Darrick’s Black Road

Bruce Von Stiers

Mel Odom is a writer who has written Buffy books and a Sabrina the Teenaged Witch title. One of his latest titles is dark and ominous. The title of the novel is Diablo # 2: The Black Road. It was published by Pocket Books and is based on the popular, Mature rated PC game series from Blizzard Entertainment.

Darrick Lang is a sailor and adventurer. He and his shipmates are on a mission to save the nephew of the king. This is easier said than done. The pirate who has young Lhex isn’t going to let go of him so easily. The pirate, Raithen, has a ransom in mind and is vexed by the possibilities of gaining access to the world of demons.

There is also a man known as Buyard Cholik. He is a priest who is being courted by a demon named Kabraxis. This demon would like nothing better than to gain another soul. But he has another plan. Could Cholik put together enough people to support a church? A church that unbeknownst to its members, would actually be a part of Hell’s interface with the outside world?

The book goes back and forth between the plot lines of Cholik and Darrick. Sometimes the storylines intertwine and other times each element is written about separately. The Black Road in the book’s title refers to a bridge to the Burning Hells that was created by Kabraxis. Many demons have been said to have traveled this road, on their way to take souls.

The book has each of the characters run through a series of adventures and mishaps. It all comes to a head, and the storylines converge, in a village called Bramwell. This is the place that Darrick was hoping to get home to. This is also the place where Cholik will attempt his church. Darrick comes head to head with the demonic forces in this town.

The plot overview I listed above might seem a little muddled. If it is, then I apologize. I really don’t want to give away too much of the plot. This is really a good novel. It has some pretty good descriptions of fighting between the pirates and the King’s men. The demon Kabraxis is depicted very well as are Cholik and Darrick Lang. Along with the characterizations, locations like the deck of the ship are sketched out in pretty good detail.

The long and short of it is , The Black Road is really about Darrick Lang becoming a hero and going toe to toe with one of the worse demons the world has ever known.

If you are a fan of the Diablo games, then The Black Road is a must for your collection. If you are into books about adventurers, then you too should be interested in this book..

Diablo 2: the Black Road is available at retailers like Barnes and Noble. You can also order through the Blizzard Entertainment web site at www.blizzard.com or the publisher’s web site at www.simonsays.com.


© 2002 Bruce E. Von Stiers