The never-ending grind through the floors continues for Carl and Donut. Upon hitting the sixth floor, the crawlers are 1/3rd through the total dungeon. Floor six is the second of the traditional floors, “The Hunting Ground”. This is the first time (legally) that non-crawlers can act directly against crawlers, and Carl made a promise to them all that none of them would be leaving the floor alive.
Dinniman has been laying the groundwork for this floor, and we get to see some of that payout at last. Recently I re-listened from the beginning in preparation for jumping into book five once it landed, and it’s interesting to see the development of not only the plot but also the characters.
Carl has always been a bit unhinged, but his gradual descent into a personal hell continues, becoming more reckless and willing to gamble against the showrunners while knowing everything is stacked against him. Dinniman had me with my heart racing at points, fearful of how things were going to pan out, even knowing that Carl, being the central character, is always going to pull through.
Mordecai took a bit of a back seat in this one, much like when he was missing for most of book three. Given his… unfortunate… transformation for the floor, this wasn’t a bad thing. While funny, that voice could get old quickly. Plus, it’s nice to see Carl and Donut relying on their own knowledge and choices rather than deferring to Mordecai all the time.
This one got to feature Prepotente (the screaming goat crawler), which I enjoyed the heck out of. When (narrator) Jeff Hays does the random screams, it makes me laugh every time. Something about the randomness and timing of them just tickles me.
Hays, of course, delivers his trademark performance. Nothing to complain about here. I’m always in awe at how many different voices he can do while keeping them all audibly distinct.
I think it’s safe to say at this point how enamoured I am with this series. There are always little things to pick up on subsequent visits. Red herrings, seemingly throw-away lines that turn into something much larger, so much stuff coming around again and locking into place. Bring on the next floor!