The City Stained Red By Sam Sykes
Audiobook version, narrated by David DeSantos
Finished on 1/26/2017
1 Juvenile Sorcerer with a Chip on his Shoulder, 1 Psychic Tsundere Elf, 1 Giant Dragon Man with an Attitude Problem, 1 Mass Murderer Desperate Not to be a Mass Murderer, 1 Former Thief who’s got to get Back in the Business, 1 Good Cleric who May or May Not be Possessed by an Evil Demon and -1 Hallucination Adventurer out of 5
I thought I wouldn’t like this book. I jumped to the conclusion that this would be nothing more than the novelization of some dude’s RPG campaign. I mean, he called his heroes adventurers and in a non-ironic manner. Really, who does that?!
That’s not what this book was.
This book was a character study of the price of violence, the untold misery that we have been inflicting on our helpless RPG characters (be it in paper or video game format) through never-ending quests forcing them to fight for their lives. Caught in such a never-ending cycle of violence, the characters in this book (and in our games) have become numb to it and learn to kill when instead they should reach out with diplomacy. This book is about the gradual debasement of civilization through our own callousness.
Oh, and this book also contains livestock giant spiders, body-horror demons and demon-kings, wizard duels, drunken bar-fights between multi-ton dragonmen, and finally a struggle for control between a gang of civilized thieves, a cult of demon-worshipers and no less than two self-righteous political/religious organizations.
So, you know, I recommend it. I listened to the audiobook version and the voice actor did a spectacular job performing the diversity of voices.