Book Review: The Adventure Zone

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D&D and LitRPG!

I chose to read this book to fulfill a challenge for the Pop Sugar reading challenge entitled “An LitRPG” book. Do I know what an RPG is? Yes. Barely. A co-worker actually recommended I give this a shot and based on the way my Twitter followers loooove the McElroy brothers, I figured what the heck.

The Adventure Zone is a graphic novel take on the popular podcast hosted by the McElroy brothers and their father. It follows three characters, Taako, an elf wizard, Merle, a dwarf cleric and Magnus, a human warrior. The entire book is set up like a visual D&D game, complete with the DM popping in and out of frames to provide guidance and snarky comments depending on the situation.

I am not sure how I feel about this overall. In general I enjoyed reading it. It was a quick read, the art was really colorful and well done and I felt like the cartoony art style really meshed with the overall tone of the story. Magnus was a fun character, as was Brian, and it was a good way to spend an hour of my work shift, but I don’t know if I really “got it,” if that makes sense.

Dungeons and Dragons is not my thing. I’ve tried watching a view videos on it and fun playthroughs and I just do not get the appeal. While I would include myself among fans of fantasy and especially magic, this didn’t really have enough of either to make me want to seek out the podcast or read further. Perhaps it’s a side effect of knowing that this is based on a wildly successful podcast and I am not ‘in’ on a lot of the jokes and references. I often felt like large portions of the book went over my head, and I don’t know if that was because I haven’t listened to the McElroy brothers before, or because I am not well-versed in how D&D is structured. Either way this didn’t really draw me in. I also have to say I really disliked the character of Taako and I think that took a lot of my enjoyment of this away. Magnus was fun, he had some great moments that made me smile, but a lot of the other characters left something to be desired.

In general it’s fun if you’re into D&D or the popular podcast, but for someone who isn’t a fan of either, it’s probably not worth the time. The McElroys sound like great dudes though, so I might give their other podcast a shot!

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Title:  The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins!
Author: Clint McElroy/The McElroy Brothers
Format:  Paperback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781250153708

Three Descriptors: Whimsical, Fantasy, Snarky

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