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D&D General I'm reading the Forgotten Realms Novels- #202 The Howling Delve by Jaleigh Johnson (Dungeons 2)


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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Congratulations on making it through one hundred books! Here's to a hundred more! ...and a hundred after that, and after that, and after...well, eventually you'll get through them all. :p

I remembered the whole "skeletal arm" thing for Artemis, but I'd half-convinced myself that I was making that up. It just seemed like something out of a Disney cartoon.

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I have one or two other thoughts on what happened here, except I'm not sure if they're from this book or the next one, so I'll hold off until after the subsequent review.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#101 Easy Betrayals by Richard Baker (Double Diamond 8)
Read 15/10/20 to 19/10/20


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Book 8- and probably the best one yet, as in the best writing- the story however smoulders (slightly) but still rumbles on in its ramshackle way, more little mini climaxes in this one. Although there's also a fair amount of catch-up here, the author takes the time (more than once) to remind us who's dead and who's alive- thanks.

We're still with Miltiades, although now Belgin seems to have landed a lead role in the piece- he's dying yer see, not a dry eye in the house, although... then he gets fixed. But I digress- the chase is on and we're back to Waterdeep (actually Skullport) via Undermountain (blink and you'll miss it) and an ancient Netherese portal complete with Lich and undead entourage (see lota little climaxes). Also there's a fair amount of treachery and betrayal- hence the title, as it turns out one of the Paladins is a Doppelganger- I didn't see that coming.

So, we finish with a semi-climax (yet another) in Skullport when the bad guys go for the assassination attempt on Miltiades (why bother? Just slow the good guys up somehow... that'd work, probs). It's a bust- the bad guys get wailed on, the cavalry arrive- Rings!

Later the Greater Doppleganger/Eidola is cornered- oh no, she pulls a Soul Gem out of her chest... dun-dun-der.

It's not much of a cliff-hanger, there better be some more to it in the next/last one.

It's a crappy series of books- it lacks meat and the characters are... well, there's this one, and this one, and this one, and this one (continues for some time- too long).

Read.

Stay safe and well.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I wasn't sure if it was in this one or the last one where the god-squid-man of Doegan gets the water in his tank purified, and he goes nuts because pure water is poison to him. Like a guy who stays in the bathtub way too long, he's happier in his own filth. That he then does a King Kong impression is crazy. "People of Doegan, behold your god!" I'm sure there's a Mr. Burns joke in there somewhere.

Beyond that, I can't recall much of the books, except for the rather lackluster way they resolve things with Artemis and that the kidnapped bride wasn't really the bride all along. We're not at book nine yet, but I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the series ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
 
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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
I wasn't sure if it was in this one or the last one where the god-squid-man of Doegan gets the water in his tank purified, and he goes nuts because pure water is poison to him. Like a guy who stays in the bathtub way too long, he's happier in his own filth. That he then does a King Kong impression is crazy. "People of Doegan, behold your god!" I'm sure there's a Mr. Burns joke in there somewhere.

Beyond that, I can't recall much of the books, except for the rather lackluster way they resolve things with Artemis and that the kidnapped bride wasn't really the bride all along. We're not at book nine yet, but I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the series ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Book 7 was the one when the squid-emperor goes Kong and starts throwing bits of his own palace around- this after having his bath tub scoured of all badness by Arty E.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#102 The Diamond by J Robert King & Ed Greenwood (Double Diamond 9)
Read 19/10/20 to 21/10/20

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Book 9- and a great advert for everything that is wrong with this series, save yourself the time of reading the other eight- just have a flick through this one, tut out loud every now and then, scratch your head once or twice and then get on with your day.

There's a bit of this and a bit of that here- we skip about a bit trying to tie up all of the endings, and also to get in the disney princess ending- Paladinson's first love is back from the dead. This after a trippy smash the mirror{s) (inside the soul gem?) diamond (as in the title of this series) maze in which Paladin and Hero (with CAPS) battle their way through (like a bewildered reader) back to the start of the book/series.

Hmmm, so trippy mirror sequence to explain diamond- check.
Wrap up Arty E (& Trandor's story/imprisonment/escape)- check.
Noph as the hero, sorry Hero (with nice illusion sequence)- check.
Noph as the trusting hero- watch out for the Deep Ogre and let Miltiades et al back in (to the story- very briefly)- check.
Explain a few other things- Doppelgangers, great and otherwise- check.
Disney ending- check.

