Interview with Nate Kenyon about Diablo III prequel novel, Diablo III: The Order.
I bought the audiobook version. It certainly is a Diablo book, by which I mean the writing isn't terrible but also nothing special. Chris called it campy and overwrought, which I don't necessarily disagree with but in the context of the narrative of the game and books, it actually fits quite well in that universe. It is excessively oppressive and dark, for the sake of being oppressive and dark, but so is the entire Diablo franchise. I think Nate Kenyan did a good job writing a Diablo book, but as a stand alone fantasy novel it doesn't hold up - and maybe that's ok. You really should only be buying this book if you're super invested in the Diablo fiction, because there isn't a lot here for anyone else.
The only thing that really bothered me is that it hardly ties into Diablo 3 at all. You get some backstory for Leah which is briefly mentioned only a few times in Diablo 3, and never by names of places or characters that appear in the book. "Uncle Deckard used to drag me to places like this when I was a child", and offhand comments like that. The book never explains how or why they went to New Tristram, and the main characters, such as the heroes, are never mentioned in D3.
The audio presentation I really enjoyed. It was a bit inconsistent but it felt like I was in a professionally produced D&D adventure the entire time. Scott Brick knows how to lay down dramatic character voices, and his range is pretty good. Although his standard narration sometimes felt inappropriate at certain points with how things were enunciated. Anyway, the music that was queued in at the end of every chapter was a nice touch as well.
Despite being satisfied, I can't recommend the book simply because I think most of the people here who read fantasy fiction are going to be disappointed. However if you're deep into the Diablo fiction then maybe you want to take the gamble. Don't drop $20 on the audio book unless you have money to burn. The production values were solid but... $20.
Vanillaware’s 2D is, once again, shaming their competitor’s 3D. It’s like, what are you even doing with your extra D, jerks? Maybe we should hold that extra D in reserve for you, like a trust, until you are ready. - Tycho, Penny Arcade