I was out of Audible credits but still had a week of bike-commuting to go before my subscription reset. Someone in one of these threads turned me onto Audible’s “daily deals” and I snapped up a book for $1.75 that sounded at least nominally interesting.
Dungeon Born, by Dakota Krout. It’s… not particularly good.
The core concept is very similar to what @ineffablebob describes above in his review of “Orkonomics”: Krout tries to construct a world where a MMOG-style dungeon - complete with respawning mobs - makes logical sense, and then he tries to build a world and economy on top of it, and finally he tries to use that as a setting for a story. Unfortunately, it pretty much fails on several levels (pun not intended).
The author has a magic and “level” system that he has obviously painstakingly conceived of and mapped out. Unfortunately, he spends a VAST portion of the book laying out that system in mind-numbing detail to the reader. Honest-to-god, for the first few chapters I really suspected I was listening to a screenplay/tutorial for “Dungeon Keeper” where they put a thin narrative on top of the tedious rules-lecture.
Eventually the author adds some characters, and I guess it could be argued that there is some incidental character growth.
The whole mess isn’t helped much by the narrator of the audiobook version, whose overly-exaggerated voices would sound at home in a “Strawberry Shortcake” cartoon on Saturday morning.
I absolutely feel like I got my $1.75 worth of entertainment out of this book. But I would have felt pretty cheated if I had paid, say, $2.35. The best thing I can say about it is that I have the urge to play the original Dungeon Keeper again… I think I still have the disks around somewhere.