Brandon Thighmaster and Some Other Guys, written by Steve Wetherell and EM Kaplan is the second book of the adventures of Brandon Thighmaster. It’s part of the larger Authors and Dragons podcast universe, but being familiar with the podcast isn’t a prerequisite for understanding what’s happening in the books… though it might explain a few things for you!
There is little (if any) connection between the first book (The Totally Legend of Brandon Thighmaster) and this one. This book finds Brandon Thighmaster, sexually attractive monk from the Temple of the Many Fists, wandering in the desert whereupon he is captured and enslaved for the entertainment of a master thief and his… two-score band of thieves.
There are plenty of clues along the way about what story is playing out here, but just in case, I’ll remain a little vague. I’ll admit, it took me a little longer to work out the “two-score” thing… mostly because 1) I’ve never used “score” in my life to describe a quantity, and 2) I thought it was a different number entirely.
Compared to the first book, though, this was a little bit of a letdown. Sure, it was a fun tale well told, but Brandon in this one came across as unrealistic. His portrayal in the first book was as the narcissistic, dimwitted, but overall well-intentioned monk as he’s played on the podcast. In this book, he was more of a parody of that character with a touch of “Mary Sue” where he seems incapable of doing anything wrong. Brandon never seemed to be in any real danger.
Narration again by Wally Schrass was as enjoyable as the first book. The quality of the was a bit weaker, sounding… not tinny, but feeling like it lacked depth. I couldn’t shake the feeling of the narrator in a booth without enough sound-dampening. I’m not a sound engineer, so I don’t know how to best describe it… hollow, perhaps?
Overall, while I’ve re-listened to the first book a few times, I’m not so sure about this one. It was a decent retelling of a classic tale, but ultimately I think it fell short of the standard set by the first book in the series.