After five years as a city guard, Durham's horizontal career trajectory adds a corkscrew when a mis-delivered order assigns him to caravan duty for an eclectic group of dwarves who hire themselves out as professional dungeoneers. No ruler wants to leave a powerful magical weapon lying about in a dungeon where just any prophesied upstart can stumble across it and use it to overthrow the kingdom. That's where the dungeoneers come in. Dungeons sacked, artifacts recovered, no job too big or too small. They're not adventurers; they're professionals. With the discovery that Durham may have arrived with a destiny attached to him, the dungeoneers find themselves in the midst of some history about to happen. Will experience and Dwarven know-how be enough to carry the day?
©2015 Jeffery Russell (P)2015 Jeffery Russell
...then this book is for you. That probably sounds sarcastic, but I mean it honestly. I know that the "bumbling, worthless main character that comes into his own" archetype is popular for some reason, but I can't stand it. The main character in this story may as well be a cardboard box for all the use he is. A literal monkey could have performed his tasks just as well. I took solace in the fact that the main villain was astoundingly competent and interesting, until he, too, became astoundingly incompetent towards the end.
Again, the incompetence of the characters. The primary supporting cast was competent within their own element, but once outside it, they didn't really do anything. At all. Some of the characters were *stated* as being competent, but their overall actions didn't really support that, and it was annoying watching them blunder through things in the kind of luck-based fugue that indicates poor character writing.
I didn't feel that the narrator really did a good job of distinguishing the characters. To be fair, they were all pretty similar, and the author even stated they all had nonsensical accents, so I feel bad for the narrator, as this had to be a hard assignment, but it just didn't pull me in.
It had some amusing moments. I can't recall any offhand, but perhaps a half dozen times I found myself smiling or noting that a line was particularly well-delivered.
He got off to a rough start. Quite a few of the sentences were read in a way that seemed like he wasn't sure which inflection to use so he decided to use them all. It got to be much better toward the end of the book.
Note that when he says something that sounds like "ahk-in" he is reading the word "akin". Small thing, but it certainly knocks on that fourth wall.
It's a very funny story and is very well written. It's similar to NPCs by Drew Hayes.
I made it halfway through before giving up. I really don't mind silly stories or brain candy- if they're relatively well done. This just wasn't. It was empty and boring. The personalities of the dwarves were completely empty, the storyline beyond predictable, just... not worth the time or energy.
I am a gamer and I do appreciate things like this, normally. This just wasn't one of those times. Give this one a pass.
Horrible Narration. I quit listening 15 minutes in
The Authorities by Scott Meyer
delivery and tone
I don't know, gave up 15 minutes in
This book started slow, got really interesting about 75% through, then ended abruptly. While it is in the same genre as Split the Party, I didn't think it was as entertaining.
If you want a serious story, look elsewhere. This is just a simple fun listen. He does an ok job with different voices, and it has its moments. If you like the D&D genre, and don't mind stretching the plausible to almost silly, you will like it. I see a few reviews where people expected a book to keep up with Drizzrt.... Different zip code entirely. It's good in a very different way.
A story written by the kinds of people I generally like playing DnD with. You could just feel the influence of practice at collaborative storytelling. Enjoyed the story. Would recommend.
As an avid D&D fan through the years, I've really enjoyed the new line of books popping up that take a fun romp through the experience. I found the Dungeoneers fun and irreverent. Just like I like. I recognized much of the excitement from my own past games which made it even more fun. This is not a serious novel which is just like I like it. I'm looking forward to the next book.
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