Jumping right in. Not sure how popular this choice will be, but since I just bought it, I'm pulling rank. If anybody decides to read it, or has read it, please chime in. No spoilers yet. That's something I'm going to have to work out.
There are gaps in my knowledge due to only reading the one book. The writing is better, but there are a few big faults. His dwarves are terrible. They have that Scottish vibe going. Dagnabbit is back. I like the way Salvatore presents demons in the book.
Overall the writing is better than Homeland. The story isn't bad, but there are a few big flaws for me. Salvatore's names were already discussed. They can be bad. They just take you right out of it. There are two Dwarf Dagnabits, the general and his wife. The Archmage is named Gromph. That sounds more like a muppet than the most powerful dark elf wizard in the Underdark. And it clashes with the naming style used for just about every other drow. Psionics play a big part, and I'm not such a fan. For the most part I think Salvatore handles the nature and character of the demons well.
"Back! Back to your tomb, Weigel!" "It's not working! He's resisting the Salvatore novels!" "Time to break out the big stuff... Get out that signed Greenwood photograph!"
Every time I see certain names, like Twinkle and Dagnabbit, all I can think of is parody. Like a scenario in which Drizz't gets cursed with having to speak with a high pitched elf voice. That sort of thing.
"Dagnabbit," Drizz't exclaimed in a high pitched voice. "What?" the dwarf asked. "Sorry, I wasn't talking to you... I was just exasperated and said 'Dagnabbit'... nevermind."
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2016 10:29:23 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
So this pick didn't go over all that well. It doesn't seem likely I'll be suggesting the other two books of the trilogy. The story isn't that bad. It's not really a Drizzt book. There are a number of characters who share equal time. While Lolth is hatching some plan to weaken the barrier between the Prime and the Abyss, the dwarves are trying to reclaim one of their ancestral homes that the drow occupy. Dagnabbit, Twinkle, etc. It's bad. Bungalow Thump. Dwarf twin sisters Fist and Fury. There's too much of it. It takes away from a not bad story.
Until recently I kept buying Salvatore's novels, against my better judgement. I happened to hear one of the spoilers from this story, and decided it was time to end the pain. The incredibly unlikely became the impossible one time too many.
I'm about half way through ARCHMAGE. On Friday, Eric told me he just finished this book and he's read the entire Drizz't series (33 total?!?). He thought it didn't make sense for us to jump in where we did. I'm inclined to agree, because this doesn't seem to be written as a stand alone book, or the first book in a stand alone trilogy. I'm familiar with the core characters, but some odd changes seem to have been made to them without any explanations given in this book (Bruenor and Cattie-Brie, and maybe Regis and Wulfgar also, died in previous books but have been reincarnated in new bodies and sent back by their goddess for some purpose...?).
Last Edit: Sept 25, 2016 16:10:59 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
I finished ARCHMAGE and I agree with your assessment of it being not a bad story but hampered by some silly names and conventions.
"I cannae be takin much more of Scottish accents... Something's gonna blow in me brain-pan if I read much more!"
On the positive side, I think Salvatore is a good writer and keeps the story moving along -- it is easy to read.
The negative is that the story seems to be tethered to a bland fantasy world as well as some obvious marketing references ("Oh no! Demogorgon has been summoned to the Prime Material Plane! See the 'Rage of Demons' line of products for more details.").
Editing wasn't great, either. I noticed several instances where 'dived' should have been 'dove,' an instance when 'formerly' should have been 'formally,' a missing period at the end of a sentence, etc. That's on the editor not the author, but it tends to distract me from the flow of a story. Is editing a dying discipline? Does that mean we are living in decadent times?
P. S. Maybe I'm wrong about dived versus dove if both are acceptable as grammatically correct, but there were still other editing errors.
Last Edit: Sept 29, 2016 12:32:09 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
It was by design a cross media story arc. I remember it being discussed during the short time I listened to the official D&D podcast. I ended up buying the Out of the Abyss adventure and my interest was piqued.
It's the kind of thing I would have liked to see with Greyhawk. The Gord stories were so detached from anything else. In many cases they conflicted with material from the adventures. A tie on effort like this would have been awesome.