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Are the KQ Novels worth reading?

posted by Beacon80 on - last edited - Viewed by 186 users

The title pretty much sums it up. A KQ novel sounds awesome in theory, but I've found that video game based novels are usually mediocre at best. While this trend has changed a little bit lately (I've heard really good things about the Halo novels), these books were written in the mid-90's.

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  • They're decent. Not classics or really memorable reading, but not really bad either, in my opinion. However, others around here will probably say the KQ novels are complete and utter crap.

    Which is true in one respect: they don't always mesh up with what's considered KQ "canon" as defined in the games (or the KQ Companion). The result is that the novels can sometimes feel like an alternate-universe version of King's Quest, as opposed to the "proper" world of Daventry seen in the graphic adventures.

    Also, I don't think any of the novels is significantly better or worse than the others, for what it's worth. But I'm pretty sure no one will go on record as calling the books outstanding fantasy literature.

  • They're OK.... I like them but I read them when I was a teen and didn't expect much going in.

  • Entertaining I suppose but not works of art. They are pretty derivative high fantasy material, with KQ dressing. Less fairy tale, though 'Kenyon Morr' author duo definitely made a few fairy tale references.

    Craig Mills is arguably darker, bordering on DND type fantasy. Probably my personal favorite of the the set (followed by Kingdom of Sorrow).

    Which is true in one respect: they don't always mesh up with what's considered KQ "canon" as defined in the games (or the KQ Companion). The result is that the novels can sometimes feel like an alternate-universe version of King's Quest, as opposed to the "proper" world of Daventry seen in the graphic adventures.
    Well I think the biggest issue would be the Kenyan Morr material, places events between KQ2 and KQ3, that doesn't quite mesh with the narrative in KQ3, that is the land is pretty well off, relatively happy for a land that was supposed to be ravaged by earth quakes and a three-headed dragon during that period! Graham or Valanice do not show any of the hopelessness over losing his son, as described in KQ3.

    Craig Mills book describes about a year of events in what is already a fairly crowded year (both in the games and the Companion). Assuming it takes place after KQ5 he isn't showing any depression over Cassima. If before KQ5 there is less than a year between KQ4 and KQ5.

    The books do seem to include a couple of off hand references to material from the Companion in places though. They also make references to the universe of KQ1 SCI remake, as opposed to the original series (the version of events KQ3 is based on).

  • Opinions? Personally I liked all three a lot and wish that each game had had a full novelization of it--like not just in the companion, but released as separate books.

  • Never read them. But I don't really read books very much. The last one I read was only recently and it was the Scott Pilgrim series. Before that....I can't even remember the last time I read a book.

  • Anakin I think this discussion was already made, this may need to be merged...

    http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24897

    As for the books, I found them entertaining, have read them a few times... They aren't 'excellent', but aren't 'horrible' either! Maybe there is a little 'meh'. Especially with the See No Weevil.

    I think the best bits, was they really go about describing the kingdom and the castle... More than any other source... and the politics of the kingdom!
    Personally I liked all three a lot and wish that each game had had a full novelization of it--like not just in the companion, but released as separate books
    Keep in mind that the Companion was primary designed as a game walkthrough/hintbook, not a novel. It takes the games pretty literally, explaining everything from a way that a player would be able to solve the game. Including explaining some of the gameplay quirks like timer in KQ3 (or utilizing the wrap-around in the early games). Everything a player would need to know to avoid death and beat the game, as quickly as possible, and avoid too much backtracking.

    The author/s took a rather interesting approach to writing a walkthrough, but he could just as easily wrote it as a standard walkthrough.

    The games are pretty short, and not really full 'novel' material, unless an author went out of his/her way to completely retell the stories, add characters, make the plot less like a game.

    Compare the differences in actual novelizations for games such as the ones written for Gabriel Knight series. The novels are not intended to be walkthroughs for the game, and deviate quite a bit in many places, especially in the second book.

    Then there was the author of the Police Quest Casebook, Peter Scisco, that didn't bother to follow the games, and just rewrote the stories to be entirely for the purpose of fiction 'novels'... It's a complete mess, more entertaining as stories I suppose, but seriously detours from the game's events (changes many of the characters, combines characters, removes characters, etc)... You can't use his 'novels' as walkthroughs, since they leave out most of the game's solutions, and even change many of the game's events (often completely different events occur). For example in PQ4, the main character has a sidekick/partner for most of the story (who is murdered near the end), when you as a player work alone in the game! In the novel this partner does many of the actions your player actually does in the game, while the main character is off doing things completely outside of the scope of the game! Another example, is the novelization of PQ2 leaves most of the entire terrorist subplot, including the hidden bomb on the plane... It also has a massive shoot out on the plane, between the terrorists and Sonny Bonds (there is no bomb)! Now, in the game if you try to shoot and aren't careful, you die! If you don't discover the bomb you die before the plane lands! So it completely changed these events for the sake of dramatic purposes.

    The book even goes out of its way to point out that the novelizations are not intended to be walkthroughs, but written for 'entertainment', and "ficticious stories based in the actions of the game series". It leaves actual accurate hintbook to seperate chapters between each 'novel'.

    Frankly the best comparison would be look at Space Quest I vs. the Comic Book adaptation! The adaptation is not, and not intended to be a walkthrough!

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