There are some nice sequences in here, and even a little bit of worthy action- and I like Khelben more than I did before but the rest of 'em (even Miltiades, but only a bit) have all grown a little smaller in my estimation.

So, turn out the light and shut the door, we have achieved happy ever after, g'night.

I am oh so very glad that this series is over, there's probably an okay story in here but... it's just so bitty, and the focus shifts in and out (and all about) as the books hand over from one author to another.

Read.

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I mentioned this before, but it says something (i.e. nothing good) that I can't remember anything about the last book in the series. The one exception is the scene where an unconscious Artemis is visited by Khelben, who tells the people who have him to patch him up (skeleton arm and all) and let him go. Apparently "that was the bargain: no death or permanent injury." Now, I won't say that's out of character for Waterdeep's Special K, but it still came across as a transparent "we can't let anything notable happen to one of our special guest stars" bit. We know this isn't Salvatore writing the character, so everything here has to be "no lasting effect" for when he keeps writing him.

I recall that in one of the later Drizzt novels Entreri mentions having lost the mask of disguise magic item, saying so gruffly and without explanation. My teenage self was convinced that this was a sly reference to what happened in the Double Diamond Triangle series, not actually having read these books yet. When I did, years later, it became clear that they had nothing to do with it. The reality was that the cohesiveness I'd imagined between different authors using the same character was nowhere near as tight and complementary as I'd wanted to believe.
 
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I mentioned this before, but it says something (i.e. nothing good) that I can't remember anything about the last book in the series. The one exception is the scene where a an unconscious Artemis is visited by Khelben, who tells the people who have him to patch him up (skeleton arm and all) and let him go. Apparently "that was the bargain: no death or permanent injury." Now, I won't say that's out of character for Waterdeep's Special K, but it still came across as a transparent "we can't let anything notable happen to one of our special guest stars" bit. We know this isn't Salvatore writing the character, so everything here has to be "no lasting effect" for when he keeps writing him.

I recall that in one of the later Drizzt novels Entreri mentions having lost the mask of disguise magic item, saying so gruffly and without explanation. My teenage self was convinced that this was a sly reference to what happened in the Double Diamond Triangle series, not actually having read these books yet. When I did, years later, it became clear that they had nothing to do with it. The reality was that the cohesiveness I'd imagined between different authors using the same character was nowhere near as tight and complementary as I'd wanted to believe.

If you've haven't read what Lynn Abbey wrote about the process of writing her Dark Sun novels, I strongly suggest you do. It's pretty jawdropping how disorganised and uninterested TSR were about coordinating and maintaining consistency across their various products and authors.
 

Mirtek

Hero
I mentioned this before, but it says something (i.e. nothing good) that I can't remember anything about the last book in the series. The one exception is the scene where a an unconscious Artemis is visited by Khelben, who tells the people who have him to patch him up (skeleton arm and all) and let him go. Apparently "that was the bargain: no death or permanent injury." Now, I won't say that's out of character for Waterdeep's Special K, but it still came across as a transparent "we can't let anything notable happen to one of our special guest stars" bit. We know this isn't Salvatore writing the character, so everything here has to be "no lasting effect" for when he keeps writing him.

I recall that in one of the later Drizzt novels Entreri mentions having lost the mask of disguise magic item, saying so gruffly and without explanation. My teenage self was convinced that this was a sly reference to what happened in the Double Diamond Triangle series, not actually having read these books yet. When I did, years later, it became clear that they had nothing to do with it. The reality was that the cohesiveness I'd imagined between different authors using the same character was nowhere near as tight and complementary as I'd wanted to believe.
Yes, there's the general lack of cohesiveness you mentioned quite apparant with many multi author characters.

Then there's this case which is very unique since none of Salvatores characters are multi-author.

There are merely three exceptions (of which only two ever made it to print) and they all date back to a time Salvatore and TSR were in a nasty fight about his contract.

TSR wanting to demonstrate strength then took his characters and gave them to other authors. Results were Arti appearing in this series, a Drizzt short story in one of the Realms of [...] anthologies and s whole Drizzt novel (Shores of Dusk?) which was written and advertised but ultimately never published.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
If you've haven't read what Lynn Abbey wrote about the process of writing her Dark Sun novels, I strongly suggest you do. It's pretty jawdropping how disorganised and uninterested TSR were about coordinating and maintaining consistency across their various products and authors.
Where can I find that? It sounds fascinating.
 

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