I’m back to playing World of Warcraft again, and as usual I’m totally caught up in this world that Blizzard has created. They’ve crafted such a rich history, but we only get glimpses of it. I have to cop to buying the paper & pencil RPG sourcebooks just to get more backstory. Yup, I’m a serious geek.
Which brings us to Cycle of Hatred by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Here is a novel set in the Warcraft world, and specifically it takes place between the end of The Frozen Throne (the last Warcraft strategy game) and the start of World of Warcraft (the MMRPG). Somewhere during that time the alliance between humans and orcs broke down, and I hoped from the title that maybe this book would describe what happened.
This isn’t my first Warcraft novel. I’ve read three others, and they varied between pretty good, and pretty bad. So my expectations were pretty low. And still I was disappointed. The book is totally without substance. What scraps of plot it has are routine, the characters are all cardboard cutouts and the only reason the world feels the least bit alive is through the Warcraft tie-in. It does nothing to add to the mythos of the world, or fill in any gaps in the history that Blizzard has crafted. The only thing this book has going for it is mention of places and people that Warcraft players “know” via the games.
Avoid at all costs.