As a concept, Fighting Fantasy commanded a huge following right up until the mid 1990s. Before the advent of the computer, the books offered a fantasy environment in which the reader took part in an 'adventure', (and unlike video games) one that required proper use of the imagination. Sadly, with the decline in sales that followed a mass transition to computer games, Bloodbones (the original #60 in the series) was canned.
So, at last, Bloodbones has arrived, in a slightly different form and running to 400 paragraphs, making for a longer and more in-depth read. The writer, Jonathon Green, is well known to the community and his previous works have always been well received. The setting, the state of Ruddlestone, has consistently been Green's workshop, providing the background which he then filled with colour and meaning.
The adventure itself is a story of vengeance, a quest in pursuit of the accursed pirate Cinnabar, taking in heady doses of voodoo and black magic along the way. On many occasions, failing to choose a certain item or overhear an important conversation can lead to an abrupt and often gruesome end. Should one, however, succeed in playing through the adventure successfully, they will be rewarded with numerous engaging encounters, witnessing the development of locations, observing the plot thicken over time and feeling proud for having cheated death once more.
The book, although understandably linear in places, does possess replay value, as much can be missed on the first attempt, which is likely to be unsuccessful anyway. Overall, it represents a highly likeable effort by Jonathon Green (whose maps are once again superb), and although perhaps not the best of the books (others may beg to differ!), for ex and prospective acolytes of Fighting Fantasy, it is certainly worth purchasing.