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Book review

Dungeon Born

by Dakota Krout

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This is a book in the “LitRPG” genre, which for those of us who spent their adolescence with a bunch of other social misfits, surrounded by character charts, multi-sided dice, and rule books for various role-playing games (RPGs), will seem somewhat familiar. In this case, it’s the story of a dungeon, and how it grows up. For it turns out that dungeons, in this world at least, grow from small crystal cores, which slowly gain more abilities to shape the earth and stone around them, and to imbue with life increasingly powerful creatures (rarely friendly) to populate their underworld passages. Add in some adventurers (including one by the name of Dale, who sort-of accidentally owns the land on which this dungeon is growing), and an interesting set of physical laws for the universe, based on the accretion of various “essences” into your soul to increase your powers, and off you go!

I hadn’t met this literary genre until I picked up this book, and it was quite fun, I must say. The plot was straightforward, driven by the dungeon slowly levelling up, and Dale also levelling up and learning about the world of adventuring. The writing was straightforward, if not very nuanced, with some of the moral lessons necessary for Dale to mature being imparted to Dale in very much a “tell, not show” kind of a way. So if I were to be snobby, I’d say this wasn’t a sophisticated book, but all in all, it was entirely enjoyable, and kept me engaged throughout. I probably won’t be reading the follow-on books simply because this isn’t perhaps my favoured style of book, and I have only a limited number of books I can fit in, but but that’s just a personal thing, and others will love this, I know.

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