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World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides…
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World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War

by Christie Golden

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874138,736 (3.83)None
  1. 00
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (mashiox)
    mashiox: A great deal of parallels exist between "Tides of War" and "Slaughterhouse-Five." Vonnegut has a lot to say about Theramore and Jaina.
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Pretty damn good. It really filled in a lot of the blanks in the storyline leading up to Mists of Pandaria that were sorely lacking from the game. Highly recommended. ( )
  thanbini | Jun 19, 2016 |
I'm rating this for what it was: a World of Warcraft book, one that fills the gap between two expansions. These books tend to be like the "Last time on" at the beginning of two-part episodes of TV shows in that they blaze by you really quickly: just enough that you get the gist of what's going on but that you need to have watched the previous episode in order to really FULLY follow the story. This, like all the other Warcraft books, are for those who watch the previous episodes (which, in this unwieldy analogy is "those who play the game").

I thought it was okay. Written in the typical Golden style of light exposition, simple descriptions, and the author "telling us" everything. It's written like fan fiction. I'm okay with that.

It loses a star for the CONTINUED use of Deus ex Thrall coming out of nowhere, though. The guy's in like, two chapters of the book and saves the day only to disappear again. Either bring him back fully or let him fade away, Blizzard. Make up your damn mind.

Still. I read it in less than twelve hours. Must've been decent enough. ( )
  cyafer | Mar 30, 2013 |
Golden's become a pretty solid author for the series - every book is better than the last. I do wonder how well she'd do at her own worldbuilding, but she's gotten quite deft weaving with other people's threads.

I will qualify this by saying I review media tie-in novels on their own scale, and this is the best of a generally appalling lot. The Warcraft books are all about as subtle as a panhandler's cardboard sign, and this one's no different. But the sentence-level prose is not particularly painful, and the story generally moves right along. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
While I may play World of Warcraft off and on, one constant is my interest in the lore behind the game, an interest that extends to pretty much all MMOs I play, in fact. I’m always devouring every piece of lore and background information I can find, even if that means putting up with some not-so-well-written novels every once in a while. I’ve long discovered that looking for quality writing in most video game tie-in books is a lost cause.

Admittedly, I didn’t think Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War was going to pose much of problem on that front, because I’m generally well-disposed towards author Christie Golden’s works. The book’s eponymous heroine is also a major WoW character that I’ve always liked and followed with interest.

Indeed, if you’ve kept track with WoW lore and characters as closely as I have in recent years, I think some of the events in ToW will impact you in more profound ways than if you hadn’t. The story reaches back in time to touch upon several important points in Jaina Proudmoore’s history, just as it looks to the future and hints at upcoming changes in the expansion Mists of Pandaria. It lays the groundwork in explaining how the Alliance and Horde will end up discovering the new continent, and why the two factions will be battling when they do.

As we all know, Garrosh Hellscream is now the leader of the Orcs and the Warchief of the Horde, and he has decidedly chosen to walk a much darker path than his predecessor Thrall. The much talked-about complete and utter destruction of Theramore is his responsibility, as are many other terrible actions in this novel, so you’ll probably despise him. Still, not everyone in the Horde shares his views, and this has resulted in a clear split within the faction. Somehow, I have a feeling that this dissension in the ranks will play an important part in a future story line.

In any case, I’m aware that Blizzard has a history of altering their characters with every new expansion, but that’s not always a good thing. Female characters (e.g. Tyrande Whisperwind, Sylvanas Windrunner) especially always seem to receive the short end of the stick in this regard, so I was initially worried that they were going to change Jaina in the same way.

My concerns were unfounded. Yes, Jaina is changed, but in my opinion, for the better! She did witness her entire city being destroyed and all of her closest friends brutally murdered; I would have been angrier and more frustrated if she’d remained the vapid and naive pacifist sitting up in her little tower sipping tea and twiddling her thumbs while waiting for the day Alliance and Horde will lay down their arms and sing Kumbaya around a campfire. Instead, she has finally taken a stand. She’s still the strong and independent woman she was before, but now with an edge.

In truth, it was actually Jaina’s reaction to the aftermath that saved this book for me. As much as I like Christie Golden, I admit her writing style can be hit or miss; sometimes she’s so over the top with her WoW novels that the prose can be so contrived to the point of being borderline insulting. ToW was like this. In my heart, I’d almost given up on the book until I reached the story’s climax. After that, I just couldn’t stop reading.

Like I said, it wasn’t the writing, nor was it really the story’s events because much of it was already public knowledge. In fact, the best part of the book was the description of Jaina’s emotions — the grief, the suffering, the guilt and the rage — all of which were very raw and believable. Though her desire for revenge was frightening and terrible, I couldn’t help but sympathize and a part of me actually rooted for her to go through with her desperate need for vengeance. I even found myself liking Jaina more when she was ruthless and cold, because that’s when I felt a real personality starting to come through. It made her more real, which also makes her more likeable at least in my eyes.

Jaina also seems to have finally gotten over pining for Arthas. Speaking of which, there is a small aspect of romance in ToW, though I felt it sometimes got in the way of the story (like standing in the middle of the ruins of Theramore is where you choose to share your first kiss? Come on!) Regardless, I’m hoping that she’s finally found someone worthy of her, because we all know poor Jaina’s had pretty bad luck in the past when it comes to boyfriends.

In sum, writing-wise Christie Golden has delivered much better, but if you can put up with the mediocre writing that’s almost “fan-fic-y” in its hokeyness, I recommend this for fans of WoW especially if you plan on heading into MoP. I’m sure you can always get the whole story by looking up some two-line summary on some wiki page, but the canvas of emotions and feelings that you get from this novel is what makes it worth reading. ( )
  stefferoo | Mar 5, 2013 |
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Traces the downfall of a beloved peacekeeper who is pushed to a breaking point by an inconceivable horror that changes her in irrevocable, ethics-testing ways.

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