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10-08-2011 @ 12:03PM
Q for the QI know there's always a lot of debate on how the different Warcraft novels stack up against one another, but how do you feel the Warcraft novels compare to the rest of fantasy literature?Personally, I've been reading the Warcraft novels since Arthas came out and I can't help feeling that even Golden's work is only okay fantasy at best, with a lot of heavy-handed exposition and plots that while not terrible, aren't exactly riveting or surprising. I'd much rather be spending my time reading Martin, Joe Abercrombie, David Anthony Durham, Patrick Rothfuss, or any of the other countless fantasy authors and series out there. Am I asking too much from what are essentially young adult video-game tie in books? Are there any earlier novels I'm missing out on that you think would be more geared to my tastes?
10-08-2011 @ 12:09PM
One of the issues with WoW books is it is based off of preexisting lore. That and you may or may not have ideas in your head about how certain characters should act/talk/feel. I can say for myself, if I read them I would probably enjoy them more because I don't really know that much about the WoW lore. I think for those who don't as well, they may like them more than say someone who is more studied in it.
10-08-2011 @ 12:17PM
You mean like Dragonlance books? If you haven't read the original 3, I would suggest picking those up. Dragon's of Autumn Twilight is a good one to start with. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonlance
@Noyou:My main problem with any of the WoW novels has always been the prose or the original characters, rather than the plot and characters based on existing lore. That's an author problem, plain and simple.
If you really want to compare Christie Golden's writing to writers of original fantasy novels, maybe you should try some of her original work. http://www.christiegolden.com/original.htmComparing books based on pre-existing lore to books that are completely the author's creation.
10-08-2011 @ 12:19PM
I read a ton, and I enjoy the WarCraft novels for what they are - tie-in stories set in a world that I really enjoy. It probably is asking too much for them to be equal to other creative works, because when you think about it, the people who write the WC novels aren't given much creative freedom, and I don't think *any* creative person does their best work under what must be some pretty specific guidelines, to say nothing of working in a world and with characters that they didn't create.If you like fantasy, though, I can highly recommend Jim Butcher, if you don't already read his stuff. ^_^ The Dresden Files series is great urban fantasy about a wizard working as a detective in Chicago; the series is currently at 13 books and keeps getting better as the stories and plots slowly get bigger. Also, Butcher's Codex Alera series is fantasy with a world setting that's more Roman than Renaissance, with nifty elemental-based magic and lots of political intrigue, as well as a lot of army-based stuff in the later books.Granted, Mr. Butcher has become one of my favorite authors, so I always recommend his stuff.
10-08-2011 @ 12:24PM
I think Golden wrote "Vampires of the mists", If you know any D&D lore, or played through the Ravenloft campaign, you might wanna give that a try. I know most people don't like Knaack but he wrote a couple good stories in the dragonlance setting. Legend of Yuma and Kaz the minotaur. Of course, if you don't like the writing style of the authors it might just bug you. But you can check them out at the library maybe.
10-08-2011 @ 12:28PM
WoW books are basically licensed fan fiction. I enjoy them because I happen to enjoy fan fiction. If you look at them and expect great works of literature then you will always be disappointed because they aren't that. They aren't even pretending to be that.They will always have the same problems even the best fan fiction is prone to--and I wouldn't count any of the WoW books in the best category--because the characters (for the most part) are not created by the authors.
10-08-2011 @ 12:31PM
Yes, the WoW novels aren't great. All of the writers make large literary mistakes, easily noticeable by anyone with a background in writing. Their pacing is off, their stories lack creativity and character, they often tell instead of show, and are all clearly designed to be released as quickly as possible for the lowest common denominator.If you're looking for good writing, don't buy one of the WarCraft novels. They'll disappoint you. They're useful only if you're interested in reading about WarCraft's lore.
