Cover Image: Dungeon Party

Dungeon Party

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Member Reviews

Dungeon Party is a fun dive into the world of roleplaying fantasy games, with a unique twist to the plot line I didn't see coming at the beginning. 

Very few contemporary fiction books feature 'nerds' as the main protagonists, so when I saw this title pop up, I knew I had to read it. The book starts off slow, but picks up as it goes. Over all, it was an enjoyable read.

The characters were varied, and while there was one very definite nerd stereotype that left me disappointed, overall I appreciated the author's work to show off the world of roleplaying fantasy. These games have become so much more mainstream over the years that I thought some of the representation in the books to be a little hard to swallow however. This isn't a game reserved just for basement dwellers and the unfit, nor is it the type of thing to make you a social pariah in school anymore (at least not where I am from)

That being said, there were lots of fun nods to different types of games and other nerdy franchises that put a smile on my face and in this time of a pandemic, the overall climax become that much more unsettling and effective as a result. 

I also enjoyed the opportunities to follow the characters into the world of their own characters for a story within the story. It was a fun writing choice to move the plot along and help you connect with the characters themselves. 

Anyone looking for a light, fun, read with lots of nerdy flavour, I would recommend this book; just don't take it too seriously.
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It doesnt support or open after I download the pdf version of it. It's also not showing in my shelf in netgalley and I cant open it to read Please look into the issue and if you can send me the pdf in my mail ID- I cant read the book from here. Please look into the issue
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this was a really enjoyable read, it had what i enjoyed from things like Clue. The characters were fun and I really enjoyed getting to know them.
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I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review,

In Dungeon Party, a roleplaying group expels a volatile member, who decided to seek revenge against them in a sick game invented by him and Alan's group have to try everything to stop him.

I had great expectations for this book, but it disappointed me. I found the antagonist too antagonistic, too "bad", I didn't like the characterization and the plot was a bit too confusing for me.
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This was a fascinating book.  I am not certain that I knew where it was going in the beginning but as I read it really surprised me.  This is not a Lit-RPG type book where the characters disappear in the story.  Instead it was a normal, down to earth story about people who happen to play role playing games and the very human troubles that they find themselves in.  It is obvious that the author has spent much time as a gamer and around gamers because unlike much general fiction that includes a character who is a gamer, these characters are not caricatures.  

Alan, Randall, and Carlos come together tragically and maintain that bound through a decade or more until an in game event throws the psychologically fragile Randall into a rage that sparks a conflict that comes to a head in the real world.  The author writes each of the characters in the group in such a way that their motivations and actions are understandable from their own perspective.  A very touching book.

The copy I read was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I got an ARC or galley for this book and it obviously took me way too long to read. Of course time and opportunity played into that, but the main reason was that it was a tough read.
It is a passable book, to be fair, otherwise I would have put it down. But it felt like a great mess in the realm of storytelling. I am quite surprised the writer managed to somehow wrap the story up in an almost satisfying way.
I went into it expecting an almost Ready Player One style of story, by paying homage to fantasy classics like Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings and literally navigating the world of gaming - like actual tabletop, roleplaying games. That would have been awesome, if there weren't so many paralel stories and points of view going on, not to mention a real life crisis caused by a rogue player.
It was a good idea with a lot og merit, but it wasn't well executed from my reader's perspective. 
That's why it is only passable, not good.
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Much as the premise is great, the execution is dire. Confusing with bad characterisation, you'd be better off finding a local Dungeon Master and actually playing the game instead of wasting your time on this.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC without obligation.
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I book developed in a DnD style with characters playing both themselves and their game characters--sign me up. Unfortunately, Dungeon Party is filled with unlikable characters, underdeveloped characters and plot, and blah reasons for characters' actions. While the plot delivery was a bit confusing, it reminded me of an old Tom Hanks movie, Mazes and Monsters (a movie where the characters are all DnD players and one becomes too immersed in the game and his character after a death in the family). There were more misses than hits in Dungeon Party.

Thank you NetGalley and John Hunt Publishing for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy.
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It was a little hard for me to get into the story, it’s a little confusing at first and it doesn’t make you want to keep going because you’re enjoying it. Of course I was curious all the way and that’s why I was motivated, but the premise wasn’t clear to me, maybe it’s because I wasn’t really connecting with the characters that I couldn’t keep track of the plot. 

