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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is it worth the wait?
Bloodbones was originally written as number 60 in the first fighting fantasy series. It was intended to be shorter, only 300 references, and so more accessible to younger readers. However, it was never published, although some online stores did advertise it for sale.

Bloodbones, therefore, has become a bit of a legend in fighting fantasy circles. Here it is...
Published on 6 Sept. 2006 by Wanda

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, well-written, but horrendously difficult
This is the "long-lost" Fighting Fantasy, authored by Jonathan Green to be number 60 in the original series but never released until now. As with Green's gamebooks in the original series - Curse of the Mummy, Spellbreaker and Knights of Doom - this is an extremely difficult gamebook, with wrong decisions often leading to death or to debilitating losses, and with success...
Published on 30 Dec. 2006 by ldxar1


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is it worth the wait?, 6 Sept. 2006
By 
Bloodbones was originally written as number 60 in the first fighting fantasy series. It was intended to be shorter, only 300 references, and so more accessible to younger readers. However, it was never published, although some online stores did advertise it for sale.

Bloodbones, therefore, has become a bit of a legend in fighting fantasy circles. Here it is finally released, after being extended to 400 references like most of the other books.

Is it worth the wait? Definitely. The story is good, the plot moves along at a fast pace and the atmosphere created (the voodoo magic element and so on) is excellent. Tony Hough's illustrations are a treat, as always. The balance of puzzles, traps, investigation and battles is about right. If you assume that you win all your fights rather than playing them out, the difficulty level is spot on as well, with several areas to explore and investigate.

However, I have not given the book 5 stars because of the horrendous difficulty of the fights. With some books (Citadel of chaos, for example) there is no problem completing the adventure with the minimum scores. With others (Temple of Terror) it is nigh on impossible because of the toughness of the opponents. This somewhat spoils Bloodbones also, as the last four fights are all with opponents with high skill and stamina scores and cannot be avoided.

That said though, the adventure is exciting and the book well worth getting, if only for the fact that it is a "new" adventure.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, well-written, but horrendously difficult, 30 Dec. 2006
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This is the "long-lost" Fighting Fantasy, authored by Jonathan Green to be number 60 in the original series but never released until now. As with Green's gamebooks in the original series - Curse of the Mummy, Spellbreaker and Knights of Doom - this is an extremely difficult gamebook, with wrong decisions often leading to death or to debilitating losses, and with success depending on a lot of successful Luck and Skill roles, the possession of a long series of items and codewords, and victory over at least seven high-level enemies, many with special abilities. In short, you're not going to beat it without the patience of a saint or a lot of cheating.

The story is divided into several distinct sections. First the player has to find clues leading to a secret hideout, then actually locate the hideout. After this comes an interlude on the high seas, followed by an extensive section on a jungle island, and finally a dungeon leading up to the final battles. Despite this segmentary structure, the gamebook is not too linear. Too many of the monsters are human or zombie for my tastes, though there are also some interesting jungle creatures such as a spider-scorpion cross, a rainforest sprite and various ape and lizard creatures, as well as a monstrous cat which really does have nine tails.

As a story, the gamebook echoes "Pirates of the Caribbean", though its age (written for original publication in the 1980s) rules out actual influence. An evil pirate chief is raised from the grave by voodoo magic, and bad things will transpire unless he is put back there - along with his demon patron, witch-doctor, first mate, pet monsters and a large supporting cast of pirates and voodoo devotees. A successful player will trace the pirates to their hidden base, only to be abducted and have to escape their ship, before pursuing them to the remote Bone Island to stop their ascension. Once on the island, tasks include obtaining the blessing of the local indigenous people, obtaining a magic weapon and tracking down the source of the villains' power, before hitching a ride on a ghost-ship to confront "Bloodbones" and his patron. It's an elementary plot, but with some nice scenes along the way, and a very visual and engaging portrayal of the various settings.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting title, proving that Fighting Fantasy has stood the test of time, 7 Sept. 2006
By 
W. J. Turton (The Midlands, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lost pirate treasure finally published, 1 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Bloodbones (Fighting Fantasy) (Paperback)
Initially planned as the last book of the original run, 'Bloodbones' has been so eagerly awaited for many years as the 'lost' Fighting Fantasy that it is hard not to find it somewhat disappointing. It is not a lost masterpiece as might have been hoped, but it is still a solid and well-constructed adventure that due to its diffculty level provides good value. This is not an adventure you will sail through being left with little incentive to revisit.

