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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Keith Martin, 25 Sep 2012
This review is from: Stealer of Souls (Puffin Adventure Gamebooks) (Paperback)
This is the first offering by Keith Martin to the Fighting Fantasy series. As a first attempt it is a good effort but it is easily the weakest of his contributions to the range. The adventure starts well with an intriguing and well written `background' that creates a promising atmosphere. The earlier stages of the adventure are very well structured (something the author excels at in later books) but it all goes a bit wrong once you finally reach the lair of the major villain. The adventure then becomes another infiltrate the main villain's hideout and kill him, even though you a specifically told that this is not your objective at the start of the story. This lair is also incredibly dull to explore and all the wondrous detail that was present in the earlier stages whilst exploring the island are virtually lost. The main villain himself, Mordraneth, seems to have been given no character, which is a pity as he was established quite well.

Some of the incidental allies are of interest though, such as the Sea Giant and his pet giant crab or the tribal chief. They aren't as fully developed as some of the allies Keith Martin develops in his later books but you can see how he progresses from this promising start.

The introduction of a spell casting element is also a bit unsatisfying, failing to feel fully integrated into the adventure. It is also, in fact, basically unnecessary to completing the book. Although there are some mildly entertaining uses for it the adventure really could have done without it. The adventure could possibly have been improved with the inclusion of some more varied useful equipment or more interaction with characters instead of the introduction of magic.

It is a promising start for an author who soon becomes a leader in the series, going on to write more books for it than all but the originators, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. It is probably Keith Martin's weakest effort but there is still much to be enjoyed.
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Stealer of Souls (Puffin Adventure Gamebooks)
Stealer of Souls (Puffin Adventure Gamebooks) by Keith Martin (Paperback - 28 July 1988)
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