation for much of the game content. There are a ton of references to Howard's work in the game; individual characters, locations, races, even entire plots, that would have gone right over my head if I hadn't been introduced to them by reading the Conan short stories.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 9:50AM Greyhame said

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Yes. I've read some of the WoW and SWTOR ones. They're enjoyable books that do help to flesh out the universe.

That said, if your books are showing major parts of lore in the time players would be interacting with it, there should be something in game to accompany it. Even if the in game thing only has you deal with a small portion, the novel should just flesh it out.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 9:50AM SgtBaker1234556 said

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I read the first EVE book. It was horrible.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 10:01AM Sleep Marshal said

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I've been reading Warcraft novels for about 2 years now. I've even started a little poidcast about them. http://grandoldpodcast.blogspot.com/p/past-reviews.html

But I have also been thinking about reading some of the EVE novels since it seems like i have more and more friends playing EVE

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 10:06AM Fakeassname said

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I might read the Archage book simply because it's foreign and thus may somehow provide a bit of "exotic" entertainment.

other than that: hell no!

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 1:03PM real65rcncom said

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@Fakeassname

THIS is why I don't read Chinese lore regarding games and such:

http://www.happyplace.com/3654/chinese-translation-gives-batman-new-origin-story

I'm sure if I read THIS pre-lore before playing DCUO, I would have a totally different opinion of Batman (and even Spiderman haha)
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Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 6:49PM Irem said

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@real65rcncom
Pretty sure there's a huge difference between lore written by Chinese writers and a halfassed Babelfish translation of Batman's origin story on the back of a dollar store knockoff toy.
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Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 10:08AM rockman0 said

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I started reading Fatal Alliance a while back. For some reasons, I haven't been able to pick it up again after finishing the second chapter. I did start reading Mass Effect: Revelation and I've been enjoying it.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 10:21AM FrostPaw said

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I always steer clear of any game novels, the game story is either good enough as it is or the novel will make it rubbish and thus remind me how lacking the game is.

I actually find many game storylines better than hollywood movies because they aren't always bound by the same narrow mindedness of "add a love interest" "splosions or humour"

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 10:33AM jmsgalla said

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I've only read The Shattering before the launch of WoW's Cata. I thought it would help me get back into the game a bit easier, which it did. I'm on the fence regarding whether or not I will be playing SWToR so I haven't thought much about them.

I would like to check out the EQ2 novels to see how they are. I wasn't aware there were any until I read the posts in this thread.

Honestly, Cata was the most fun I've had with an mmo in the last two years because of the little things I noticed in game and associated with the book.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 10:34AM Dunraven said

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I always love when questions like this are asked, because there is no end of Hipsters who will line up to talk about how intellectually lacking Game novels are or they will go into their well-rehearsed diatribe on "supermarket fair"....I found if you read posts like these in the Comic Book guys voice they are hilarious...though no less pretentious. It's like they have this atavistic need to prove to the interwebs that their literary palate is more refined somehow.

No one ever claimed that Knaack, Kemp or Salvatore was Dostoevsky, but I have seen these same Book Fops scream about Drew Karpyshyn and praise misogynist nut-jobs like Terry Goodkind and that really is the point, taste in writers and writings are pretty damn subjective and trashing someone’s taste in literature is about as tasteless and pedestrian as trashing their taste in beer, music or sexual interest.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 5:19PM (Unverified) said

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@Dunraven : translation, you have nothing positive to say about any "based on a game" novel ever written. You just have some negative things to say about the people who (correctly) describe them as rubbish.
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Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 7:08PM Dunraven said

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@(Unverified) Actually I have several positive things to say; but after years of dealing with pseudo intellectuals screaming Mary Sue and parroting back internet arguments that are older than Harrison Ford dentures why bother?

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Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 11:04AM Amlin said

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Nope, I get my lore in game.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 11:10AM (Unverified) said

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I tend to be a sucker for tie-in novels, even though their reputation for not being terribly good isn't entirely unfounded. Having worked in a bookstore for the past six years doesn't help that matter.

I'm actually reading Revan right now, not because I care how it influences TOR (it takes place at least two hundred years beforehand, if it influences TOR too directly, I will feel like it's gotten too unrealistic), but because I'd like some closure to KOTOR 1 and 2, It hasn't been bad (as I'll mention later, Karpyshyn is one of the better authors I've read in this genre), but almost half of the story has not been about Revan or any other KOTOR character but instead about a new Sith character, and unfortunately his story has been better than the Revan one. I am only about halfway through however.

I also read the three Mass Effect novels, these also were written by Drew Karpyshyn, and they were all pretty good standalone novels with minimal influence on the events in the game, but I am hoping to see some of the characters in ME3.

I've read most of the WoW novels, and I definitely fall into the Christie Golden fan camp, not Richard Knaak. I was actually a fan of her's from her D&D days, which was one of the primary reasons I read some of her WoW books, but I have enjoyed almost every one of hers. My sensibilities tend to lie with the Alliance, but she always does a good job of making the Horde seem interesting. Her latest novel, Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, was a bit of a letdown however.

These books definitely won't be replacing Scott Lynch, Jacqueline Carey, or George R.R. Martin for me, but when I really want to immerse myself into a game world, these provide a good option for when I can't be in front of my monitor.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 1:07PM Kepal said

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@(Unverified) Karpyshyn is one of the better authors that Lucasfilm has managed to get their hands on, even if he only writes occasionally for them. I thought Revan was a nice continuation of KOTOR, especially since Drew wrote the story for that game.

If you liked Revan and Karpyshyn's Mass Effect books, perhaps take a gander at his Darth Bane trilogy; the second and third books aren't anything to write home about, but the first one (Path of Destruction) is one of my favorites and one of the better Sith-focused Star Wars books out there.
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