Dicken Around, written by Jonathan Smidt, is set in the same universe as the Dungeon Core Online (DCO) books but is told from the perspective of a couple of the dungeon divers rather than the dungeon itself. The good thing though is that if you haven’t started the main series, you can listen to this fully stand-alone without much drama. Sure, technically, a few “spoilers” exist for the main series, but nothing too dramatic.
This story follows two characters that have popped up in the DCO series, and I’m liking the choice. Alex is a bit of a pushover and somewhat friend-zoned by his best friend, Fel, who doesn’t seem interested. Together Alex and Fel delve into the new virtual world of DCO and start… “Dicken Around” on the first level.
Demonic Chickens – aka Dickens – are the main draw and play a surprisingly large part in Alex and his family’s life. Demonic Chicken meat is top-notch, especially when paired with whiskey brewed from demonic corn.
The blurb describes this as a “low-stakes, shenanigans-filled buddy adventure”, and I don’t think I could sum it up better. Almost all the action is online and virtual, so there’s never anything in the way of real danger beyond hurt feelings.
Travis Baldree, the narrator of the main series, narrates this as well and does the same bang-up job as usual. No issues with the quality, so a nice, easy listen.
I’d certainly like another in this series. No spoilers – but given that it ended near the events of books two/three, it might be some time before I see another. I can live with that, though, as it’s an accompaniment to the main series rather than one in its own right.