Instead Jonothan Green gives us a complex storyline that continues to unfold through a variety of environments. Every setting from the dangerous expanse of the high seas, the grittiness and corruption of the port town, the desolate and eerie lighthouse and the heady, oppressive atmosphere of a tropical island are beautifully realised and utterly believable.

Although this book is tricky it pails in comparison to the difficulty level of Green's previous FF adventures. There are many deadend style traps to fall into and, like many of his books, some substantially hard opponents to defeat. But this is an adventure that doesn't rely very much on chance. With a logical approach, a good memory and some initially high statistics (the adventure isn't really worth attempting if you only have a skill of seven, for example) it is quite possible to avoid any misdirection.

As usual with Green's stories there is quite a climactic battle against numerous and powerful opponents. This type of climax has become a bit predictable from Green but he still manages to pull it off one more time.

Although there are better adventures by the same author, any flaws it possesses are quite minor. This is not a classic but it is a strong, well paced adventure, sufficiently different enough from others in the series to stand out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and unpredictable, 22 May 2014
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This review is from: Bloodbones (Fighting Fantasy) (Paperback)
Am really enjoying this pirate-themed book, it has a good storyline and has given me hours of game time, haven't reached the end yet but it's not overly tough or too easy. Would recommend it to Fighting Fantasy lovers and new players alike.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Gamebook, 12 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Bloodbones (Fighting Fantasy) (Paperback)
This is is a tremendously exciting book. The narrative grips you from the start with its exciting storyline and the illustrative backstory and characterisation mean that you really care about the unfolding plot. I particularly like the 'codeword' system which means that the book is constantly monitoring your progress and gives it a non-linear feel. I also liked the fact that the battle sequences were not overly complex - yet the author still added unique touches every now and then to certain creatures where appropriate which heightened the sense of realism and immersion. The book was brilliantly structured - having a definite 3 act beginning, middle and end (often lacking in many gamebooks) - and what an ending! - be prepared for a rollercoaster ride! Congratulations to the author on reinvigorating this series - I really look forward to more books from him.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 star story - but the difficulty may frustrate you!, 4 Sept. 2010
Warning - some spoilers ahead!

Whilst not as good as The Howl Of The Werewolf, Bloodbones (by the same author) does still have a solid story and ideas behind it. As the hero, you seek to track down the about-to-be resurrected pirate lord Kidney-bar (sorry, Cinnabar!) and make him pay for the deaths in your family, some years back.

Jonathan Green's latest books are somewhat better thought out, and not so trying as The Curse Of The Mummy', but be prepared for a long slog when you start this adventure! Firstly, the Pirates of The Black Skull will soon try to stop you from finding their base. To help you get going, in the first part of the story, it's best to go to the Gambling Pits (where you'll need to test your luck to hear an important clue) then the Markets (in that order). You should buy the Shark Teeth Bracelet and the Ivory Lion Charm. Start to follow the peg-leg man, then turn round to fight your ambushers. Then seek out the map maker. Avoid all other inital search choices (the Governor, the temples, etc). You are fighting for time!

When the secondary location choices come up, go to Mallan's Point (but avoid the sea cave), then go to the graveyard. There is no given clue telling you to go to the latter - but here you will need to successfully test for luck again, to follow the sighted pirates.

And on it goes, with many tests and many fights ahead of you. You will need strong initial rolls for skill, money, etc - otherwise, you won't last the course. Finally, the tale ends with a fun sea battle, where you lead the ghostly crew of the Sea Maiden on an attack upon Cinnabar's ship. Just make sure you remembered to take the Bone Sword from that treasure cave (and ONLY the sword). And you do know what the sword is called, don't you? Oops, foiled again...
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 11 Nov. 2006
Hello, this is a great book from the play-your-own-adventure series of fighting fantasy.

What you have to do is jump between the numbered passages in this book; there are 400 in total. This way, you're able to choose your own path through the adventure, much like the book version of a computer game.

This book is really cool. There's lots to explore and do and I found it a fantastic read. the pictures are great and the pirate theme is fun. This is a great book for 12 year-old school boys who like adventure and exploring.
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Bloodbones (Fighting Fantasy)
Bloodbones (Fighting Fantasy) by Ian Livingstone (Paperback - 1 April 2010)
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