Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2010
After the first book (and the 1 chapter sneak preview of this novel), I was very excited to read the next installment, which tells the tale of how Destiny's Edge comes together. Unfortunately, this book is not as well written as the previous novel (Guild Wars : Ghosts of Ascalon).

It imparts a great deal of information, but it's very structured, as if the author had a strict outline to follow, and was given a set number of pages to get things done. So, in one chapter, you get introduced to a character, in the next, the character meets another character, they bond, they adventure. The end result is that it feels very rushed, very contrived, and isn't as entertaining as it could have been.

It also feels as though certain sections or dialogue lines were thrown in by someone else, again, like part of an outline was included verbatim. The author attempted to fit them in, they simply don't appear to match the style of the surrounding writing.

There are also sections that seem written to provide game-play tips, which I didn't expect (or welcome). Things like a party of players providing different roles during a battle to ensure victory. Again, seems like something that was required to be placed in the book, but didn't really seem appropriate.

Overall, I'd recommend reading the book, simply for the lore (it IS a good story), but keep your expectations low on the actual quality. Hopefully the third book does a better job of telling the story.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2011
Looking at the mixed reviews for this book before reading it,I was very speculative on how it would be. After reading Ghosts of Ascalon, I had very high expectations for this book to follow. Needless to say, I finished the book today in a little under a week, and was not as disappointed as a lot of the reviews led me to believe I would be. Although I do agree that the book isn't as good as Ghosts of Ascalon, I believe it is still a very well-written piece of work. The first half of the book especially, I actually liked it MORE than GoA, and towards the end I started seeing why people had some negative thoughts about it, this mainly stemmed from the plot moving very quickly, and the "epic battles" going a lot quicker than the first half. However, the ending of the book redeemed itself hugely for me. The last few parts of the book are very intense, well done, and extremely emotional.

I can understand the more negative (3 or less) reviews on the book because of how it was rushed in parts of it, but like said, I even liked parts of this more than GoA, and would only place the book a slight notch below it. While I do believe a lot more could have been done with this book, mainly the battles with the Dragon Champions, I can understand too that they may have had a limited amount of time/space to work with in the book, and I think they pulled it off to the best of their ability.

If you are a die-hard fan of Guild Wars like myself, I believe you will truly love the book as much as I did. For people who are not as intricated within the game or the lore, sure, I can understand why they may not have liked it. But to be the connecting novel for the game, it did a beautiful job in doing so, it completed what it was meant to do, not be one of the "best fantasy books of all time."

If you love Guild Wars, (myself going past 6 years now), and have nothing to do before Guild Wars 2, definitely give Edge of Destiny a go-round.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2011
as a fairly big fan of the guild wars game, I really wanted to like this book. I had read ghosts of ascalon (GoA) and found it to be pretty good. All indications pointed to a pleasant experience, yet after reading Edge of Destiny, I feel it is average, at best. as others have noted, the book seems rushed, as if the author was given a checklist of all the things he had to cover in a set number of pages. I understand they have to write the book assuming the reader is new to the guild wars universe, but I feel some of the briefing could be left out. Still this is minor and could be overlooked. The thing I really struggled with was the dialogue and the character relationships. It didn't feel authentic. The verbal sparring and kill-count quips during battles was really lame and it made it hard to take the combat seriously. I never felt like the characters are in any danger whatsoever, leaving me apathetic. It just felt like indestructible heros in-game slashing through minion after minion. This feeling continued when they reveal that in this big bad "gladiator" arena, nobody ever dies, and combat is only "to exhaustion", with chirurgeon miraculously reviving victims smashed in the head or burnt to a crisp. Then it makes the entire human-charr war look like a sham when Logan and Rytlock go from supposed enemies to friends in like 2 seconds. Any trumped-up animosity between the two was hard to take seriously, especially Logan's ridiculous obsession with Rytlock's sword that belonged to a human hundreds of years ago.

The battle dialogue also seems unrealistic (nobody spares the time to cheer "good job" to someone in the heat of combat), this isn't like your teammate making a sack on the quaterback. Yea it's fantasy, but you still want readers to buy into the characters and drama. I found myself actually laughing at the book when Logan, Caithe, and Rytlock are fighting the 3 destroyers. Rytlock splashes one with water, to which Logan remarks "Nice." Caithe then shows off her speed in avoiding the other destroyer, to which Logan says "Nice, as well". Seriously? It sounds like something I would find on the in-game team chat.

overall, it is a likable world and the author does a decent job describing the combat (aside from the dialogue). The plot is ok, but could use a little more fleshing out and a slower, more meaningful pace. I just had a hard time coming up with any sort of feeling for the characters, and the dialogue made it hard to buy into the story
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2011
Edge of Destiny is a tale of "Destiny's Edge", a group of multiracial fighters who band together to fight evil. To be fair the book was definately good at first. Despite the terrible and formulaic plot that this story has, the characters are its one and only saving grace.

