I received a review copy of Phil Tucker’s – Killer Dungeon in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author a lot. When I’ve been sent these advanced reader copies every other book has had to take a lower priority until I find out how Chris’ life or death adventure within Eurphoria Online concludes. This is one of my favourite, easy-going, nostalgic and exciting series that I’ve had the pleasure of reading for a while. It has already been rated on Fantasy Book Review in detail by Swiff at 8.8/10 and I would have given it a similar score which is why I am just leaving a few points here in a quick casual review.
Chris has really grown throughout this trilogy in the face of adversity and for me, as a gamer, I see myself in him, his choices and dilemmas regarding what spells to use, which problem to approach next, how to gain powerful allies and how not to get alienated or even killed by many new members of the cast that are introduced here. He is still in Death March mode risking his real life for a pardon for his brother. Especially Ragnar Dragonbane. His ex-girlfriend Brianna always has something up here sleave too.
For the first time here there is a love story/ relationship, especially in the middle of the narrative that takes away from the spells, the battles, monsters, goblins(!), but it’s okay. It makes the ending a bit sweeter and there are a few pretty awesome magical set-pieces during this section.
It is called Killer Dungeon for a reason. An unknown treasure is hidden beneath the Keep that the AI who controls the game wants to himself and it is designed to even keep out top-level archmages. The aim of the mission is to achieve that all whilst dealing with new players who have heard about this impossible dungeon challenge and wish to try their luck, and having a metaphorical gun to the head from a Dread Lord and his undead army.
This is a really well-written book. I enjoyed a lot of Tucker’s lexical choices and flowing addictive prose. Some of the new characters were pretty awesome and I loved the storyline regarding our 3 goblin friends. Not everyone makes it out safe and some people are even killed in Death March mode. I’m not sure if I agreed with all the protagonist’s choices but he has overcome a lot and it reads like we are floating in his mind. I wanted to know what happened to a few other characters at the end as it only focused on a couple and felt slightly too abrupt. Also, some of the castellan and holding rating sheets seemed a bit boring unfortunately compared to some of the other in-game menus. I don’t have much bad to say. I really enjoyed this series and hope Tucker returns to LitRPG soon. Until then I will hopefully check out some of his other work.