I think this story had a huge potential but the development of the characters and plot didn’t do justice to the premise. I was always waiting for the moment when I would change my mind but I didn’t.
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First and foremost, I play DnD, so I was quite looking forward to the idea of a book based around the world of fantasy and game playing. The premise is simple two teenagers who both have an interest in the world of game play, in particular 'Dungeon Lords' (a version of DnD). Both boys are very different characters but a tragic car crash within the opening pages, ensures that they remain linked by the tragedy for many years and brings a third boy into their circle. Later, in adulthood, the trio are joined by a fourth member but this group remains largely the same for over a decade. The few attempts made by Alan (DM) to introduce newcomers are met with a flat refusal by Randall who rules the game in more ways than one.
Randall's character is drawn as deeply unpleasant and the reader is shown no redeeming factors. In fact, his behaviour leads to his regular departures from the group and his subsquent acts of sabotage in the gaming community, reflect on the darker, cruel aspects of his character. 
Meanwhile, his own gaming group have found two new (female) members and are preparing for the Middle Mirth convention. The contrasts between the two groups are profound - Randall is senking further into misery and alone while his friends are moving onwards and enjoying themselves. 
During this story, there are regular 'breaks' while we rexert to the tale of a game in motion and learn about what the characters avaarts are upto. I found that this completely interrupted the flow of the main storyline and did not reflect what was happening there. Prehaps it would have worked better as an added storyline at the end.
Overall, this story was a disappointment as it had such great potential. I'd rather had focused on the tale of Alan and co, then had the tale of their avatars afterwards. 
Thank you to Netgalley and John Hunt Publishing for the kind opportunity to read this book.
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I had high hopes for this book as a lover of Dnd but I think it fell short in a few different places.  Firstly, the characters didn't talk or feel like real people until the end of the book.  They spent most of the book talking like they were at a Renaissance festival. Second, the "villian" of the book was very difficult to endure....from the gross descriptions to the stretch in his reasoning.  I don't mind an unlikable character, especially a villian, but this went too far without having the villian motivation to back it up.  Third, the way the ending plays out wasn't believable and felt like to much of a stretch.  I do think a strong point in this book was the Dnd scenes.  I enjoyed following their characters through the Mythos but the 'real' characters took away from the story.
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I am very conflicted about this book. To explain, I have to explain the structure.  The book is told from the perspectives of the different people and their Dungeon Lords (DL) characters.  Half of these are from the protagonist group and the other half is from the antagonist.  I loved the half about the protagonist group.  They had a great dynamic of people who love the game and become friends because of it, even though they have their differences.  The author, through diverse characters, addresses the racism and sexism inherent in Dungeon Lords, but shows how marginalized groups can enjoy the game and gain so much from it given the open space to correct/address some of those wrongs.  The comparisons and influences of real life on the game and vice versa are so fun and show character growth and depth.  Additionally, there's a beautiful paragraph that describes nerd culture in general and that no matter what our fandom, or what type of nerd we are, we come from the same place, and have common goals.  It's beautiful and made me think of my own gaming group.  I want to share this half of the book with everyone.  5 star story.

But now I have to address the other half of the book, the antagonist's point of view.  The antagonist is the stereotypical gamer, grossly overweight, lazy, selfish, angry, sexist, racist, purposely antagonistic, and seeking out to ruin other's fun.  The antagonist has no redeeming qualities, even though he was written with a complex backstory that offered space for character growth.  He was completely immoral, breaking laws, causing physical harm, seeking out ways to hurt people, but also he doesn't swear because of his upbringing.  What?  Additionally, every chapter that was his, added on more details about how gross he is.  There was so much fat-phobia and fat-shaming in this for no reason.  The whole thing got so gross, that I could barely stomach what I was reading.  There were actions he took, that having read in the time of Covid, made me feel so awful and angry I could barely finish the book.  It is because of these sections of the book, that I will not recommend this book to anyone.  If a person is a nerd/gamer, this section vilifies them with no redemption and no reason.  If a person is not a gamer, I am afraid they will get the wrong idea about what nerd culture really is.

I feel awful saying that I will not recommend this book to anyone because there are beautiful parts that highlight what it is like to play a game like Dungeon Lords with strangers and with friends.  It spoke to my experience, my culture, and my soul.  But the other part is so bad, it comes no where close to making it okay to read the book just for the good parts.  This book had so much potential.  There were things mentioned and set-up that I thought would subvert expectations and make for a compelling character growth for everyone, but that didn't happen.
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The novel begins with tragedy: one mistep on the road and several members from two families wiped out.