Logan Thackeray: A human mercenary.
Rytlock Brimstone: An exiled charr warrior.
Caithe: A sylvari first-born (My favorite)
Zojja: A young Asura genius and apprentice of Snaff.
Snaff: A well-renowned Asura genius and the mentor of Zojja.
Eir: Norn warrior

I found all the characters to be very interesting and well developed for the first half of the book. The tensious relationship between Logan and Rytlock was a highpoint, due to their races being mortal enemies. Eir, Snaff, and Zojja were decent but they couldn't hold the story together on their own. The best parts of the book are located in the first half, when the group is meeting and building a strong relationship with one another. They seem to meld together and you really get a good sense that they are a team.

Unfortunately, all of the good character development is accomplished way to early on the book, leaving the latter half a barren and sometimes annoyingly linear story. Reading this book is like watching your friend actually play Guild Wars (yeah I know it's a video game story, but it shouldn't actually feel like a video game). They defeat a horde of enemies together and kill the end-level boss and then proceed to the next level. Just as the team beats the level they're instantly fighting another boss and his minions. The problem with putting too much action in a story is that it starts to feel redundant and very little tension is built.

The final nail in the coffin is the ending of the story. I won't spoil it, but let me just say that it made the entire book feel pointless and even saddening. This book had so much potential, but unfortunately it didn't deliver for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
I was pleasantly surprised at how well Ghosts of Ascalon was written for a book based on a video game. Usually you can flip through a book based on a video game in the store or preview it online and you can tell pretty quickly that it is going to be a disaster. They commonly feature poor writing, bad editing, and horrendous stories that only hardcore fans of the game who read very little can enjoy.

And thus, I was not surprised at all when Edge of Destiny was a complete disaster. Cardboard cutout characters, awful dialogue, and tragically poor attempts at humor riddle this book. I had to force myself to finish it, only to find out that the ending is really a non-ending designed to segue directly into the game Guild Wars 2 when it is released.

I had more fun wondering if the writer - who teaches others to write, mind you - is actually this bad at writing, or if he was crippled by a demand that he follow someone's outline rigidly.

If you haven't guessed by now, I would recommend that unless you are a hardcore Guild Wars fan you avoid wasting your time reading this. Actually, even if you are a hardcore Guild Wars fan, you'd be better off playing the game than reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2012
I was extremely excited to read this one, as Ghosts was such a good novel. I was sorely disappointed with how the characters were written. Ever since these characters were named for the faces of Guild Wars 2, I wanted to know more about them. But when a Charr is acting like a Human, and using Human expressions it takes away from it. The characters seemed overly bland and not terribly exciting. Besides that it was a good sense of lore for the world of Guild Wars 2. I would have liked it to have been written a little better, character wise and perhaps not so many holes in the story (as in there are months of time that goes by and that's all it says." But I recommend it, only to learn more about the world, and if you are interested in Guild Wars 2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2014
After reading Ghosts of Ascolon, this is truly bad. The dialog between Logan and Rytlock is a joke, it wants to be modern and it shouldn't. It's just really bad. It's like some teenager helped write the dialog. "Dude, you are so wrong." "Yeah, you're momma coulda wrote better dialog!"

The game puts emphasis on the the characters of Destiny's Edge and I was truly curious how that partnership broke up. After reading Ghosts of Ascalon I couldn't wait to read this. I couldn't even finish the story it's so bad. I'm going to try and finish it for the sake of the story line but Gah! It is definitely going to be painful!!!

Good luck to me trying to finish the story.

I've read better reviews for Sea Of Sorrows - Please let it be good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2012
Having read the first Guild Wars book, Ghosts of Ascalon,I was excited to read the next book. Unfortunately, I only got about half way through before giving up. A lot of the events in this book just seem to happen without good reason. The characters are poorly fleshed out, and the plot didn't grab me at all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
Let's be clear here: the characters and story in this book are engaging. It's the author that makes it feel like a work of bad fanfiction. Read it if you're a fan of the series, you won't regret it--just try not to take the author too seriously and be glad J. King isn't involved in GW2 development.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There was a point a few years back where I was a die-hard player of Guild Wars, an interest that died off as the game became repetitive to me; but one that remains, so naturally I was eager to read the new novels as they were being released.

"Edge of Destiny" proved to be a fun read, though not "typical" fantasy in terms of dialogue (which tends to be of a modern styling that might turn some old-school readers off; I actually like it) and frankly lacking quite a bit of plot. Like the previous book "Ghosts of Ascalon" it features a group made up of the Guild Wars 2 races (Human, Charr, Sylvari, Norn and Asura) with the focus here being on a series of battles against powerful Dragon Champions and ultimately an Elder Dragon itself; to that end it reads a bit more like a game than an actual book. The action and dialogue keep it entertaining enough though, that I found myself more than happy to keep reading.

It did have issues, though. The ending is very disappointing and anti-climactic; and one of the two final battle scenes made me go "WTF?" in that enemies that seemed unbeatable just two pages ago, were suddenly easy prey for one of the heroes and his new allies, without any plausible explanation as to why (except he was a "hero"). And a side story involving the Sylvari, Caithe, is left unresolved without any real background explanation. In short, the book feels more like a setup for Guild Wars 2 than an actual story, unlike the previous "Ghosts of Ascalon."

In the end, this is more a "fun" read than an epic piece of fantasy; good for those who need a fantasy fix without needing a lot of deep detail and background, but definitely not for fantasy purists or people who want a deep, enriching plot and story line. Hence my review rating of 3 stars.
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