Somehow I forgot to actually write my review of Dungeon Core Online. I’d made all my notes, but since listening to it a few weeks back, I totally overlooked actually doing the writing part of it. Well, now that I’m firmly into book 2, I thought it best I get to work. I guess, first off, if you don’t like puns, then this isn’t the series for you. If, however, that doesn’t bother you, then this light-hearted dungeon core romp is for you.
This was a (somewhat) new experience for me. I’ve not read many dungeon core-focused books, mostly leaning more towards the adventurers in them rather than the core itself, but this one sounded too wacky to pass up. I mean, there’s a giant demon cock… er, giant demonic chicken on the cover. The blurb mentions kamikaze sheep, mad cows, and yes, the Dickens (demonic chickens), so how could this not appeal to my sense of humour?
The story itself is fun; getting to follow along with our protagonist James who gets to be the dungeon core of a new VRMMORPG. Normally he’d rather be a player, but the temptation is too great, so instead of playing this smash-hit new game, he gets to see it from the inside and make the dungeon itself.
What follows is countless nods, winks, nudges, and flat-out homages to so many other books, movies, and TV shows, all wrapped up in becoming a balls-out insane dungeon experience for the players. Did I mention exploding sheep? Check. Giant demonic chickens? Check. Velociraptors with monocles and a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a top hat? You bet your ass there is.
Narrated by the eminently talented Travis Baldree (a narrator to whom I’ve apparently sent a lot of money to recently as I’ve picked up a bunch of his work of late), is, as expected, fantastic. Great voices for the characters keeping them all separate, plus I’d like to make particular mention of the T-Rex who had me laughing.
Since I’ve already bought the second book, it’s obvious I’m continuing with this series. Its brand of humour tickles me, and I’m dead keen to see what other batshit crazy dungeon ideas come next. A little heavy on the stat-readouts at times, easily skippable, but something that doesn’t work as well in audio as I’d imagine it does in print, so I’m knocking off a little for that. Overall, though, heaps of fun to be had.