Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Review: Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King

So here's something different: since I'm slow on game reviews right now, I have done a few game-based book reviews over at (by a few, I mean I lost them all when I deleted my account the first time). The only game review I have planned is a Shotgun of Diablo 3, but for now here's a quick review of the second Guild Wars novel, which in the timeline comes before the first. Go figure.

I've played Guild Wars for over 6 years now, I've completed most of the game and expansions, I believe I have a decent grasp of the universe and the goings on of it. I know about the events that changed Tyria, the continent on which the Guild Wars games are based, into what it is. J. Robert King takes what I know and ignores most of it. From time jumps of indeterminable amounts, "80s montage" moments, hollow and single-minded characters, a lack of depth in respect to the universe, a repetition of the words "Just then," and "hackles," and just plain lazy writing, Edge of Destiny seems like a quick paycheck from an author that doesn't seem all that interested in the source material or his own work.

Whether you've played Guild Wars or not, Edge of Destiny hurts to read.

The previous book of the series, Ghosts of Ascalon, made the readers care about the characters, giving them back stories and reasons for what they do. In Edge..., the characters are being led by their societal norms. They refuse to look past what they've been told and rarely show respect for each other. The side characters are forgettable with a few offering more than just padding. The overall storyline of the books plays out like an RPG: character gets quest, character completes quest, trouble arises where character is given another quest (at least its not Kill 10 Rats).

The only saving grace is the overall back story to some of the characters that are met in Guild Wars 2, even if it makes each of them sound like complete tools.
The ending is a quick one. Happening almost too suddenly and with the resolution being unsatisfying, just like the rest of the book. If you like Guild Wars, it could be considered required reading. But for an average reader who likes tales of other worlds, knights, magic, dragons, etc., then this was definitely not written for you.