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Item - The Mercenaries


Series: Double Diamond Triangle Saga — no. 3
Author: Greenwood, Ed
Date: January, 1998
ISBN: 0786908661 / 9780786908660
Product Code: 8636
Length: 85 pages
User Summary: A mysterious man hires a group of pirates for a secret mission....
Demian's Thoughts: This book forms part of the first choice point in the series -- it takes place at about the same time as the second book but follows a different group of characters in a different location. It's theoretically possible, after finishing book one, to choose between reading book two or book three. Readers of book two will find that storyline continued in book four, while this storyline continues in book five. The paths will reconverge with book six, which is mandatory reading regardless of which decision was made initially.

Anyway, enough on story branches. If you're going to make a decision, I would suggest choosing the "book two, then book four" path rather than this one. Although Ed Greenwood is a bestselling author responsible for creating the whole Forgotten Realms setting, this book is dismal. For one thing, it has far too many characters -- in eighty-five pages, it is difficult to become attached to two or three people. This book expects the reader to tell eight (or more) largely similar characters apart. It's a lost cause, and I found my attention drifting as I followed the generic pirate crew through undistinguished battles with the undead and less-than-stimulating speculation on the identity of their mysterious employer. Again, maybe this would all be more interesting to me if I knew more about the setting in which it takes place, but it all seems so cliched and familiar that I doubt it would be worth the effort to learn more. In any case, I don't think TSR could have produced a less exciting serial if they had tried. I'm going to keep on reading, but my desire to finish this mess diminishes with each passing book.

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