h1

From Games to Books

March 8, 2010

Nothing beats being able to curl up at the end of the day with a good book (or in my case, a Kindle) in your lap. I love to read, so there’s always a pretty eclectic collection on my reading list — mystery, drama, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, the occasional trashy romance (I’m actually quite partial to the historical Harlequins…mmm…), and because I’m such a sucker for the lore behind the games I’m playing, every now and then I’ll also throw in a video-game novel. I guess you can say it’s one of my guilty pleasures.

This is going to sound really nerdy, but I do love game lore. I love it a lot. Books based on video games aren’t always all that good, but I’m not reading them for the award-winning writing. I pick them up for what they bring to the table in terms of the back story and character development. It’s why I choose to read them in the first place, and not just some brief article on the game’s wiki page.

And I do get pleasantly surprised every once in a while. I just finished reading Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne by David Gaider, which I must say is one of the best video game novels I have ever read. There are parts of it that feel rushed (what I like to call the “primer effect” that plagues so many works of this genre), but despite that I was still quite happy with the depth of the story. I also felt that character development was done surprisingly well — so well that I don’t think I can bring myself to hate Teyrn Loghain anymore. If you enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins and would like a little background information on the events that took place before the game, I would definitely recommend this.

I’m moving on to Michael Crichton’s Pirate Latitudes now, but I’m not done adding video-game novels to my lineup of books-to-read just yet. I’ve read most of the Warcraft novels but there are still a few out there I haven’t gotten my hands on, or I might even give some of the Warhammer Online books a try. I was also recently made aware of the Mass Effect books (thanks to Paulman) so that’s another possibility. If there are other lore-geeks like me out there who enjoy their games enough to read their novelizations, I’m also open to any recommendations!

9 comments

  1. I’m looking forward to STO’s “The Needs of the Many,” mostly because I heard its going to be done in a “journalistic” style similar to World War Z, one of my all-time favorite books.


    • Oh? A book that’s actually based on STO and not just the Star Trek universe in general? That’s news to me!


  2. I WHAT?! Lol. I was surprised to read my name in your blog post. You are welcome 🙂

    The funny thing is (well, two things):

    1) I hardly remember when I “made you aware” of the Mass Effect books. Upon reflection, I guess it was an isolated question I asked about whether Subject Zero was the girl with autism in one of the Mass Effect books. Which leads to funny point #2…

    2) My only experience with the Mass Effect books is skim-reading through one in a Chapters over about half an hour. I was definitely too cheap to buy one. And I think it was a Chapters in Mississauga or Toronto, too! (What are the odds)

    Anyways, I had a real question for this post: have you ever read the X-Wing series?


    • Yeah, it was you wasn’t it? All I knew was when you said that, I looked it up on Amazon and lo and behold, there were these ME books I hadn’t ever heard of. Good to know about them.

      And no, I haven’t read the X-wing books. I heard about them a lot though, and actually have the series in ebook form somewhere on my computer. Do you recommend?


      • The X-Wing series are my favorite book series of all time (unless the Bible counts as a book series) 😛

        Basically, the X-Wing book series combine authentic Star Wars lore, highly detailed space battles and tactics, and a distinct sense of humor. Michael A. Stackpole’s entries are probably the most quirky in terms of humor (my favorite), but I think the other entries still keep a light-hearted edge blended in with all the political and dramatic intrigue.


  3. I recently read the elder scrolls novel Infernal City, which takes place about 40 years after oblivion. i actually wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re a big fan.


    • Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to play Oblivion first though. I have the game for the Xbox 360, been waiting to get into it for the longest time, but have a few more games to get through first.


      • I don’t know what you’re waiting for, oblivion is excellent.


      • Heh heh, okay I’ll play that after i’m done Bioshock 2.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s