Oh Christie… how did it all go so wrong?
The prequel novel focusing on the story of Durotan and his Frostwolf clan was top shelf stuff, but this was just a hot mess. I’m not sure if it was the source material she had to work with, or something else has gone along the way, but the usually (by my measure) excellent Golden has produced a schemozzle of story that flip flops all over the shop.
In fairness, I haven’t seen the movie, and this novel may just be a reflection of that, but I had seriously high hopes for both. As a fan of the games, I had a decent grasp of who all the personalities were in the novel, but I really struggled to empathise with any of them, and all of the emotional connection that had been built with Draka and Durotan in the previous novel seem to have just been flushed through the Dark Portal, leaving us wallowing around in the black morass with a bunch of unlikeable cliches. As if that weren’t enough, characters disappear off-page for extended periods of time, with the story focusing on the story of the humans for extended periods of time.
It did have its interesting moments – mostly when Garona was involved, and her interactions with her human rescuers/captors/interrogators. Khadgar and Medivh were interesting enough also, although Khadgar seemed to age overnight, relatively speaking. Medivh’s madness was well done as well. I guess the highlights of the novel were the fight scenes, but I would have preferred more of a coherent story to string it all together.
I think… this novel doesn’t stand on its own two feet… which I suppose is fair for a movie novelisation, which makes me question whether it actually needs to exist at all. One for the die hard fans only, and I suspect they may find themselves disappointed if they want a coherent, well-reasoned novel.