This is something that has been bothering me for a while and I just wanted to see if anybody agreed with me...
Was anybody else underwhelmed by the Sin War books? Now, I read a lot of books from pretty much any genre (by the way, you should read Robin Hobb, her books are absolutely amazing), and I happen to really like Richard Knaak's work, but this particular trilogy didn't do it for me. Granted, I haven't read them in at least a year, but the "boss battles," if you will, were pretty lame imo. It felt like whether he was fighting Lilith, the Angel (Inarius?), or that demon dude from the second book (remember, it's been a while), the exact same thing happened. He would fight, he would almost loose, he would be completely beaten down, then images of that girl he was friends with would pop into his head, or of Achillios' body, or his creepy (albeit very cool) brother, and then he would muster his will and destroy his foe!
Yay! We're all saved!...in the exact same manner we were the last time...and the first time wasn't all that much. Again, I like his other books a lot, but I feel like his creative juices weren't really flowing, and since the boss battles were the climaxes of each respective book, they kind of needed to be a bigger deal than what they were. Imagine if that were game-play for D3. I'm clicking on a boss and I'm about to die...then I remember all the faithful, worthless followers that got killed on my watch. I get really angry and muster my will and the clicksing increases 10 FOLD! VICTORY. At the end of every act. That's not the way I want to play my games...and I hate when a book has a really lame climax that I don't really care about. Anyway, that's my 2 cents.
Aside: Yes, I prof read my work and "clicksing" was what I meant to say.
Aside...Aside: If Richard Knaak is a DiabloFan...no offense
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“One thing a computer can do that most humans can't is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse”
I dunno that's sort of the point of the books, and of the diablo series. Human's will always prevail with enough effort and strife. The Edyrems powers were fueled by emotion so how else was he supposed to gain power?
I kinda like the idea he has to become chaotic by letting his emotions rule him to become more powerful, you see that later in the book.
In reality it sort of reminds me of dragon ball z where they scream and power up for a whole episode.
Either way I really enjoyed the books, I guess the fight scenes may not have been the greatest but the story and the description of the world was awesome. Plus I enjoyed the fighting at the end. The inbetween fights as well.
Why don't you try actually finishing them before critiquing them?
If you've read half of Birthright and don't like the writing style, there is almost zero chance of your opinion changing later on because all of the books are identical in structure and presentation. The only difference is in the content of the story, and as kdt05b pointed out even that is sometimes doubtful with the constant regurgitation of:
"I am so weak, my enemy is so powerful, I can never win, I've failed... No wait, I'm not beaten. He's is in fact really weak and I'm super strong, even though I just used up all of my energy. RAAAARGHH! Victory!"
I guess that's fine every now and then, but the problem with these novels is that theyr suspense is largely based around these encounters, and there are so many of them. Normally a book could throw this free card at a reader without much notice, because suspense is generated elsewhere and it only happened once anyway. But in the fights against Malic, Gulag, Lilith, Lucion, Inarius, Tyrael, even Gamuel.
As a work of fiction in and of itself I think the books are mediocre, but it's probably due to the strange nature of how video game novels are created. I've never read anything else by Knaak so I can't really make any sort of judgement on his skill as a writer in general, but the author isn't really given creative freedom, and the people coming up with the story (or what has to be in it at least) aren't writing the book, so it's probably not that easy to coordinate. Besides, I don't think it was ever the intention for the Sin War novels to become works of fiction of the level of Lord of the Rings and similar series.
PlugY for Diablo II allows you to reset skills and stats, transfer items between characters in singleplayer, obtain all ladder runewords and do all Uberquests while offline. It is the only way to do all of the above. Please use it.
Supporting big shoulderpads and flashy armor since 2004.
Well sure, even by genre fiction standards they aren't anything special, except for the element of the Diablo theme, which is really the selling point anyway. I find this to be the case with regards to almost any movie / video game tie-ins, they're probably mediocre on their own merit and their only real market is the fans of the franchise; so it goes. That all said I didn't think they were too bad; their gestures were pretty explicit but they're supposed to be. We see the beginnings of our archetypal character classes, etc. I did enjoy the backstory though--we all knew the Prime Evils were making chess moves long before the events of D1, it was interesting to see them played out. I also really honestly enjoyed seeing the way Heaven's role was depicted in the trilogy; we always knew Heaven was never exactly on our side here, but as it looks they're on a more morally equal footing with Hell than probably previously believed. Interesting that back then they made their moves with such deception (the Triune, etc.), and now see see basically all-out, nuance-free warfare for dominance. The end times are indeed neigh!
I actually enjoyed Knaak's other D books better. Sin War is definitely my least favorite of all the Diablo books. Moon of the Spider had some good stuff in it and I really liked Demonsbane and City of Shadow or whatever it was called. I think part of the problem is how it was written and part of it is the relationship it shows, really doesn't gell with a lot of the in game experience of the Diablo games. Plus, there were lots of places for exploration of plot and lore that he really didn't take up. Maybe his hands were tied, but that took some omph out of the books. More like reading a documentary then a novel.
The books are, for me, only there for lore supplementary material, for that which wasn't revealed or elaborated upon in the games. Overall, I don't think most of them are very entertaining and the style and dialogue are shoddy, at best. I don't like the Sin War trilogy much at all; my favorite is the Black Road.
Black Road was, by far, my favourite from all the books at the moment. Kingdom of Shadows was intense too for sure. Even if some of them weren't that good - it was nice to read all the books made. I can say fo' sho' that I still enjoyed each and every one of them.
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One becomes strong when they are fighting to protect someone close to them... - Shiro Haku
I'm about to start reading them for the third time...so I must enjoy them.
Seriously...a lot of interesting lore questions are beginning to surface on this site and elsewhere as D3 gets closer, and it's been a while. I need to refresh my memory, so I'm setting aside my annual trip through Middle-earth to re-read the series.