“Diablo,” is a dark fantasy/horror-themed action role-playing game that was developed by Blizzard North and released on December 31, 1996. That New Year’s Eve release preceded  additional versions of the game, “Diablo II” released in 2000, and “Diablo III” released on May 15, 2012.

The game features  Warriors,  Rogues,  Sorcerers, Monks, and a female character, the Bard.  There are items that add to the fun (rings, amulets, swords, axes, maces and clubs, armor, shields, etc.)

What better method to further promote “Diablo” than a book based on the game ? And why not a book by a very good writer, whose work in the horror genre has marked him as a rising star? Nate Kenyon of the Boston area is that writer, and Diablo: The Order is the book he has written for Gallery Books, (a division of Simon & Schuster.)

It seems like only yesterday that I was reviewing Bloodstone, Kenyon’s first novel, which went on to become a Bram Stoker Finalist in 2006. I think the term I used then to describe Nate was “Stephen King Lite,” but not as a put-down: it was a reference to his small-town Maine roots.

I like Kenyon’s writing—both here and in his other books such as The Reach—because he uses complete sentences and great imagery. Here is a descriptive passage to give you a sample:

“The night was heavy and moist, and the fog had grown thicker.  He could

see it pooling under the lights hung on posts, obscuring the muddy ground.

He heard his mother get up, but he did not turn around at first.  Only when

he heard the crackle of flame did he whirl to find Aderes with his book in

her hand, holding it against the open lantern as the brittle, dry pages caught

fire, his mother’s eyes like pools of orange and yellow that reflected the

heat back at him.”


This kind of descriptive prowess goes a long way towards fleshing out the book Diablo and lines like “Something terrible was coming, something that would make the previous attacks seem like child’s play” help raise the bar of anticipation in this game-related book.


Coming in at 372 pages, even Kenyon, himself, notes that the Diablo universe is “amazingly complex and exciting.” There were an estimated 2.5 million copies of “Diablo” sold worldwide as of August 29, 2001. With the 2012 sequel, the audience for the game and the book is huge.

I only hope that Kenyon returns to writing books that are not necessarily based on video games. That does, indeed, appear to be happening, as he continues writing COMPLETE SENTENCES ( a rarity in fiction these days) and composing the book Day One,  the story of a New York City man trying to reach his family in New Jersey in a plot described as Cloverfield meets the Terminator.

Carry on, Mr. Kenyon. I’ll be waiting for that one and cheering you on!