Author: Peter David
Release Date: 10/5/2010
MSRP: $9.99 (Paperback, Digital)
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
For Fans Of: Fable, Werewolves, Heroes
The Good: Natural incorporation of Fable lore, excellent characters, unexpected plot twists make the book exciting, superb fight scenes, includes free DLC for Fable III
The Bad: Only balverines are seen in the book, departs from traditional Fable familiarity
Peter David does a great job reinterpreting the Fable storyline and lore in a more realistic manner in this book. The book is set long after Heroes and everything you see in Fable is long forgotten and considered myths. This makes the book more realistic and allows a lot more freedom than a Hero being born like in the games. You follow James and Thomas who are close childhood friends as they try to find the balverine that killed Thomas’s brother when he was a kid. It haunts his dreams and he must find it, and also prove to himself that Heroes, balverines, and all sorts of other mythical creatures do exist.
During their journey, they end up finding a dog like in the game, but in a more natural realistic fashion. There are a lot of good fight scenes and the book has excellent characters that you really get attached to. There are awesome plot twists that just slap you in the face because you would never expect them even if you guessed forever. David does a great job hiding these twists in a way that doesn’t make the book predictable. Through the adventure they travel various types of land, endure the weather, and Peter even managed to stick Quests in the book like in the game with both good and bad outcomes.
This all comes so naturally that it doesn’t feel forced. Even people who don’t even know what Fable is can pick the book up and enjoy it. My one complaint is that there aren’t any enemies in the book except balverines that are in Fable. Sure they are mentioned, but the boys never come across anything familiar from the game. Hardcore fans may shun this, but I didn’t really mind since it took everything else from the game and smartly incorporated it into this original adventure.
If you want a really good video game based novel this is one of the newer ones that I recommend. Fable fans will appreciate the Hero magic spells, weapons, and smart references to leveling up without being cheesy and out of context. I wish more authors would take video game licenses and do more with it like what Peter did here. A nice bonus is that every new book includes a DLC for Fable III. Hardcore fans may want a more traditional adventure, but even old grandpa can pick up this book and enjoy it without ever playing Fable, and that’s a hard thing to do.