Customer Reviews: World of Warcraft: The Shattering: Book One of Cataclysm
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on October 20, 2010
Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down until I finished it, same with my wife when she started reading it.

I have been playing the Warcraft games since they first came out and have been buying all the books as soon as they are published. I am a lore geek, and this book answered ALOT of questions I had about changes coming in the Cataclysm expansion. I was lucky enough to get into the beta, and a few of the changes confused me since I had no backstory to understand WHY these changes were made. The Shattering answered every single question I had made, and even gave me a newfound respect for Garrosh Hellscream, a character that I had previously loathed.

I can't recommend this book highly enough, buy it, borrow it, whatever, and read it!

Anyone who likes Warcraft needs to read this book, it clears up many things in the transition to the new World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm, and it is also an amazing read, like Golden's other Warcraft work.

10/10 no contest!
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on October 19, 2010
This may be the most epic warcraft book ever written!!!!! I am still wowed, speechless, and enthralled by what i just put down. I've never been this excited to play a game expansion in my life. I don't want to spoil the experience for anyone, so i will not hit on the plot scenarios of the book. So much happens. I got to understand characters i've seen in game for years so much more. Golden did her masterwork with this one. Also, is it just me or has blizzard's books just been kicking ass these last few years? Golden has been doing an amazing job, but even the other lesser talked about books like the manga and more have all been really good.

This is a must read. I just pre-ordered the game after reading the end. can't wait.
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on October 26, 2010
**Warning: There are minor spoilers in this review.

Christie Golden's appropriately titled, The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, covers the earthshaking events leading up to latest World of Warcraft expansion being released this winter.

The Shattering contains story arcs for both the Horde and the Alliance, with a few intertwining scenes to tie them altogether. Two of the major arcs are parallel to each other, but are set within the context of one of the two factions.

Golden navigates the reader through these plotlines masterfully. Alliance and Horde politics are entertainingly explained, and Golden performs her magic of fleshing out characters that most Warcraft fans vaguely have seen in other media or not at all; specifically, Anduin Wrynn and Baine Bloodhoof, whose storylines are the focus in this novel.

However, considering the length of the novel and its' purpose, the multiple story arcs does contain a few tangles. Some plot-lines are rather rushed, specifically Thrall's visit to Nagrand.

Thrall's journey involves a romance that came off rushed and unconvincing due to the limited screentime the two characters had. The romantic interest IS interesting as a character, but the way their relationship developed could've been better off developed later versus all at once in The Shattering.

Additionally, considering it's a novel containing both factions, there's a lot of names and locales exclusive to those factions that a casual fan wouldn't recognize. Golden tries to mitigate this by providing a brief background or title on anything notable, but it still can come off as a tangled net of pronouns.

At best, The Shattering will satiate your desire to know under what circumstances the Horde and Alliance go into the Cataclysm that will change Azeroth forever.

At worst, The Shattering might have have been better off as a collection of short stories.

Nevertheless, the narrative is gripping and as cliche as it sounds, it'll keep you going through the wee hours of the morning just to see how things resolve.
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on December 5, 2010
Let me preface this hopefully succinct review and say I'm rating this not solely as a book on Warcraft lore, but by the standards of any book. Most game-based lore type books would barely rate one star in my opinion, and I consider them more "guilty reads", so I mean three stars as a compliment.

The good:

Christie Golden does a great job of giving you a sense of the lore figures, even if you only have a cursory familiarity with Warcraft lore. In fact, I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to gain a quick, synopsis of not only those-present lore character's history, but demeanor.

Often when an author is challenged with multiple view points, a reader can feel disappointed "just as s/he is getting comfortable" with a POV and being taken away at an interesting point. Golden does a solid job of keeping the various threads of her tale engaging, and the bulk of my disappointment arose elsewhere (read further).

The bad:

I primarily bought this book for lore I felt was lacking in the game, and really, in most Warcraft lore books, specifically: Voljin, Sylvanas, Lor'themar Theron, and Prophet Velen. Curiously the only leader absent that I didn't care about was Mekkatorque. As a lore reader, I was sorely disappointed to see them absent amidst such critical moments in the game's canon. As a general sci-fi fantasy reader, I was thoroughly disappointed in the, as what other reviewers here have labeled rushed (and in my opinion, lazy), writing. Having to juggle so many "players" in a game's history can be a challenge, but anyone who has read the likes of Steven Erikson or George R.R. Martin are familiar with how a five star author handles such a challenge. Leaving them out so completely was despite their obvious symbiotic relations to the present-characters and activities was just amazing and, as I try to reason the "why", lazy. Thus, three stars.

As others have pointed out here, I also felt many scenes were rushed or resolved not through an evolution of character, but through necessity to move the story. Writing like this is why "plot driven" carries such a negative connotation in today's literature. Again, I understand the author's constraints, but am judging her through the world of sci-fi, and not solely game-based lore. For the latter, she did not disappoint anymore than another author. By the former, she was a three star author, at best.

Finally, the price was just too high. I learned nothing new that I wasn't formerly aware of through information on Blizzard's official website, or through the in game activities. Truly, at $6 this would have been a bargain on my Kindle. Instead, I feel strangely bitter that I purchased it, and would not recommend it to a friend.

Not shockingly, the book is for fan boys and lore hounds of the Warcraft canon. I'm not sure how anyone could buy this book expecting otherwise. If you've been absent from Azeroth for some months (or years) and want to quickly (and I mean quickly, it's a short read) catch up on where your old friends and are before this exciting new expansion released, I would recommend this book. If you've been relatively active in game, and take any time to read the official site for new information, I would save your money until the price on this book comes down to a value that represents what it has to offer.
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on March 3, 2016
This is probably my favorite book ever. I bought it back in 2010 to pass time after training at my new job. I love warcraft and honestly bought the book as more of a joke but 2 chapters in I was hooked. I have since snatched up all of Christie Golden's other WC novels and they are amazing. i constantly wait for announcements of her next titles. I do think you need a bit of Warcraft character knowledge to get into the book so wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't played the game at all. But, if you have played and you enjoy the game lore her books are a must.
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on April 22, 2014
Christie Golden is by far one of my favorite authors. Anytime I see her name tagged in a World of Warcraft book, I get excited. She does an amazing job connecting all the characters of the Warcraft universe together, as well as connecting them to the readers.

The Shattering is no different. If you play the game (Vanilla player here), this book will easily help you connect Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm together. The book is very rich in detail and in some points you really feel like your there in the fight. I completely recommend this for any World of Warcraft players.
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on March 4, 2015
I've read other Christie Golden books and in all cases she is a tale spinner that kept me engaged and lost in her writing. As a World of Warcraft player, I appreciate the lore gaps that she fills for us. I highly recommend her.
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on August 25, 2014
I'm a big player of WOW, and i must say its good to have a good understanding of what happens in game. Christie does a good job in this book. Highly reccomend this book to any Warcraft fans out there.
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on October 10, 2013
This was my first Christie Golden book I read after reading many reviews on her style of writing and I see where people are coming from on just how good she is.

This story takes place between WoWs expansions of Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm and sets up Thralls stepping down as Warchief and handing the reins to Garrosh Hellscream. It also sets up some other storelines for some of the other leaders, such as Cairne/Baine and Anduin Wrynn/Magni Bronzebeard.

The way she can describe events that happen in the book is so captivating and makes me feel more immersed in Azeroth then the game can at times.
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on September 6, 2015
Although I had quitted playing WoW for a year. I still follow the story development. The scenario is played out in a logical manner with just the right touch of information to get WoW players a better understanding of the lore when they played the expansion set (Cataclysm).
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