Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A case of rounding up..., 3 Mar 2012
This review is from: Dragon Age - Asunder: 3 (Dragon Age 3) (Paperback)
So, yeah. I liked this novel. It had good characters, an interesting premise and did the job of filling the gap between games. To be honest, however, it was lacking. I struggled to give it four stars... but then, hey, it wasn't three - ideally it would be three and a half but you can't give that can you? Hence the case of rounding up.

**There could be minor spoilers here**

Why only three and a half you say? Well my main gripe is the sheer amount of time that it took for anything to actually happen. The first few chapters can be forgiven for setting the scene - every text needs to establish context. However, without giving anything away, it wasn't until the middle of the book when things really started to pick up momentum. Now I know things need a beginning, middle and end etcetera but getting to the point where the story, in my opinion at least, truly 'begins' shouldn't take about nine chapters or over 160 pages.

Another thing is that I didn't like what it did with one of my favourite characters from Dragon Age: Origins. Its handling of Wynne as a character was... strange, due to how much she had changed from who she was in the game. The relationship she had with Rhys was, for me, not explored anywhere near enough either.

Also, on the topic of characters, they weren't really explored enough for my liking. For example, you get hit by a revelation about one of them at the very end of the book and nothing more is really made of it and there is no time to explore the discovery. The female Templar, Evangeline, is also underused. Sure, you find out a little about her and it is enough for the purpose of the story but I still felt as though she was a bit of a none-character. Also, sometimes the characters from the games who make an appearance seem as if they are there purely to please fans and that can make them seem a little redundant but there are also some interesting characters - see the Lord Seeker for one.

That being said, once you reach chapter nine and beyond the story really heats up and it is a very interesting read. You get the sense that something truly large is at stake and Gaider writes in a very descriptive way, which nicely sets the scene and allows you to clearly visualise what is going on; throughout the text I had a vivid picture of the locations and what characters looked like.

It is a good book and fits in nicely with the series as a whole, with a few nods to the games and the other novels - particularly with the inclusions of some key characters. I would definitely recommend it to fans of Dragon Age but those who are new to the series and the games - particularly if they have not played Dragon Age 2 - may not understand what is going on. For that reason, it is not really a very good stand alone text.

In short: its good. Slow to start but has an intriguing premise and leads up to a very interesting finale. I would recommend it to fans of the series but suggest that those new to it start with the games, or at least read up on them, before giving it a go.
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