Lair of the Geek

Bringing you all the geek stuff

Dragon Age: Asunder

By David Gaider Titan Books£6.99
Review by Martyn Elwell

Before going into to details regarding the book I have to admit to saying that this is the first book I have read that follows a computer game. Sure I have read books that involve computer games, but often these books are also connected to role-play games such as Dungeons and Dragons. So it was with a little excitement that I entered virgin territory for myself with the above title. I had a little background knowledge on the author of this book, I knew for instance that he was one of the creative writers for both the first and second Dragon Age games (both titles I thoroughly enjoyed playing through) and that he has also penned quests and storylines for other games such as the recently released Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, so quite a pedigree to enjoy

Sadly though, that is where the first issue was to be found. To enjoy this book there is a certain expectation that you have played Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2, which fortunately I had. However for the casual reader this does put a limit on to the general feeling for the setting. For someone who has not played the games, there are many things that could belittle the reader and maybe cause the book to be put down even in the very first chapter. The society of mages can be quite complex as well as the unusual magic system (and this book does focus on magic somewhat), and unfortunately the explanations come a little too late.

However the book has many engaging positives. The characters are well written and I felt they were true and likeable, not just merely two dimensional constructs that enabled the story to progress. How the characters interacted, spoke and acted in the book are well written, though at times the author did lapse into over exaggeration, but to be fair this did not occur often and there was usually a point to be made when it did happen.

The story itself was fairly straightforward but sadly at times it was slightly predictable, even though the scenes were articulately presented. The storyline was something I was quite cautious of especially knowing the author had helped pen the two Dragon Age games. I had found the first Dragon Age game to be actually superior in story to the second game. The second, in my opinion, was too fragmented and it was my hope that David Gaider had not continued in that trend for this book. Fortunately I needn’t have been concerned.

I was humoured at how dramatic the story could be at times. There are many instances of exclamation marks, dramatic or short sentences and scenes which reflected high and tense drama. This could easily have detracted from the book but I smiled whenever I encountered one of these overly theatrical moments.

In summary, though this book has its drawbacks being attached to a game franchise, but the author did his best to make it accessible to the average everyday fantasy fan. I am doubtful that someone who has not played the games would truly understand the book; however it is clever in that it may just in fact introduce them to two enjoyable games.

By Mart

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *