Recently Read: Dungeon Quest: Book One, by Joe Daly

Dungeon Quest - by Joe Daly

Dungeon Quest - by Joe Daly

I’m a big RPG nerd (surprise!)  I’ve always loved RPGs in any form:  Tabletop D&D (nerd wife actually has a D&D tattoo, lol – ok, it’s supposed to be my initials PD, but it looks kinda like DD), console RPGs (Japanese, western, strategy), MMORPG (I’ve played most of them).  There’s something about the questing and leveling up I just dig.  So, when I saw there was an original graphic novel (OGN) coming out spoofing the adventure RPG I knew I had to read it.  It was so much greater than I hoped for.  That book:  Dungeon Quest: Book One, by South African cartoonist Joe Daly.

Story in brief – Millenium Boy – a freakish little character with a head hinting at Megalencephaly – decides he needs an adventure because homework sucks and he’s sick of watching Dr. Phil.  So he collects his starting level gear (bandana, pocket knife, hobo stick with food) and heads off into Glendale to start his adventure.  He collects a few other characters Steve (starting weapon: Baseball bat, class: developing rogue), Lash Penis (dumbells, warrior/tank), and Nerdgirl (Archer, practitioner of Kyudo-Japanese Archery).  Together they begin their quest, at first starting fighting just local bullies, but later on after levelling up their equipment more dangerous foe.

Anyway, its a great sendup of the RPG genre in general, complete with level up screens each time a fight ends or equipment is updated.  WARNING: This is definitely not for kids.  It contains harsh language and multiple references and views on penis.  (Including an explanation of why Lash Penis is named Lash Penis.)  All in all though, if you like the RPGs, or even know what they are all about, you’ll really enjoy this.  I highly recommend it, and will be looking forward to Book Two sometime soon.

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Release date for New Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man's Fear - by Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss today announced that his eagerly awaited follow-up to The Name of the Wind finally has a publication date.  According to his blog, The Wise Man’s Fear will be released in February 2011.  Originally expected to be complete in 2008, the author’s sophomore effort is sure to be a huge seller despite the delays.  If you haven’t read The Name of the Wind yet, now’s a good time to pick it up.  While I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have works by Martin, Erikson or Bakker, Name of the Wind was definitely entertaining and really showed a lot of promise for the future.  Here’s to hoping that Rothfuss is able to live up to the built up expectations and avoid a sophomore slump.

Recent Reads: Deadhouse Gates

Deadhouse Gates

Erikson - Deadhouse Gates

Earlier this year, I decided I was going to re-read the first 2 books of the brilliant Steven Erikson series Malazan Book of the Fallen before attempting to read all 9 published volumes in a row prior to the publication of the 10th and final volume at the end of the year.  My quest is now 2/10 of the way done with the completion of Book 2 – Deadhouse Gates.

For those that haven’t read, Erikson’s Malazan series is fantasy, but this is not your standard Forgotten Realms/R.A. Salvatore light reading fantasy.  No, Erikson’s world is much darker, much more complex, and much less well explained. This is not a bad thing though, but it does make the series difficult to get into for many people.  It’s like being thrown into a country where people speak your language, but all of the local dialect, customs and rules are foreign to you.  You need to work to understand what’s going on, but when you get it … what a rush.

I compare this favorably with my two favorite fantasy authors – George R.R. Martin and Scott Bakker.  In fact, I think with the exception of Tolkein and Martin, I don’t think you can find such a richly developed fantasy world.  This being my second reading, and the first time I read it back to back with the first volume, Gardens of the Moon, I can definitely say I got more out of it.  Not that you need to read them back to back since most of the characters are new, but it definitely helps to fully grasp what’s going on.

While I’m tempted to take a break before the even longer 3rd volume, I plan to start it tonight.  I’ll leave lighter reading for breaks at work.  My quest must continue.