Nation of Abomination

Many major gaming franchises have found numerous ways to break out of their digital worlds and continue to permeate the pop culture between game releases. This cross-medium promotion helps franchises like Halo, Gears of War, Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, and many more stay relevant while also expanding on the fiction started in games.

Another of these franchises is Darksiders, which had a comic book one-shot around the release of their first game. With Darksiders II just around the corner though, author Ari Marmell brings us a lot more words and pages (no pictures though) depicting the Darksiders universe in the new novel Darksiders: The Abomination Vault.

The main plot of the book revolves around Death who has just returned from exile for some unknown reasons and the secrets that he has kept hidden for millennia, back when his kind were a dominant, realm conquering species. Only with the help of key angel allies and his brother War can Death hope to keep these secrets safe from those would use them to pick up where Death’s people left off and once again bring pain and suffering to all beings in existence.

If you are a fan of the Darksiders game, this book does a tremendous job of laying a foundation for Death before you get a chance to play as him in Darksiders II. You learn about Death’s personality, his powers, and the lengths he is willing to go to reach his objectives. You also appreciate the brotherly rivalry he has with War as the two play off each other’s strengths in and out of battle very well and very often and it strongly establishes their relationship before you see Death go to battle for his brother in the upcoming game.

But this book isn’t just about building hype up about the game as it stands up as a wonderfully action-packed tale all on its own. The descriptions of the battles that take place and the sinister villains who rise up to face-off against Death and War are brilliant and fans of this kind of fantasy will not be able to put the book down as the pacing is intense and adrenaline fueled.

The only real downside I felt from this book is that there are four horsemen and although it was nice this book wasn’t a Death only adventure, what with War playing an integral part, I would have enjoyed more interaction with Fury and Strife, the other two horsemen in the Darksiders universe who really only had small cameos. Their descriptions were intriguing and their personalities were definitely different enough from War and Death to make them stand up on their own, so for them to never really factor into this grand, realm threatening adventure was disappointing.

All in all though, fans of Darksiders should blow through the 351 pages this book entails in no time once it becomes available July 24th as it’ll serve as a tantalizing appetizer to Darksiders II in August. If you have $15 to spare, this book is definitely a fun and enjoyable read and should be considered if you’re looking for a new fantasy book to pick up.

SCORE: 9.0