I mentioned in my last Diablo III book review that I discovered two new Diablo III e-books and I read them both while traveling. The second one was Diablo III: Morbed, a novella of around 60 pages. I finished it before my plane even took off. Author Micky Neilson wrote one of the short stories from Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls, and I really enjoyed his contribution in that collection. However, despite how much it really hits home with the psychological and spiritual horror of Sanctuary, Morbed overall is rather bland and predictable. And I don’t just mean the character Morbed.
Morbed is a thief in party of adventurers. They have been tasked with investigating an island rumored to shelter a bandit who supposedly ransacked the tomb of the legendary Rakkis. Like everything in the world of Diablo, nothing is at it seems. An ancient evil slumbers in the ruins on the island, and as expected, it falls to Morbed to dispatch it.
While how Morbed comes around to quell the demonic presence is rather unexpected, the overall plot is still predictable. From the moment the demon rises, you know it’s going to be up to Morbed. Sure, you don’t expect him to be as cowardly or do a few despicable things, but you know he is going to save the day. Somehow.
Even though Morbed’s own story has a case of the blahs, the environment and other characters are absolutely fascinating. Traveling along with Morbed includes a Vizjerei wizard, a Paladin of Zakarum, a necromancer, and a druid. Each of their personalities far outshines anything Morbed has to offer, even the stoic and silent Paladin. The island itself is also incredibly spooky. While reading the initial paragraphs of the party exploring a visceral scene soon after landing, I realized that even though I was sitting, my feet were on their tip-toes. I remained that way up until Morbed fled the demon.
Morbed may be a snore, but the rest of the island certainly isn’t. Neilson’s best writing falls occurs in his description of the eerie environment, as well as everyone’s palatable fear as they broach the unknown.
The only reasons why I could recommend picking up this e-book are for hardcore Diablo lore fans and the fact that it’s really cheap. It’s a shame that the story is fairly bland, because the writing itself is top notch, especially when describing the atmosphere.