- Series: Forgotten Realms: Computer Tie-In Novels
- Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (July 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786915250
- ISBN-13: 978-0786915255
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Baldur's Gate: A Novelization Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
This was bad, bad, bad. There were times when I honestly thought that the author was a fourteen-year-old boy for whom English was, at best, a second language. There were random words throughout the text that made no sense. I thought that perhaps they could be strung together to spell out some sort of hidden message, but I stopped after I reached three pages' worth.
I get the impression that the author was kept to a strict word count on this book. His treatment of characters, particularly the relationship between Abdel and Jaheira, is astoundingly juvenile. Abdel somehow manages to be simultaneously too evil to be a hero and yet not evil enough to be an antihero. By the end, I didn't care if he succeeded or was redeemed, I just wanted it to end. And when it did, it was as though he had reached the word limit and clicked "Send" without another thought. I think the game itself had more of an epilogue.
Why did I keep reading it? It was kind of like a bad car wreck or a fat person on a minibike--I just couldn't look away, but when it was over, I felt ashamed for having looked.
Don't make the same mistake I did. If you were trapped on a deserted island with only this book for entertainment, write your own book in the sand. You can always use the pages of this one for toilet paper.
First, I didn't expect the book to be all that close to my own adventures in the game. Obviously the game is too big. However the author kills the NPCs twice. First with character assasination, the characters in the book do not resemble the characters in the games one bit. Secondly literally killing them, it is almost a revolving door. Join the hero's party, die, next NPC please.
As a story it is truly, truly awful. Even given the level of gaming franchise fiction this is a low water mark. The most well developed character Abdel is barely two-dimensional if that. We see virtually no struggle with his legacy. It is magically overcome by the love of a woman. The plot is a mess as Abdel runs from location to location without reason. The background is almost totally left out. Our heroes run off to places because one line of explanation is given that there might be something in the next location.
At 250 pages this is not that short a novel. Some exposition could have been given rather than run from one fight to the next. Now Eddings in his Belgariad/Mallorean takes a lot of heat for the plot essentially being location to location to location. The way Edding's does it though appears masterful compared to Athans. After 250 pages what we have learned about most of the characters is they are dead, Jaheira lacks morals and Abdel is boring.
Even Robert Howard's Conan stories have more depth to them and they are pure hack and slash.Read more ›
Someone said that it was trying to be 'original.' My retort, YOU DON'T TRY TO BE ORIGINAL WHEN YOU ARE MAKING A CONVERSION! You try to follow the original storyline. Might make a tiny change here and there, or fill in the blanks, but you DO NOT REWRITE THE STORY.
Only the basic skeleton of the plot of the game-story is left in the book. Practically everything else is changed. Character personalities are changed, the main character's level of experience is changed, etc. In the book, Jaheira acts pathetically, I only saw her 'true' personality (the one from the game) appear once in this book. At all other times she just acts the role of screaming chick.
First off, in the game she is more mature, and very strong-willed. Not so in the game, her husband gets killed by Abdel, and then after being a little weepy she decides to, effectively, become Abdel's girlfriend.
Pure balderdash! If her real personality were in effect, Abdel would have died a slow, painful death the instant he killed her husband.
And THAT is only ONE of the problems with the book... GRRRR!!!!
My main criticism with the book is that the writer attempted to appeal to both general fantasy readers and players of BG and ended up watering down the story so that neither could appreciate it. In other words, I can't see non-BG players appreciating the sketchiness/flat/ vague/generallness of the way the story is laid out, yet BG players might feel alienated because the writer doesn't stick to the game's story/history enough. The writer tries to place Abdel in so many situations that you feel like the book is a collection of sketches rather than a cohesive whole... Which seque-ways into
The story seems more like a sketch/outline than a fully fleshed-out epic. It quickly jumps from one scene to the next with few transistions. It's almost like the author was saying "I had to keep the story within a specific number of pages, yet I assume you all played the game. Thus, I can skip a few chapters/story devices and you'll be able to follow along easily."
Some characters/plot-lines are developed and then quickly disposed of or never fleshed out. Why should we care that Sarevok was replacing his own men with Dopplegangers? We never get to see the ramifications of this either way. Why should we care that Xan took so long coming back from the Bandit camp? It builds up to Abdel and Jaheira having to raid the camp to see what happened to their friend when all of a sudden Xan appears and is okay. Whew! That's less fun and adventure for the reader to enjoy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not a good book. AT ALL. the characters are bland and not relatable. The pacing is poor and the narrative feels like it doesn't know when to give interesting details and... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Garland Lane Riley
As a writer who is about to complete a similar novel, I found this series very entertaining.Published 19 months ago by F. Sloane
Ok, first off I'm only 6 chapters into the book so far but after seeing all the "horrible reviews" I had to chime in.
I'm can be a "picky" reader. I read 99.9% fantasy. Read more
Imagine some of the worst fanfics you've ever seen, and you can get a good idea of what this piece of crap is.
Want an idea of how bad this is? Read more
I found this to be an originally written story, and captivating. Not big on explaining= read it for yourself if you can find one!Published on August 27, 2010 by ThirstyMindBooks via Rachel Dean
I'm not going to be so condescending as to say that people who gave this book a positive review are of lesser intelligence. I will simply assume they are joking. Read morePublished on April 15, 2009 by peteyrock
I'm not exaggerating when I say this is the worst book I've ever read. I understand that most people reading the reviews of this book will think to themselves, "Of course it's... Read morePublished on December 15, 2008 by Greg G.
If you feel yourself a potential writer, and needed to learn what you must not write.
Or if you are an acneic teenager, enjoying playing munchkin in RPG, and having trouble... Read more
Philip Athans is an apparent graduate of the sellsword school of writing. Using the word sellsword in an attempt to give some sense of flavor to what is, in my estimation, one of... Read morePublished on March 4, 2008 by Don