Author: Mel Odom, Robert A. Knaak, Robert B. Marks
Release Date: 7/8/2008
MSRP: $18.99 (Paperback)
For Fans Of: Diablo, Demons, Magic
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
The Good: Four books in one collection, Demonsbane is excellent, The Black Road has a very interesting story behind it
The Bad: No memorable characters, the first three books feel like chores to read, The Kingdom of Shadow is too long and utterly boring, none of the novels really feel like they are set in the Diablo universe
The past four Diablo novels culminated in this one large tome called Diablo Archive. It consists of four novels from the start of the series based off of the first two games back in the early 2000’s. You can read each individual review for details on each one, but overall this giant 700-page tome was disappointing. The best of the four was the short story Demonsbane by Robert B. Marks. The other three felt stretched thin and kind of boring. The Black Road was the most interesting of the first three, but it still didn’t have memorable characters or anything worth talking about. The first three novels weren’t even memorable, to begin with, and didn’t really feel like anything familiar with Diablo. It mentioned a lot of things from the series but didn’t feel like it.
This book is worth a purchase for fans, but if you are on the fence just stay away. I had a hard enough time getting through this monster book and each novel felt like a chore. If you have to just purchase Demonsbane and enjoy this excellent short story and don’t even bother with the rest. I expected each book to tell a tale of fighting hordes of demons and then facing off against one of the three Prime Evils. None of that really occurred in either book. There was an original tale spun in the Diablo universe which I didn’t like at all. The Kingdom of Shadow was probably the most boring of the four and I almost gave up on the book because I couldn’t feel attached to any characters or the plot.
Overall, Diablo Archive is a decent read for hardcore fans only. If you love Diablo III just pick up Demonsbane separately and enjoy this novel for an excellent night’s read because of its short length. Every other novel is personal taste, and it didn’t taste very good to me. Because of the disappointment of these novels, I will no longer read any other Diablo books. If three of them feel boring, unexciting, and most of the time a chore to read, most likely the rest are. Then again it could be that Mel Odom and Robert A. Knaak are just not that great of authors and have poor writing styles.