Esmes Indie Author Highlights: Dungeon Born by Dakota Krout

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Bingo Squares: Debut Novel, Indie Author, Audiobook, Non human POV

I am burning through Indie Authors recently and I’m enjoying myself so much!

This book is going to be pretty audience specific, after reading Andrew Rowe’s Sufficiently Advanced Magic and enjoying my first LitRPG I decided I’d check out some more.

If you enjoyed his book, you will probably enjoy this book, but be aware this leans way more towards RPG than mixed with epic fantasy like Rowe’s book.

So, ya know when you’re doing dungeon raids in video games? This book explores just how these dungeons come into being, why they spawn loot, why they have ranked monsters, how the bosses are built, and level up/magic rankings.

This book is a sentient dungeon POV!!!!

I can’t say I’ve ever read anything like that before, and it was a ton of fun!

A human has been sucked into a soul gem and starts spawning a dungeon! He’s befriended by a dungeon wisp and together they start building and leveling up the dungeon with the goal of killing as many adventurers as possible. I’ve never read a book where I laughed so much at deaths of adventureers, it was a very unique POV.

There are two main characters, the sentient dungeon who I’m not counting as human because although he started that way, he remembers nothing of being a human and is now something else entirely, he’s definitely not a person anymore. His name is Cal, and his dungeon wisp is named Danny (I think the spelling is right, I audiobooked).

Then there’s the human adventurer POV, Dale and he’s joined by a group who’s working to level him up as well. So you go back and forth between the adventurer trying to level up his magic and gain armor and other loot, and the dungeon who’s determined to kill him.

This book was pretty funny, the dungeon can hear what the adventurers are saying, and one time someone was commening how they need new boots – so Cal spawns three left boots and finds that hilarious.

This book will have a lot of appeal to people who play a lot of video games and enjoy books with a ton of magic explanation dialogue. The beginning of the book is pretty dense with info drops about how magic works and how you level up, so if that part of Rowe’s book bogged you down, this book is a step above that and you will probably want to pass.

There are elves, dwarves, politics of how the dungeon loot should be distrubuted and tons of magical monsters!

The book isn’t that long, around 300 or so pages, and the pacing was really tight – lots of dungeon raids and action, and it’s actually mixed with a decent amount of politics between the elves and humans.

The dialogue was well done, def not wooden, it flowed and was engaging.

There’s not a terrible amount of world building, you hear a bit about different tribes of elves and dwarves, humans of different countries – but the whole book stays in the same setting on the same mountain and dungeon.

I gave it a 4 on good reads, it’s definitely not a master peice book, but it’s really enjoyable for someone who really loves video games, the way that Cal forms himself into traps, dead ends, tricks, and drops loot just made me laugh the whole way through the book. The characters aren’t flat, but they aren’t super complex and in depth the way you’d expect from an epic fantasy, they’re mostly fun and engaging.

I found this book by searching for other books that Vikas Adam had narrated – I enjoyed him so much in the Heartstriker series that I was craving more of his fabulous voice acting. I was not dissapointed, he was great with this series as well.

Super audience specific, but really fun for those who appreciate this sort of thing. It actually has a pretty impressive goodreads score, with 900+ ratings it has a 4.44 avg score rating, with most people giving it 5 stars!

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