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Bloodbones (Fighting Fantasy S.) Paperback – 7 Sep 2006
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`Absoltuely ideal as a gift for the nines-plus, these are books the keen reader/adventurer will enjoy.' -- Caroline Franklin, n2 Going Out the Arts
About the Author
Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone are the creators of the Fighting Fantasy series which has sold many millions of books throughout the world. They also founded the Games Workshop chain and have since risen to prominent positions in the British computer games industry, at Lionhead and Eidos respectively. Ian Livingstone was recently made an OBE.
Top customer reviews
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.
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.
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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Most recent customer reviews
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.Read more