Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Titan Publishing Company
Publication Date: 2011
2 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Cole wasn’t dead. Yet at the same time, he didn’t exist, and he walked amongst the living.”
Strange murders have been happening in the White Spire. Rhys stands accused but he is innocent, and he believes he knows who the culprit is. He is about to be punished for his alleged crimes when he’s sent on a mission to retrieve a wayward tranquil mage. What he and the others discover will change the Circle and the mages forever.
Gaider has proven himself in the realm of gaming time and time again. His plot crafting in the Dragon Age series is amazing, which is why it was so disappointing to see this book fall flat.
The story feels distant. There is plenty of description of setting and fighting, but I never felt absorbed in the story. It feels flat and empty. The writing feels as though it has potential but it’s stuck in the wrong medium. The descriptions felt like descriptive audio for something meant to be seen, not read.
The characters never reach their full potential. There are good ideas but Gaider never delves too deep into most of their characters. The relationships (particularly Rhys and Adrian’s friendship) feel stilted. The characters feel like they have a single motivation each and very little depth otherwise. Adrian is a character who wants freedom no matter what and is very angry about it, and that’s her entire character.
It was mediocre at best and the only highlight was the character of Cole, who was later taken on by Weekes in the games and written better. This is not even going into how a tie-in novel fails to observe previous events or lore in game in favour of doing whatever Gaider wants. Even some event that were not player-choices, things that happened no matter the play-through, Gaider chose to ignore.
If I read another tie-in novel for this series it will more than likely be by Patrick Weekes as I have no desire to wade through another novel by Gaider. Weekes has already proven himself more capable in the character department, and I hope that will cross over into his novel work.
Gaider is a brilliant writer of games, the world he made for Dragon Age is a huge part of it’s success, but he seems incredibly out of his element with this novel.