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Item - Moonrunner

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Series: Fighting Fantasy (1982-1995, Puffin) — no. 48
Translated Into: L'arpenteur de la lune (French)
Author: Hand, Stephen
Illustrators: Oakes, Terry (cover)
McKenna, Martin (interior)
Date: March, 1992
ISBN: 0140349375 / 9780140349375
Length: 400 sections
User Summary: Karam Gruul the war criminal has returned, and soon his nightmarish legions will overrun the land... unless YOU can stop him.
Fireguard's Thoughts:

This book is full of patchwork zombies, tentacled horrors, demons, gothic insane asylums, secret cults and cursed artifacts. There's even an unkillable masked maniac right out of a sleazy 80's slasher flick. There are so many grisly goings-on I'm a little surprised there isn't a faith or sanity score like in other Fighting Fantasy books shooting for the same kind of atmosphere. The horror is pretty effective nonetheless.

Unfortunately, effective horror isn't the same as an interesting story, as anyone who's seen their share of dime-a-dozen 80's horror movies can tell you. For one thing, we never find out what a Moonrunner is. Never. You never meet one, you never fight one. All I'll say is it has something to do with the hero's past but that's long behind him, and it's still never explained.

The writing is bland on the whole, and the attempts to portray the reader's character as a world-class bounty hunter with a variety of special skills really don't work that well. If anything, having such a formidable character works against the book, as I only rarely felt I was up against something I might be able to handle, horrific imagery or no. Really the most interesting thing Moonrunner has going for it is an element that makes it a minor sequel to the somewhat less perfunctory Legend of the Shadow Warriors. If you liked that book, you might like Moonrunner.

More reviews by Fireguard

Special Thanks:Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the cover scan, Ben Nelson for the character sheet and Fireguard for the plot summary.
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Play Aid

Fighting Fantasy #48 Character Sheet