The Dungeon Anarchist’s Cookbook, written by Matt Dinniman, is the third audiobook in the Dungeon Crawler Carl series, and I snatched this the second I saw it drop on Audible. I’ve re-listened to the first two a couple of times each now to help fill the void while waiting for the next book.
In this book, Carl, Donut, and new teammate Katia find themselves on the fourth floor of the dungeon, unlike anything that came before. Just first up, I think this is a stellar way to keep the series fresh since each level lets Dinniman come up with something as mind-bendingly bonkers as the Iron Tangle after a tromp through the over-city of a dormant volcano, after the initial levels of actual dungeon.
This book wasn’t as flat-out as the others, which I suspected after the end of the third book where Carl had expressed he would be focussing on grinding and level-ups from now on. This level of the dungeon suited that well while at that same time ratcheting up the gore and violence to extreme new levels.
Plenty of genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, seriously inspired use of weapons, clever name-puns… and Prepotente the screaming goat thing who had me dying of laughter.
This is not an easy book to follow, but prior to getting this, I had taken a peek inside the cover of the Kindle version and noticed a note from the author who said it wasn’t really that important to understand. It’s meant to be confusing, so I just went with it. I think I was getting the general hang of it all by the end.
Bucketloads of character growth in this one from the main cast. It was nice to see Katia growing in skill and confidence, and I think Mordecai’s arc was needed and a stroke of genius for the sake of the characters.
Jeff Hayes once again knocks it out of the park with his narration. I love the voice of Carl, perfectly capturing his exasperation and dry wit. The dungeon AI voice often has me cracking up too. The addition of Will Jordan as a guest narrator… was a choice. I’m not sure it was something that was needed. It didn’t detract from the story, but I’m so used to Hayes that it was obvious when it wasn’t him.