A king, a pirate and a dwarf walk into a evil stronghold… such is the tale of “Dragon Age: Until We Sleep.” They’re searching for the magical secrets behind a blood mage named Aurelian Titus, but things are a little stranger—and a little more deadly. Not exactly a guy yelling “Lighting Bolt!” at a LARP event. Read on in this Major Spoilers review.
Previously in Dragon Age: “Dragon Age” is apparently a video game which I happen never to have played. It’s standard high-fantasy fare with dwarves and wizards and dragons and whatnot. That’s about all I can tell you about what’s gone on previously in this world!
THE PLOT WAS KIND OF ‘DRAGON” (WOKKA WOKKA)
I always worry about diving into any vaguely Tolkien-esque fantasy universe because, through no fault of their own, most of them come of as nothing more than pale derivatives of the original because, well, that’s essentially what they are. In 20-odd years of reading in the genre, I’ve found only one non-Ardan universe that held my interest. So “Dragon Age: Until We Sleep” didn’t fill me with high hopes—especially once I realized it was a based on a video game. And for the first half of the book, I was right.
It’s not badly written and the dialogue is realistic—as much as it can be discussing dragons and magic and such. It’s chief crime was being generic. But then things started to get better.
After attempting to draw us in with a anticlimactic fable and spending the requisite time setting up the time, place and doings, the story beings to focus on the characters, who, while certainly loyal to their archetype are more than mere literary straw men. The book much improves as the pages are turned and, by the end I was—I won’t go so far as eager—interested to see he next installment of this three-issue arc.
QUALITY, BUT UNREMARKABLE ART
With heavy pencils and lots of shadow, this issue’s artwork is more epic and sweeping than what I was expecting going in. It’s polished, but doesn’t feel polished. The panel work on certain pages is less modular and adds to the mystical qualities of the story.
There’s a two-page spread of the requisite Evil Fortress as its under siege that’s broad with just the right amount of detail to make it look like more than a matte painting but not so much that I’m scouring it for Waldo.
BOTTOM LINE: PROPERTY FANS, YES; GENRE FANS, MAYBE
This is shaping up to be a quality story, but despite that it’s still looking likely to be your typical high-fantasy tale. If you’re a huge fan of “Dragon Age,” then you’re going to want to take a look at this, if not , then it’s going to read as generic, but that’s not knocking the quality. I give it 3 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!