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I find it really hard to take seriously criticism of an AP volume's adventure from those who mostly just read adventures, especially those who rarely run a table.
If I'm sitting down to read an AP in previous versions, the first volume is usually a pretty interesting read. I don't buy an AP for a very interesting read. I buy an AP for an interesting adventure to run as a GM. I don't need a bunch of word count spent on information that the players in my game will NEVER know or have a way of finding out.
Half-Dead City is expertly put together. If people are running 4 PCs with 15 point build through it, they are in for a VERY tough AP volume. As it should be. The traditional 1980s classic Egyptian modules were known to have a reputation of keeping players on their toes at all times. There is not a wasted word in the first volume. There is no waste of space saying why the PCs are together for a thankful change. But there I go talking about actually RUNNING this as an adventure instead of whether I enjoyed reading it.
Now based on a lot of people who comment here, apparently Paizo sells a LOT of APs based on what people read instead of what people actually run. I'm not buying an AP unless I will run it or I know someone else will. My party had a TPK in the last chapter of the book, because they forgot they were in an Egyptian themed AP apparently. Not a single player blamed the AP or the GM. Every last one of them knew at the end of the day, they screwed up just about every way imaginable. We "aw, shucks" it off and start again. I say that to say this, I haven't even read an entire paragraph of the second volume of the Second Volume of this AP.
Why? Because I don't want to know what's coming three months ahead of time as the GM. I get too excited when I imagine how my players will react when they get there, that by the time they get there I'm over it already if I've had to wait more than a few weeks.
So yes, I can see why those reading APs for their own enjoyment might not be a fan of Jim Grove's product. For those who buy APs for running real live players though adventures around a table, Grove's volume is exactly what I want.