Most helpful critical review
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Solid Guild Wars Book...Average Fantasy Title
on April 30, 2011
Ghosts of Ascalon is a pretty solid book for being based of a video game. I am a huge fan of Guild Wars, and cannot wait for Guild Wars 2, so I when I was about to read Ghosts of Ascalon I was excited to see what the authors had in store.
I am not going to go on some long winded review, just point out some likes and dislikes I had about the book. To begin with, the characters were not that well developed and through the story there is very little development or evolution among them to grow as something more then they are. I had the feeling through the entire story that the characters were disposable, as if they were just created to move the main plot and little else.
Main character Dougal is not that badly written, and he seems to be the most fleshed out character from the group, as the others seem rather flat. Dougal at least has some inner conflicts he is haunted with, while the other characters just seem to be along for the ride.
The female charr character, for example, just seemed to act and speak like a human and she wasn't that distinct. My favorite character, the male norn warrior, was a boisterous and loud clout like a norn should be and he was perhaps, best written because I truly believed and felt he was a norn.
The relationships between the characters also seemed to be contrive and there was little to no development between them besides stereotypical racism, dislike, and mistrust between them. Without giving a way too many spoliers, in one portion of the story one of characters gets killed and it just seemed to me like the other characters were like "Oh well, they are dead...time to move on." There was not that much emotion between them, and reading this felt like drinking luke warm soda.
The writing style is simple and not that complicated, making this book easy and quick to read. I am rather surprised this was nominated for a Scribe Award, for I didn't think the writing was all that advanced or gripping.
On a plus side, the back story and history that is told about the world of Guild Wars is well done, and for people who may not have played the game will be able to get caught up as to what is going on in some cases of the plot with Guild Wars and where Guild Wars 2 is heading.
The ending was the best part of the book, and when they finally made it into Ascalon City is where the story really picked up with some surprises at the end.
Overall, Ghosts of Ascalon is an easy and some what enjoyable read if you can look past its shortcomings. Good book for any Guild Wars fan, though only an average book for fantasy fans.