Before the Storm by Christie Golden
“… but we cannot go back to happier times. We can only live in the present, and right now that present is painful.”
Taking place after the climactic events of Shadows of Argus, World of Warcraft: Before the Storm tells the story of what awaits the heroes of the Horde and the Alliance in the wake of their struggle against the demonic Burning Legion.
Anyone who knows me knows I play the video game World of Warcraft and have done for over ten years. In August the game will be getting another new expansion and as is tradition this means we get a new book before hand to tie together the end of events at the end of the previous expansion (Legion) and the new (Battle for Azeroth). As I always am for these books I’ve been super hyped, but even more so with the promise of a POV from the current Warchief of the Horde, The Dark Lady herself, Sylvanas Windrunner, a character who has always been intriguing to me. Not to mention this book is written by Christie Golden who’s work I absoloutley adore so this book was an insta buy no questions asked buy.
As I thought would happen I completley devoured this book. In World of Warcraft you choose one of two factions and even though I started Alliance I moved over to Horde to play with my friends but with recent in game events have been leaning back towards the alliance which is a fairly big change, this book has totally added to my ingame experience and thoughts on my faction which is one of my favourite things about these books that are linked to a video game, they enhance what you already get with the game while being good books in general. As far as I’m aware the book leads up to the content will we get in game on July 24th (today) so I knew I wanted to read it beore then turns out I finished this in a couple of days because I couldn’t put it down.
Before the Storm focuses very much on it’s characters more than it’s events (although there is a very important one) which is great for a look into their motivations and thoughts. In the case of Sylvanas it seems she is going down a route we all knew in our hearts she was taking but now getting a front row seat to it is painful but I think the logical path for her arc. I am glad that we’re seeing some more light (haha…you’ll get this if you’ve read the book) shone on the Forsaken (undead) characters as it’s a race I’ve never been interested to play much in game and I think they’re important to know more about, especially with the events in the upcoming expansion cinematic we’ve seen.
I was super happy that we got to see inside The Netherlight Temple as well, the Priest class order hall taken direct from Legion and addressing the fact that both factions work together peacefully which was something I enjoyed seeing in the last expanion and something that needed explaining as this next one is about the opposite, instead of workin together to fight the Legion we are back at each others throats. The one thing I will say that bothered me however is that even after this book I still don’t know why war breaks out between the factions again. We see events that could strain the relationships yes but certainly not enough I feel to reengage in a war that neither side want and I assume the events we will begin to see in game from today will explain.
The book was thougherly enjoyable but unlike some of the other books I don’t feel it completely stands on its own, this may be becasue of the lack of actual events happening or maybe the speed I read it but it felt a bit more like a short story or noevella than a novel (but no less enjoyable for it). This book acts as a great insight however into the minds of our faction leaders and other notable characters as well as some utter world changing events that happen towards the end of this book. Before the Storm acts as a perfect prequel to the events to come ingame in a few days and although it didn’t completley tear my heart out like a lot of Christies other novels I had a great time reading it and would reccomend it to anyone who plays World of Warcaft without a hesitation.
P.S Christie Golden I better see a certain Goblin and Gnome somewhere this expansion!