Friday, 24 August 2012

Gamebook Friday: Night of the Necromancer - Feelin' the Love

It may have come out in 2010, but some people are still only just discovering Night of the Necromancer for the first time. Last week it was Howl of the Werewolf that was getting the love on The Unofficial Fighting Fantasy Forum, today's it's my most recent Fighting Fantasy gamebook to date:

Last FF book of the current range for Jon Green and hopefully not his last, as I immensely enjoy his stories... 

I was, I must admit, mildly excited about this book when first I heard about it. Well, a new FF is always exciting, so there’s that, and with emphasis on horror yet again I couldn’t complain, but ghost stories have never had that much of an interest for me before (I have a hard time getting scared by ghosts, well, classic ones anyway), so I felt a wait and see approach was probably better for me. Of course as time passed, and after reading the few previous Jon Green entries, I couldn’t wait to grab it...

In any case, this isn’t a scary ghost story, I must say, it’s instead a cool ghost story. As in you, the protagonist, are pretty cool. Would I have preferred a scary one? Perhaps, there are some tense moment here and there after all, but overall, how can you be scare if YOU are the ghost? But I thought it was a pretty cool premise, indeed...

I thought that this story was one of Jon Green’s most gripping, too, though overall I must say Green is pretty good at telling compelling stories, so this doesn’t come as such a surprise. Still, it doesn’t lessen the fact that this one was pulled off pretty well, with an interesting hero, background, and a tight mystery that takes its time to unfold. It’s also just fascinating to wander around as a ghost, to try to think like a ghost (via your interactions with the material world and its inhabitants) to deal with your new found powers and with the fact that death, for you, isn’t quite the same. It’s a totally original setting that’s never been done before in any FF, and it’s not done half-assedly; it works, and I had a blast experiencing it. Also a blast, of a lesser kind but still a blast, was all the nods given through the adventure toward not only Jon Green’s own body of work (quite a few towards Knights of Doom actually, and I just love that pre-generated character who just happens to be KoD’s hero!) but toward more or less obscure creatures mostly found in Livingstone’s early work: I’m thinking about stuff like the Moon Dog, the Coldclaw and the Hellhorn Champion. Seriously when’s the last time you met a Moon Dog? While it’s always fun to meet new creatures, it’s also pretty cool to meet a classic one, every once in a while...

I thought this was a formidable experience to be had, one I greatly enjoy and a more than decent send-off to the series. But of course, now there’s Blood of the Zombies, so… we’ll see.


2 comments:

Marsten said...

This is the last of your recent ones I'm to do a play-through of over on my own blog, and I must admit I've been saving it up to really enjoy it :)

Jonathan Green said...

Can't wait to read what you think of it! Send me a link when you're done, will ya?