Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review of Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon

Deckard Cain is the last of the Horadrim, the sole surviving member of a mysterious and legendary order. Assembled by the archangel Tyrael, the Horadrim were charged with the sacred duty of seeking out and vanquishing the three Prime Evils: Diablo (the Lord of Terror), Mephisto (the Lord of Hatred), and Baal (the Lord of Destruction). But that was many years ago. As the decades passed, the Horadrim’s strength diminished, and they fell into obscurity. Now all of their collected history, tactics, and wisdom lie within the aged hands of one man. A man who is growing concerned.Dark whisperings have begun to fill the air, tales of ancient evil stirring, rumblings of a demonic invasion set to tear the land apart.Amid the mounting dread, Deckard Cain uncovers startling new information that could bring about the salvation—or ruin—of the mortal world: other remnants of the Horadrim still exist. He must unravel where they have been and why they are hiding from one of their own.As Cain searches for the lost members of his order, he is thrust into an alliance with an unlikely ally: Leah, an eight-year-old girl feared by many to carry a diabolical curse. What is her secret? How is it tied to the prophesied End of Days? And if there are other living Horadrim, will they be able to stand against oblivion? These are the questions Deckard Cain must answer . . .. . . before it is too late.
In true Gemini fashion, I am a coin, that is to say that I have two sides to my opinion on this book. The bad side or should I say the devil side or maybe even go as far as saying the infernal anger of the Burning Hells manifested from my misery side, actually has nothing to do with the book or book review. But it cannot be discounted so I must speak the words. My computer is a piece of technological poop! I say this with a grain of salt (albeit a bitter one). I love my computer and it has provided me with a means to an end, so I will continue to say nice things to it's face and only talk bad about it behind it's back. But you say, "You are typing this review on the computer! It will be able to hear you!". And I say, "No freakin' way! I got the resolution turned way down and the sound is muted, man!". So yeah, I don't have a beefy machine with dual 23" HD monitors and a huge rack, complete with 2 of the most stunning AMD Radeon HD 6990 graphics cards like the one I cheat on this one with at work. But hey? Waddayagonna do? Huh? All this to say that my sweet little computer just can't handle the demands of a game like Diablo III. Plus a 10.1 inch screen really doesn't cut the mustard if you know what I mean. All that being said, I really wanted to play this game. Good fortune did smile on me at that point. I was over visiting Bryce at The Stamp (of Approval) when what did I see peaking at me at the bottom of one of his (very jealous making) book hauls. That's right folks, Diablo III The Order. I picked up that 10.1 inch screen and held it about 5" from my face just to be sure. I sat it back down. I said to myself, "This is just what I need!!!". And I thrust my fist into the air like I was reciting the prepare for war speech by that one guy sometime ago. It was only then that I remembered we had company over and my A.D.D removed me from the conversation at hand. Slightly embarrassing that was, yeah. The AMAZIN' folks over at Gallery Press were kind enough to honor my pitiful begging request for a copy to review. A few days later I got the book in the mail.

Strangely enough, I read this book almost exactly how I play a game. New games cost about 60 bucks in my parts... and that is a lot of coin for someone like me. If I am going to dish out that kind of jangle then whether I want to stop playing or not, I shut off the game right around about 45 minutes to an hour a day. Cause, I want it to last ya feel me? This really worked out well for me with the book. Cause I would've flew through this book if I didn't show a little restraint. The time in between really stretched out the intrigue and various things happening with the plot felt more tense because of it.

If I have done my homework correctly, Diablo III: The Order takes place before the events of the game and that is just as well because this filled in the gaps between games 2 and 3. The book, of course follows Deckard Cain, one of my favorite protagonists. Cain is humbled, self critical, old and beardy. And boy you do NOT want to get on his bad side or else you are going to see the business side of his staff. Above all things Deckard Cain is a scholar. Someone who loves the warmth and smells of old books. The only way you know these things is because Nate Kenyon's writing is phenomenal. I would never have guessed it! I haven't read Nate Kenyon before... So, I was thinking game to book translation was going to pan out kind of like book to movie translation. It just doesn't quite do it justice. I mean come on? Do you think anyone could ever duplicate on a page the way you felt when you were playing Samus Aran and went up against Mother Brain for the first time. Nobody was in the house man.. it was 1986... I was about ready to call 911 and tell them they done put a brain behind glass and put that *&^% on a video game for me to kill! Like whoa Scoob! Zoinkies.

Deckard is on the road. And this book lays out his journey in search of answers. I read the book like it was a quest in the game. Some mis-happen events forces Cain to bring along Leah. A character I wish I could read more about. They will go through things in this book that in the end you will literally see the ties that are binding these two together. I really cared about these two and you don't get that with shotty descriptions and character development. There is a character in the book named Lund or Lunk or Damn I cannot remember right now... Anyway, all said and done he may have a page of facetime in this book but you are gonna really feel something for him by the turn of the page. That shows some real talent in writing in my humble opinion. You meet a character in the book named Mikulov that blew away my expectations for him. He does some really cool things in this book. SHHHHH!!! No spoilers, dammit!

As far as world building goes, I think Kenyon had it pretty easy. Fans of the series already have a decent picture of what Sanctuary looks like in their minds. So were dealing with more like settings and atmosphere here. And being the wordsmith that our author is the scenes were perfectly described in there dismal and dark ways. Nate Kenyon paints a formidable black cloud over the heads of his readers in Diablo III: The Order. A cloud that will have you on the edge of your seat up to the very end wondering if evil has finally overcome the heavens themselves. You oughta read it to find out. Thanks Nate Kenyon, you've made a Horadrim initiate out of me for sure.

4 out of 5 Dashingly debonair devils with disgustingly long ..... ummmm have you played to the end of Dante's Inferno... Don't look man! That @$#% is gross.

P.S. Don't forget to check out all the cool things going on over at The Fantasy Tavern on Facebook. Where we can discuss this book and many, many more things fantasy related.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Fantasy Tavern is NOW open for business!

Good morning all! Today I need a virtual paperboy to stand on the street corner and hawk the latest news. A little while back, a long time fellow blogging buddy of mine (Ross from Cursed Armada), contacted me about starting up a Fantasy Fan based Facebook page to share all the things we weren't getting to discuss on our own individual blogs and to hopefully reach a bigger fan base to really get people talking about the things we have been enjoying for years and years. From the moment he mentioned it, I have been very excited about this project! Blogger has been a great tool for me to share my thoughts on some of the books I read, but I don't think I reach very many people, I read slow and thoroughly and that leaves big gaps in the frequency of my posts. For me personally (for the present time), I am still going to post my reviews to the various books I read here on Writing Ex Libris. I will be linking to these reviews on the The Fantasy Tavern, and hope to generate lots of good talk about them and many, many more things over there.
I spend a large amount of time reading some very well put together reviews on some very well put together blogs. We would like to help get these great blogs more exposure and I think I can help a little with The Fantasy Tavern being a meeting place to bring all these reviews together for people to read and hopefully discuss to some degree.

AND THAT'S NOT ALL!!! Along with all the latest in upcoming books, reviews and great discussion, we are posting about all things fantasy related! Authors, bloggers, book reviews, comics, movies, games (board and console), tattoos and many, many more realms of the fantasy universe. So stop on by, we have a few things up already with a whole bunch more on the way. So go on over and "Like" our page and comment on anything that catches your eye. Then go spread the word about two sellswords starting a virtual bar on Facebook! Were not only going from coast to coast here people. We are talking about massing the world over!