- File Size: 1855 KB
- Print Length: 128 pages
- Publisher: ChAIR Entertainment Group, LLC; 1 edition (October 3, 2011)
- Publication Date: October 3, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005SFRJ6K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,300 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Infinity Blade: Awakening Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The novella follows Siris (the protagonist from the game) and picks up after he had killed the God King. He returns home from what he and everyone else assumed was going to be a suicide mission. He starts out hoping to live a quiet life farming and eating pie when he is told that he has too many enemies and to protect those he loves he must go into exile. The remainder of the novella follows Siris as he tries to stay hidden from his enemies and find a way to fight back.
As an honest reviewer I must point out that this is not Sanderson's best work. Actually Sanderson himself pointed out that it was "not intended to be the end-all of [his] career". It is just too insubstantial, it has only a few characters that are a little too blank to be engaging (probably to keep the characters consistent with the game), a setting that a little too much like the generic fantasy setting, and a plot that feels like the middle section of a book. I realize that these are all problems that were inherited from the source material. The game's plot consists almost entirely (as far as I can tell from game reviews and the Wikipedia article) to "Kill the God King".
On the other hand I have to point out that the book does have merit. Several of the gameplay mechanics have been worked into the story in such a way that they now make sense. For example it is established that the reason none of the enemies you face use the healing objects they carry around is because they are not physically able to use them. The dialogue is genuine and occasionally witty. The characters are far more complex then they really have any right to be, given the source. And the plot has a couple of real twists in it. It was clear that Sanderson had fun writing it and I enjoyed it enough that reading through it did not feel like a chore.
To use an analogy, this book is like the fine chief that opened a fast food restaurant. The food may be the best of any burger joint you have ever been to, and therefore it lords over all the other fast food restaurants, but at the end of the day you realize that the food is not as good as the four star restaurant that does not work under the restrictions of time and cost. The restaurant may be the best at what it does, but if you want truly quality food you would go to a different restaurant.
I have never been sold on the idea of a book based on a video game, and this book all but illustrates why. None of the problems I find with the book can really be laid at the feet of the author. But I still can not bring myself to call it a good book because of the problems that arise out of the source material.
The quote from Brandon Sanderson comes from his blog:
This novella is another story with interesting restraints. It needs to be based on a bestselling iPhone game, expanding the world, explaining the magic system; it needs to have an interesting story with good characters and plot twists; it needs to be understandable to people who have never played the video game, yet set up the sequel video game in a compelling fashion; it cannot be too long, taking up Brandon's valuable time that is spent working on the Wheel of Time and his own landmark series, the Stormlight Archive.
Well, I think he succeeded. I had never played the game before, but I enjoyed the story, and it made me curious enough to buy the game to play on my iPhone. Is it ground breaking, a revelation, award winning? No, probably not. However, it is entertaining and fun, and I think that's all that Brandon wanted to accomplish.
You could read this book without ever having experienced the game, however if you've played "Infinity Blade", then some discussions and happenings in the book will be more understandable to you.
"Infinity Blade" is a simple 'beat-em-up', but there is a visceral, rewarding sensation with each victory. You begin outside a castle and proceed to fight all the dark servants until you reach the 'God-King'. If you die, you start over; if you beat the 'God-King' you start over, but fight tougher opponents (worth more rewards etc.) with each successive round. And so it continues, ad infinitum.
I was very skeptical about the idea of creating a book around such an unvarying and linear game. However it only took a few paragraphs to realize that author Sanderson did a masterful job in writing this brief tale and at the same time retaining the essence of the game. It has an intriguing plot, some historical background that sheds some light on the game, some surprisingly good character development (even thought the book is quite short) and even some subtle touches of humor that gave me the odd chuckle.
In addition, the cover art while not flashy, was quite appealing.
I hope there's more to come in this storyline. 5 Stars
Despite the narrow parameters of a short story format in a prefabricated fantasy setting, Mr. Sanderson created a entertaining story with epic themes, plot twists, relatable characters, and his trademark humorous banter (which made me stop reading due to me laughing to tears at least once), that left me wanting more when I reached the end. Hint, hint to write more of Siris and co! I especially liked the self-awareness that Siris the swordsman/hero hinted at (off to kill the big boss, I mean the God King, again...).