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Dungeons & Dragons: Escape the Underdark: An…

Dungeons & Dragons: Escape the Underdark: An Endless Quest Book (2018)

by Matt Forbeck

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258617,385 (3.25)2
  1. 00
    Dungeon of Dread by Rose Estes (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: 'Escape the Underdark' is the first book of a revival for the series that originally began with 'Dungeon of Dread'

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As others have said, I too expected more D&D from this book. It doesn't quite stack up to the Choose Your Own Adventure books I read as a kid, feeling simpler and shorter. I feel like the overly huge font somehow detracted from the book too, making the short paths feel even shorter. It is basically a CYOA book with D&D references; somehow I expected more. As someone else mentioned, there is no fight system. I guess I expected something like it would have you roll dice somehow, even a little. So a little disappointing overall.

This review was written as part of the Early Reviewers program.
  polaritynk | Sep 12, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Reminiscent of the Choose Ygeour Own Adventure (CYOA) books from my childhood, I was looking forward to a book with a distinctly D&D feel. I've also seen a number of improvements on the CYOA books, including some actual character development or danger (hit points, leveling up, etc.) and was hoping that would be included here. Instead it is a fairly straightforward (and not that engaging) story of escaping a prison in the Underdark.

This is probably suited more towards a YA audience than me. But if it encourages any kids to get involved with D&D, it will be worth it. Regular D&D players are better suited for finding a session to join or looking for some of the recent solo adventures created. ( )
  smcgurr | Jul 27, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Like other reviewers mentioned… I, too, remember the choose-your-own-adventure books from the 1980s. They were good… I liked them and my son liked them.

I found this new one is enjoyable, too. And because there have been so many years since I've read the older ones, I decided to base my rating of this book somewhat on that of my grandson. It's a fun and engaging read, and we have high hopes for the entire new series! ( )
  RaucousRain | Jul 25, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons and reading various Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, including TSR’s D&D-themed Endless Quest books, so I was very happy to see that Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro is starting a new Endless Quest series. How did this one stack up?

The best original EQ and CYOA books had a couple traits that this book lacks: They featured distinctive protagonists with an interesting backstory and a well-defined mission. They had clear, well-defined settings and geographic spaces in which to operate. They were decidedly non-generic stories that offered plenty of surprises and unknown elements but also provided all the information needed to adequately understand and enjoy the plot. Escape from the Underdark shared some of these traits, but it also fell short in various ways. The book’s protagonist is a generic fighter (he’s presumably the man on the cover) with no actual backstory. He is somehow knocked unconscious in a tavern and wakes up to find himself held captive by the drow (evil, underground-dwelling elves) in the Underdark, a vast subterranean realm inhabited by other intelligent races and lots of monsters. (All of that should be familiar to most D&D players, but there’s really no backstory or setting information offered in the book.) The protagonist must escape the Underdark and return to the surface world. Along the way, he will have encounters with various other Underdark-dwelling groups (most are neutral to evil in nature).

I won’t spoil the specifics of the potential plots, but they weren’t bad. I tended to select the sneak and negotiate-type options rather than the combat options, having been burned too many times in the 1980s getting killed by being overly belligerent in these kinds of books. Those options tended to work well here. I read through the book a number of times making different choices so I could ensure that I caught the bulk of the options and possibilities in the book; I know that I didn’t hit 100% of them, so will have to go back and see if I can hit the other paths. The art is not bad, though it’s the standard D&D 5th edition kind of stuff, so your reaction will depend on how much you like that style of art. Matt Forbeck is no Rose Estes (author of some of the absolute best books in the original Endless Quest series), but he’s not bad. I’ll likely return to this one at some point but I wasn’t blown away by it. ( )
  bibliorex | Jul 22, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
So I am of two minds about this book. I am really excited because I remember old DnD choose your own adventure books from when I was a kid. They were probably no better written, in fact, probably worse, than this but I felt like I at least remember those as being longer or at least taking longer to finish. I think I read through 6-ish paths in about 1/2 hour. Additionally, I felt like the results of decisions that you made weren't based on anything in particular. What was very often the 'reasonable' seeming path was the one that got you killed the most quickly. All in all, it was a bit of fun but not something I'd return to again and again. ( )
  Avogt221 | Jul 21, 2018 |
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