Book Three in the Big Sneaky Barbarian series landed, and my pre-purchase hit my app right when I was looking for the next thing to listen to. Much longer than the second, this probably could have benefited from another editing pass. Not that the story isn’t a rollercoaster of laughs and over-the-top violence, but the first part of the story seemed to drag on.
Having rejoined his fellow transplants to the world of Regaia, Loon picks a fight with the leader of the human settlement as they prepare for their first winter. Honestly, this whole section ran on way too long without really advancing much of the plot. Eventually, it gives our hero a reason to leave and push the story forward, but the time taken to get there seemed excessive.
Once Loon and some of his former classmates are on the road, the story settles down and moves on nicely. The dialogue and inner monologues of Loon are as funny as ever, with plenty that had me laughing out loud.
The overall conclusion to the larger story arc of the three books has me in two minds. It was wrapped up well… but on the other hand, it did seem awfully rushed at the end, with pieces seemingly shoehorned in. The whole hours-long setup at the beginning of the novel ended up more like an afterthought by the conclusion of the book.
The narration by Johnathan McClain was, as usual, excellent; however, this outing seemed much slower than his previous works. So much so that I had to bump the playback speed much higher than I normally would. This had the unintended side effect of the stat readouts being extra funny. McClain speed reads his way through these sections, so at one point he was like Eminem’s Rap God thanks to the faster playback.
At the end of the book Seth and Johnathan announce that due to the main story arc being done, the book is going on hiatus while they work on a joint project to be released sometime in 2024. McClain is (as I found out) a screenwriter, so together with McDuffee’s humour it should be something to look out for. No prizes for guessing who’ll narrate that though!
Overall, I like the three books in the series and am generally happy where it has been left. There are some new storylines being set up for when the book comes out of hiatus, but nothing that impacts the enjoyment of the current three.