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Item - Big Trouble

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(Paperback edition, first printing)
(Paperback edition, first printing)
(Paperback edition, first printing)
(Paperback edition, first printing)

Combined Summary

Series: Endless Quest — no. 52
Author: Forbeck, Matt
Illustrators: Bader, Daren (interior)
Balmet, John-Paul (interior)
Behm, Mark (interior)
Belisle, Eric (interior)
Chaturvedi, Sidharth (interior)
Conceptopolis (interior)
Deschamps, Eric (interior)
Dorman, Dave (interior)
Drebas, Olga (interior)
England, Wayne (interior)
Fiegenschuh, Emily (interior)
Fischer, Scott M. (cover and interior)
Gallegos, Randy (interior)
Grant-West, Lars (interior)
Hodgson, Jon (interior)
Irwin, Kate (interior)
Jacobson, Tyler (interior)
Kok, Julian (interior)
Kuioka, Emi (interior)
Molnar, Mark (interior)
Moyer, Lee (interior)
Ortiz, Hector (interior)
Pisano, Alessandra (interior)
Prescott, Steve (interior)
Salehi, Amir (interior)
Seaman, Chris (interior)
Sweet, Justin (cover and interior)
Tenery, Thom (interior)
Trego-Erdner, Cory (interior)
Wen, Joon (interior)
Dates: 2018 (Hardback edition)
2018 (Paperback edition, first printing)
ISBNs: 1536202444 / 9781536202441 (Paperback edition, first printing)
1536202452 / 9781536202458 (Hardback edition)
Length: 122 pages
Number of Endings: 24 (Paperback edition, first printing)
Cover Price: US$8.99 (Paperback edition, first printing)
User Summary: You are an elven magic-user living in the Forgotten Realms. One day a band of giants attacks your home. You must flee to safety and, if possible, find a way to be reunited with your family.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

This is the first title in the third series of Endless Quest books that I've been able to read. The protagonist is somewhere in between the "child with powerful relatives" archetype found so often in the first Endless Quest series and a full-fledged fantasy hero. Unlike the vast majority of D&D books in the first series, however, it uses an official setting (the Forgotten Realms), capturing its feel and characters reasonably well (though with not as much detail as Spawn of Dragonspear in the AD&D Adventure Gamebooks series, for example). Whereas in your typical Endless Quest book there is usually one completely happy ending, there seems to be no "optimal" conclusion here; all the "good" endings result in some sort of loss for the player character, and the very best one only gives the reader a faint hope of reunion. While there is a good amount of variety between the different story paths, exploring the different possibilities without finding an ideal outcome can feel frustrating.

Nonetheless, the book does have redeeming features. The writing is entertaining (if amateurish) and the outcomes of choices seem to make sense logically a lot of the time (though the decision-making is not nearly as engaging as Sete-Ka's Dream Quest in the Paths of Doom series, which also sought to revive the feel of the old Endless Quest line). The player character also gets several opportunities to use her or his magical powers during the adventure, which is something I would have liked to see more often in the earlier Endless Quest series. On balance, this is neither a masterpiece nor a terrible book. I had some fun with it, but it definitely leaves a lot of room for improvement.

More reviews by Guillermo

Kveto's Thoughts:

This is the second book in the extended series I've managed to read. In this, you play a nameless elven wizardess with parents and a brother (who are named. I have no idea why the series can't bother to name the characters, which was a staple of the original series). Your family home is uprooted by giants and you must quest to recover your family. There are no optimal endings (which is depressing if realistic due to the scope of the threat). So story potential is there.

My complaints about the previous book, To Catch a Thief, hold true here as well. The book feels needlessly short as it has 120 pages of which half are covered with garish artwork making it more like 60 pages of text. Choices are often offered with little pretext (for instance, they ask you if you want to fight some kobolds without bothering to tell you what kobolds are. Not very user-friendly for any new to D&D). While you sometimes use magic, it doesn't appear to follow any of the rules of D&D magic, not even naming any spells. And the artwork is, for lack of a better word, awful. It is all recycled artwork from old Wizards of the Coast material just reprinted here. It feels most of it was generically culled from monster manuals. You need only look at the 30+ artists for interior artwork to see the mishmash of contrasting styles, all poor quality. In fact, it feels as if the story was written just to force in whatever artwork was available. Sadly, this book could have been good, as the writing and plotting is not bad, but it is all rushed and shortened due to the artwork taking priority.

In overall presentation, the books more closely resemble the Choose Your Own Adventure series reissues from the 2000s. There is little to nothing of the classic Endless Quest style, which for all its faults, had a certain flavor, making these books Endless Quest in name only.

More reviews by Kveto

Users Who Own This Item: Alatar001 (Hardback), auximenes, B0N0V0X, dArtagnan, dbriel, Demian, Erikwinslow, gryff, Himynameistony, jdreller, Kveto, marnaudo, mlvoss, morbus, Sheridan77, spragmatic
Users Who Want This Item: PlanewalkerGroup (Seeking a 1st hardcover printing in new condition.), Surcal

Known Editions

Hardback edition
Paperback edition, first printing

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