Told in second-person present-tense, this fantasy is styled after the beloved choose-your-own-adventure books of yore. It also features a vast array of renowned D&D art, with works ranging from sepia to full color.
As the story opens, readers know two things: that you are a Dwarf Cleric, and you’re on a mission to find a certain man with a particularly worrisome ring. To accomplish your search-and-procure mission, you will need to navigate an unfamiliar jungle fraught with dinosaurs… and the undead. The one bit of clear background you get is that your character is deeply religious—consistently seeking the signs, guidance, and favor of his Dwarven god. And this extra bit of depth actually rounds out the character distinction better than other books in the series (Escape the Underdark & To Catch a Thief) without going as far as sentimentally Big Trouble.
The larger print, abundant imagery, and vagueness in regard to violence all culminate to make this material ideally suited to the lower range of Middle Grade. Readers are given no background on the main character in question outside of their class, so it’s easy enough to insert oneself into the storytelling. Fortunately, not all roads lead to a gruesome death! But… a few of them might.
If you, dear reader, are anything like me… you can count on needing at least a half-dozen bookmarks to note the pages you may want to return to if your storyline’s ending strikes you as less than ideal. >.> (Why yes, I did go back and try every single fork in the non-linear option tree. You live your life and I’ll live mine. ;P)
As I have mentioned in related reviews, my primary suggestion for future installments would be the inclusion of a character sheet at the beginning. I think this would help readers with their decision-making, as well as introduce a foundational concept that could later transfer to the tabletop game. (It would also be neat to have a playable character ready-made. Just saying.)
A solid option for reluctant readers, budding D&D fans, and kids who generally appreciate having more engagement and agency in their reading material.