Before diving into the review proper, it’s important to note that Blizzard is releasing this book in a new fashion. Knaak’s latest work in the World of Warcraft universe will trickle out over the next few months in five installments. Each ringing up at $1.99, effectively costing more for those that purchase the full set. The serialized eBook is currently scheduled to wrap up in mid June. As such, this review will be concise.
Knaak returns to his dragonkind after their pyrrhic victory against Deathwing. The former Earth-warder gone only at the cost of the Aspects themselves. The Aspects remain alive, but without their powers leaving them to be known only by their proper monikers. Kalecgos, the former blue aspect after Malygos’ terror was ended, notices a disturbing change in the other, older comrades. They’ve given up, removed themselves from the struggle against the persistent evils of Azeroth. Leaving the chore up to the “younger” races.
Hit the jump for the full review of Part 1 of Dawn of the Aspects.
Distraught, Kalec leaves the meeting at Wyrmrest Temple downtrodden. During his return trip to the Nexus he senses an artifact buried in the bones of Galakrond, the Father of Dragons. Ever interested in hoarding artifacts, the blue retrieves the device only to be transported to the age of proto-dragons. The age of Galakrond. An age before the Aspects existed. Before sentient dragons roamed the lands. An age that places Kalecgos in the mind and body of his predecessor, Malygos. And in direct confrontation of Galakrond, more bestial proto-dragons and their dieing brothers.
If there’s any writer that Blizzard should have given the reigns to for this topic it’s Knaak. He’s a champion of the dragons, creating the lore behind the Aspects and numerous main characters that interact with them. Knaak is experienced in historical journeys, seeming to prefer them to penning adventures based in the current timeline. Unlike his previous efforts, Dawn of the Aspects isn’t revisionist lore, but the untold beginning of the Aspects players have become so entwined with.
The catch 22 is that with the good comes the bad. Knaak continues his traditional writing style of far too much description, overuse of certain phrases or words and a cavalcade of introspection instead of interesting dialog. The lack of intelligent dialog is somewhat excusable this time given the mental capacity of proto-dragons. That being said, Part 1 is stuffed with uninteresting historical tales, retelling the events of a half dozen novels and major game plot points in WoWpedia-style recaps. Not interesting anecdotes or conversation points.
Knaak is the man for the job. There’s no doubt about that. Some of the storyarcs he’s created in the WoW universe are unforgettable. Unfortunately, the parts in between are. Or worse, are remembered for the wrong reasons. The serialization of Dawn of the Aspects highlights the bad over the good. Readers will have to wait months to fully grasp Knaak’s plot, making it a difficult recommendation at this point. Any WoW lore buff will find Part 1 as enjoyable as running through sand to get to the ocean. It’s a pain, but once you reach the crashing waves, the trip was worth it.
Hopefully, Dawn of the Aspects as a whole will be to.
Interested in exploring Warcraft’s recent lore further?
Blizzard has released a torrent of Warcraft novelizations as WoW has gained in popularity. Most directly related to Dawn of the Aspects are Jaina Proudmoore: Tide of War and The Shattering – Prelude to Cataclysm both by Christie Golden.
Knaak, as the master of WoW dragonkind, has dabbled with them since he began working with Blizzard. Pick up Day of the Dragon, Night of the Dragon or the unfinished Dragons of Outland. Knaak penned the War of the Ancients trilogy as his freshman entry into the Warcraft universe, years ahead of WoW’s release.
Check out all of the novelizations of Blizzard products in the our Extensive Extended Universe rundown.