*From this point going forward, this will be the review format. This way it will be plainly easy to see what aspects are judged and reviewed*
Dungeon Born: Divine Dungeon Series, Book 1
This has an interesting concept, that I’ve never seen before in a fantasy series. Yes, ladies and gentlemen a talking, fully interactive, dungeon. I’m not talking a creepy cave with stalactites hanging around and random bat incursions. Oh no, but something much, much scarier. This dungeon is quite senescent. It thinks, it talks, did I mention is thinks? Yes, we aren’t in the world of Final Fantasy anymore, or are we? A Dungeon with the mind of toddler but the learning speed of a computer. Nothing could possibly go wrong, could it?
Main Character (MC):
The main character’s name of Cal, and he’s a mighty, mighty, dungeon. Well, that’s an exaggeration, he might be mighty one day, but for right now, he’s a toddler learning his powers. He’s put into a different scope. It look me a while to adjust to the fact that he and I use the verbiage loosely because of the gender of the narrator he is a dungeon, not a person and doesn’t get hung up on things like, ya know, killing people… With that being said, there are many times within the first book that the MC gets overshadowed by secondary characters; which for the longest time and a quick talk with the author, had me thinking was actually the main character of the story. Do not misunderstand, this is a strength, not a weakness on the author. Cal is a fun, loving, killing, and absorbing machine. His potential is unlimited and seemingly endless. He discovers things as he meets them, having human like adaptability and mental conflicts but finds purpose in growing at the same time.
Story and writing:
I went into this book not knowing what was going to happen with a talking, living dungeon and the concept sounded either far-fetched or childish, but I was wrong twice over. The story centers around the dungeon, how it comes to be, and what that means for the world outside when it’s finally discovered. The discovery of the dungeon was handled a little abruptly in my opinion, like stumbling over a rock and finding a diamond, but this is explained while later in the story. The story is laid out quite well. Even with the morbidity, it holds up under pressure. Within this world there is a *sorta* magic which is labeled as essence. The levels of said essence and its eventual evolution are broken down clearly and without complex spells, subsets, and actions. This makes it easy for any reader/listener to get a clear mental image of the steps needed within the story and the Final Fantasy-like leveling system. The action and battles are speckled in within the story but doesn’t overcrowd or take over the purpose and meaning of the writing. Speaking of which, the writing is descriptive enough to capture the imagery but not so complex that readers are listening with dictionaries in their hands. The listener can really feel the passion behind the words and can place their imaginations within the story unfolding.
Having degrees in Geography and geographical related topics, world building is something of a major aspect in the stories I read or listen to. The world, is well expansive. There are ridges, mountains, terrain, etc. The world and dungeon building are explained more through monologues rather than pure narration. The internal conversations of the MC actually explain how Cal builds his dungeon as well as how it interacts with the world around it. As for the outside, the secondary character Dale explains his lands, the boarders, kingdoms, etc as a board explanation in which I hope to learn more about in book 2.
Five out of Five stars. This is exactly what I had been waiting for, something different. It takes a concept of Final Fantasy, spins it on its head, and simply asks, what if? I am extremely interested in seeing what happens in book two, via the Audible edition but of course I won’t be able to wait, so you and I can find Book 2 here.