James Bowman (jeb1981) wrote,
James Bowman

Books I read in January 2016

Crisis on Multiple Earths Volume 6, by Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas, 4/5 (B+)
Two of the later JLA-JSA crossovers from the pre-Crisis era. The first, featuring the Secret Society of Super-Villains, has a great setup but a confusing climax and so-so finale. The second, and my favorite of the two, is a slightly complicated tale of time travel plus multiple Earths, featuring the villain Per Degaton.

Dungeons & Dragons: Princes of the Apocalypse, by Richard Baker et al, 4/5 (B+)
A solid enough adventure path, although it basically turns into a series of dungeon crawls towards the end. The four elemental cults make good enemies, well-constructed with interesting minions, and I liked seeing the Elemental Princes of Evil back in action. But overall, I feel like it's missing something, which I can't quite put my finger on... maybe it was too game-y, and didn't have enough of a sense of storytelling? Maybe the stakes didn't feel high enough, despite the premise and the title? I'm not sure, but I definitely felt a little disappointed.

In any case, the supplemental material is good. The chapter of side missions is useful for campaigns generally, with "Curse of the Fire Witch" and "Halls of the Hunting Axe" being my favorites. There are some neat new magic items. And the material on Genasi and elemental spells is fun, if a repeat of the free Elemental Evil Player's Companion. The guidelines on adapting the adventure to other worlds are a nice touch, certainly something they didn't have to do (though I wish they'd been gone into the worlds a little more for new readers).

Was this better than the Tyranny of Dragons? I think so, but not as much better as I'd been led to expect. It's definitely good, but I feel like it could have been better.

Transformers: Stormbringer, by Simon Furman, 4/5 (B)
A decent side-story, featuring a new take on the Pretender concept and tons of cameos from lesser-known G1 characters (including the fan-favorite Wreckers). Feels underdeveloped compared to the main TF storylne from that era, however.
Tags: books, reviews

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