Hey all, Sam here.
Here we are at our 100th day of posting in a row, a 100 day streak, and wow…that’s pretty cool and pretty impressive. And I didn’t know what I wanted to do for today’s post. Part of me wanted to do something special, but I also realized that I didn’t have time to really go all out for a celebratory post.
But I can do a review for a book that I read twice last year…and by that I mean that I read the e-book and then I listened to the audiobook a week later with David, so it’s like a double review, and I guess that could be considered pretty special for a 100 day streak post.
I will preface this by saying that I love Critical Role. If you’re new around this blog, I have been a Critter since practically the beginning, and I have watched everything they’ve put out (sometimes multiple times) and I have read everything they’ve released (again, sometimes multiple times). I love the characters and the world and the lore. So, yes, before even going into this, I knew I would probably enjoy this and give it a high rating.
Okay, with that being said, let’s go ahead and jump into the review.
Delve into the mind of Critical Role’s most charming villain in this original novel that chronicles Lucien’s early life and his fateful meeting with the Mighty Nein.
Lucien has always been able to spin a bad situation to his advantage. From his childhood on the dangerous streets of Shadycreek Run to his years living off the grid and learning blood magic from the Claret Orders, the charismatic blood hunter will find a way to get the upper hand.
When Lucien is on a job in the frozen wastelands of Eiselcross with his fellow mercenaries, a rough-and-tumble crew called the Tombtakers, fate leads him to a mysterious journal in the ruins of an ancient city. The book speaks of the Somnovem, nine beings who can grant Lucien power beyond imagining—if he is able to find them and free them from captivity.
Intrigued by this opportunity, Lucien pores over the journal—but the more he reads, the stranger things become. The nine whisper to him in dreams and waking visions. Time slips away, along with Lucien’s grasp on reality. And tattoos of red eyes begin appearing on his skin. . . .
With the ability to reshape the world within his grasp, Lucien ignores all warning signs. He has always bent fortune to his will, and nothing—not even death—will stop him now.
Written by New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Roux, Critical Role: The Mighty Nein—The Nine Eyes of Lucien explores the meteoric rise and fall of one of Critical Role’s most notorious and tragic figures.
Rating: 5 stars
FIRST, I need to say…SPOILERS for Campaign Two of Critical Role. If you don’t want to be spoiled for the Mighty Nein campaign, then don’t even bother reading this review. Come back later. It’s not going anywhere. I will try not to do specific spoilers for the book, but I don’t know that I can avoid talking about the campaign.
This was such a fascinating dive into Lucien’s life, from his childhood, to his death, to his rebirth and all of his encounters with the Mighty Nein, as well as what happens in between those encounters.
Watching Campaign 2, we got a pretty good idea of Mollymauk’s brief life, but so much of what happened before that was a mystery, and even after Mollymauk’s death, after Lucien the original personality within the body was brought back, we all wondered about what had happened before, what led him down this path, and we especially wondered what was going on with Lucien and the Tombtakers when they weren’t with the Mighty Nein.
This book definitely delivers on giving us that information. Robbie Daymond does fantastic as our narrator and all the characters who would basically be considered NPCs. The cast of Critical Role all reprise their Mighty Nein roles, with Matthew Mercer taking on the voice of Lucien. It was especially interesting to listen to the voices of the Somnovem—or read it because it was all done in different fonts and it added to the wonderfully creepy vibe of the story. Honestly, I really recommend doing the audiobooks for these Critical Role tie-in novels because it is a full experience, and it is so easy to listen to.
I loved learning about Lucien and Cree’s younger years, their time in Shadycreek Run, their time in the Claret Orders learning how to be blood hunters, and to see the events that led to Lucien working with Vess DeRogna, to encountering the Somnovem, and I especially loved knowing what was going on with Lucien after running into the Mighty Nein time and time again on their way to/through Eiselcross.
My favorite part was getting those glimpses to what was going on with the Nonagon during that final fight with the Mighty Nein. It was something I had fully suspected when I had watched that climactic battle, and it was wonderful to see my suspicions confirmed.
All in all, I really enjoyed the experience, and I can’t wait to see what Critical Role novel is the next to come.
Well, that is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.