An odd way for a new set of bonds to emerge, yet it does: the children grow up to become dedicated gamers of something here that looks to be something very similar to Dungeons and Dragons.

This new bond is ruptured. However, when the game master Alan kills off the powerful character of one of the players. Randall walks away from his erstwhile players in high dudgeon. 

Two new female players take his place: relative novices, they have to learn to negotiate the minefields of unspoken history between the male members and to follow other unspoken etiquette of dedicated gamers. The spurned Randall, meanwhile, broods in his isolated fastness, plotting and exacting revenge.

What, then, might be the point of this kind of gaming? That is explored as the characters themselves take on lives of their own within the role playing. One of the new gamers themselves offers explanations for the pull of Swords, sorceries and dice: the characters must fight in a world where civilisation is still very new and vulnerable, and where basic shelter not a given: our collective memory has not forgotten these times. Meanwhile the game's inner nerd will identify so much with the characters they have created that fortunes may be spend on accessories, clothes, points, for these said characters.

The plot thickens mightily as an annual contest between gamers draws nigh, where actual opportunities for travel and money are at stake. The spurned Randall now plans to destroy his enemies both virtually and for real. But can the new team recognise all this in time? 

This novel and its commentary on social realities proved to be a lot more engrossing and enjoyable than I originally imagined. Gamers too especially, will surely love it!
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This book is confusing, and not in a way that makes you want to keep reading to find out the answers. I couldn't keep track of the plot and the premise of the story wasn't clear at all. I spent most of the time trying to figure out if the "game" and "fantasy world" were actually real or if it was just a game, because it was never actually specified. The characters were undeveloped, and I really wanted the plot to make sense so I could go on an adventure, but it didn't.
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I have very little good to say. I was bored and terribly disappointed. But I believe the reader should be a role playing person or maybe have memories of their days as such.  This book was just not fo me and I am truly sorry for that..
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My second #Netgalley review. The first was great, so I guess I'm batting .500. This was not good. Characters that are undeveloped and one dimensional (and seemed to be checking off boxes, never a good sign), a villain who's plan is never really explained nor executed, a whole lot of tell, very little show, ridiculous names in place of obvious cultural references (Middle Mirth? Dungeon Lords? Even a Cthulhu reference by another name?), all in all, a very amateur effort. The best part were the sections told within the story world which read like the fantastic Gamers movies (Dorkness Rising is a gem of a film, watch it instead of reading this). I powered through because I needed to keep my numbers up, but honestly, if it wasn't for that this would be a DNF. While Lawrence's Impossible Times made me long for the end of COVID and a return to dice rolling, this just made me sad for all the time I spent reading this instead of writing up a D&D campaign, or playing an online game, or really anything else.
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I had high hopes for this book but the story was bland and the characters unrelatable at best. Very disappointing and does nothing to dispel the socially awkward misfit stereotype of DD players #DungeonParty #NetGalley
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Man, I wanted to like this book so badly. I’m so disappointed in both myself, for getting my hopes up too high, and this book, for letting me down. It was simultaneously really basic and also it felt like I couldn’t follow the majority of the story. The characters felt like caricatures, and not at all in a good way. I was really excited to see a dope as hell D&D story, because, as someone who has looked to D&D to help her out of loads of stumbles in life, that idea in general really appealed to me. But instead I just got a bunch of neckbeards and what felt like a forced story. Almost like real life, I guess.
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This is a book for those who actively role play gaming or have fond memories of doing so in the past.  Told from the 'real world' while alternating the story with the fantasy world of Dungeon Lords (DL), the author weaves the tale of long time gamers Alan and Randall with that of newcomers to the gaming group and world.  Alan and Randall are bound by a shared history of a car accident that killed Alan's father and traumatized them both, just before they left for college.  Both are still playing DL, even though they're in their early 30s.  Alan is the Dungeon Master (DM); Randall plays the same character that he has for years.  While they and their other two players, Carlos and Lance are preparing for a major competition, Randall's character is finally killed, leaving him distraught.    He leaves the group and decides to sabotage their efforts to win the competition.  Through a newly opened, retro gaming store, Alan, Carlos and Lance recruit two new female players and work toward winning the competition.  Again, the story alternates between 'real world' stories and the DL world of the characters.  The story culminates at the competition and things really get dangerous for the players.  
As a non-gamer, I struggled with the juxtaposition of the alternate reality stories.  Alan, Randall and the others are well conceived and written.  They are presented with humor, pathos and a real empathy, as is Randall.
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