The best way for me to describe Wrath is “wholesome and horrible at the same time” – and by “horrible”, I don’t mean the story. I mean the horrible time the poor dungeon delvers have when they brave the depths of Tira’s dinosaur dungeon! Fiendishly clever traps to reap the experience points from greedy humans, dangerous dinosaurs from a time long forgotten… yet endearingly wholesome at the same time. So much so, a day after finishing this book, I found myself genuinely missing the characters.
Tira finds herself reborn as a dungeon core. Isekai-style to a degree, but not transported from Earth to some new realm, instead reborn in the same but as a dungeon core. There are elements and allusions to Earth, yet the story is based on an entirely different world.
Dungeon cores exist to contain primeval terrors from beyond time that, if released, would cause ruination to worlds and the universe at large… and as Tira discovered, someone or something is deliberately killing cores to bring this about.
The main cast of characters is easy to like. Tira struggles with balancing the need to grow stronger against the need to kill people to do so. Zeke, a sentient velociraptor with his childlike fascination with things; Pierre, the dungeon wisp who guides Tira and has to be her conscience from time to time, and a group of humans that might just be worth saving.
There’s a lot of humour in the story and plenty of action and dinosaur fights. Some parts had me laughing out loud, such as a dinosaur taking a magic blast to the cloaca, to others where I was so enthralled in the story a dinosaur roar almost gave me a heart attack. It was funny after the fact, but I was calling Jeff Hays a few colourful curse words at the time.
It also contains one of my favourite dinosaur “facts” – the Thagomizer. Not sure what that is? If you’re a fan of Far Side cartoons, then maybe check this out.
The narration by Annie Ellicot and Jeff Hays of Soundbooth Theatre was, as expected, top-notch. Annie did the bulk of the narration, with Jeff doing the male voices (and dino effects… bastard!). Sometimes you can get dual narration, and it’s obviously different, but not in this case. The performance blended together seamlessly.
If you haven’t guessed, yes, I will be getting the next in the series. Book three in the series is slated for release later this month, so there is plenty of dinosaur dungeon action to keep me entertained in the future.
Finally, how cool is the cover art? Big fan of it. Too bad the second book looks rather goofy in comparison. For some reason, it reminds me a little of the cheesy dinosaur ad in the original Robocop movie.