10-08-2011 @ 1:03PM
Pretty much what everyone else is saying, but:WarCraft novels are great for lore, but can't really hold up to most other fantasy novels.Patricia McKillip and Tanith Lee are at the top of my modern fantasy reading list. If you're anywhere near a library, ask if there's a reader's advisory librarian on duty ~ he or she can help find the best fiction or literature you've ever or never heard of. Some of the Warhammer novels are very good, if you're interested in fantasy action based in a game franchise. The Felix and Gotrek novels (at least the first six that I've read) are great, Skavenslayer and Vampireslayer being my favorites. The Eisenhorn trilogy is great sci-fantasy, also. Just keep on reading would be my advice :)
10-08-2011 @ 1:08PM
Tie-in novels are, at best, decent fanfiction that are the equivalent of literary popcorn and you can't think of them in the same way as real lit. They're two entirely different genres with entirely different purposes and it's really unfair to compare them. It'd be like comparing Katy Perry to Rachmaninoff. You really have to judge them on their own merits. The majority of them are fairly shitty, especially ones based on video game properties, and the WC novels are no different. Keeping that in mind, the best WC novels are decent popcorn novels, not anything especially groundbreaking or exceptionally well-written, just a fun way to pass the time and get a bit of insight into the world while staying fairly true to the characters and setting. IOW, fanfiction. People love to sing Christie Golden's praises but I find her pretty mediocre as a writer, and my opinion of her work has gone down as the years go by. I think part of the reason she gets so much praise is because the other authors are so much worse--Golden, at the very least, has the technical aspects of writing down. She knows how to craft a decent sentence, which automatically shoots her to the top of a heap that includes Knaak. My beefs with her aren't so much about style as characterization choices. The Shattering was alright, if marred by the terrible way Thrall/Aggra was written, but Twilight of the Aspects was just horrible on every level. I think Rise of the Horde was the only good book she wrote and the only WC novel I can unequivocally recommend as "good", even by tie-in novel standards. Her other WC work is flawed in ways that I can't really blame on having her hands tied by CDev (I loathed the Arthas novel, for a lot of reasons, most of which had to do with how badly she wrote/interpreted Kael and the love triangle). That said, I do feel like she's the only author in Blizzard's stable that really groks certain characters, and I'm more willing to give her a shot than Knaak.
10-08-2011 @ 1:50PM
You also have to figure on the tie-in money factor.If you're an author and you write a book based on someone else's intellectual property (IP), then if that IP takes off and starts making money in other venues (possibly because of the quality of your book), then you get NOTHING from those extra revenue streams.But if you write a book based on your original IP, and that IP really takes off, then you get the potentially lucrative licensing money.Now, granted, very, very, VERY few fantasy IPs get that kind of break. But, well, if you think that you might have a chance to be the next JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, why risk that chance by working on someone else's IP?
@MusedMooseDresden Files are awesome. Just finished up with the latest one a month ago and cannot wait til Butcher releases the next book in the series. I'm just rereading some Shannara books while I wait. Should take me quite some time to get through that series again, hopefully by the time I'm done the new Dresden is out. If not then its finally time for Song of Ice & Fire.
10-08-2011 @ 1:59PM
not sure if this is entirely on topic, but for ANYONE who likes good books, you owe it to yourself to read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. truly incredible. that is all.
10-08-2011 @ 2:03PM
Video game tie-in novels have always been mediocre. Some are decent, some are bad, but it's very rare for them to be good. Look at the Forgotten Realms Baldur's Gate book. Forgotten Realms was an awesome universe with tons of great stories in it, but that book is bad b/c it's a video game tie-in. Even though WOW has all of this awesome lore, it's very hard for authors to take characters that other people have created and that you can't develop yourself except within some strict confines and make the story awesome. It can be good but most will be mediocre to poor.As for author recommendations, I would strongly recommend Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series or Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. Both have strong male and female characters and very few Mary Sue characters. Valdemar is more about mind powers (telepathy, empathy telekinetics) with some magic involved and Pern is more about dragons and the society that has been brought up around them and their riders. If you like Butcher, Ari Marmell's "The Goblin Corps" is an awesome one shot novel. It's a story from the evil side that is unabashedly evil. It's laugh out loud funny too.
10-08-2011 @ 2:53PM
@VorLol, yet another reccomendation. I think I just may put a halt on rereading Shannara and pick this up. Everyone keeps telling me how amazing it is.
10-08-2011 @ 3:12PM
Robert Jordans "Wheel of Time" series is fantastic. If you haven't read or heard of it before, I highly recommend it.
10-08-2011 @ 3:47PM
This is a good thread for adding to my reading list :)I find that novelisations, tie-ins and dragons on the cover mean "lower your expectations before proceeding further."
10-08-2011 @ 4:13PM
DIFFERENT ANSWER: I feel that the writing for WoW has one issue that other novels don't have. The 'reading level' if you will, is lower. It's more a Harry Potter level than for example a song of fire and ice. I think it has to be that way so it appeals to all the ages of wow players.Mind you, I really enjoy the wow novels (esp war of ancients and christie's work). But by being limited to its audience, it can't be compared as easily.A notable exception to this is the Guardian of Tirisfal book. The author (aaron Rosenbloom?) used words even I didn't know and had to look up. Thats unusual.I'd like to take this opportunity to recommend two amazing first-in-a-series booksSplit Infinity and On a Pale Horse - both by Piers Anthony.
10-08-2011 @ 5:41PM
The reason, I believe, that WoW novels are terrible (though not necessarily bad on their own) compared to original fantasy work is that an author of an original fantasy work chooses the plot, they feel the heartbeat of the novel, they hear it sing, and they write well enough we hear it too.But an author who's told what to write won't feel that same passion. It's just a job. So that passion will be lacking.
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