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Pathfinder Tales: Stalking the Beast

****( ) (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Stalking the Beast

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by Howard Andrew Jones

When a mysterious monster carves a path of destruction across the southern River Kingdoms, desperate townsfolk look to the famed elven ranger Elyana and her half-orc companion Drelm for salvation. For Drelm, however, the mission is about more than simple justice, as without a great victory proving his worth, a prejudiced populace will never allow him to marry the human woman he loves. Together with a fresh band of allies, including the mysterious gunslinger Lisette, the heroes must set off into the wilderness, hunting a terrifying beast that will test their abilities—and their friendships—to the breaking point and beyond.

From acclaimed author Howard Andrew Jones comes a new adventure of love, death, and unnatural creatures, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-572-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-573-0

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Tales Subscription.

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Product Reviews (7)
1 to 5 of 7 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 7 ratings)

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Decent story, interesting read

***( )( )

I was very mixed on what to rate this book. The characters that Jones chose to follow were WAY cool. They each felt unique, they each felt interesting, and they weren't your stereotypical fantasy cliches. They were fun, original, and carried the story.

It's what happens in the story that I struggle with. A LOT of people die, both in the adventuring party and in the story world. I mean, a LOT of people, total body count probably in the high hundreds, if not hitting a thousand, in a place in the world that isn't exactly highly populated. What they accomplished should have made them nearly legendary - made everyone who participated in the hunt legendary - and yet the book just sort of ends with them getting a 500gp reward which, granted, the author takes some liberties with and has 500gp be a very significant amount of money, but at the same time... this was such a wildly significant task they accomplished. Any of these characters should be a legend in the River Kingdoms, and yet they just sort of retire to anonymity I guess?

I mean, it's fine that the author wants to have death not hold too much significance and I respect his right to change some mechanics (or have some classes do normally impossible things), because hey, it's a story and he's the DM. That's perfectly cool. It really fleshed things out and added a lot in most cases!

However, it ends up feeling like the adventurers more or less just bungle their way through the campaign, dying left and right and not really accomplishing much. It conveys the idea that the main characters could have gone on the adventure alone and saved everyone else the time and pointlessness of all these other introductions.


Always a pleasure

***( )( )

Howard Andrew Jones, one of the strongest writers in the Pathfinder stable, returns with a sequel to his first book with Pathfinder, this one is nearly as good, but not quite.

Elyana and half-orc Drelm are on the track of a huge invisible monster that is ravaging the River Kingdoms. Can they and their motley crew find and destroy it, before it destroys them?

Jones' best asset is his construction in my opinion. This book, like all his others, is built very well. Jones is adroit at hitting his marks, his pacing is superb - you barely notice it - and he's syncs the internal journeys his characters take with what's happening outside.

Elyana's thoughts take more of a backseat in this one - it's really more Drelm's book, plus an intriguing new character, a gun-slinger named Lisette. While I missed Elyana's flinty perspective, the other characters more than make up for it and Jones builds up a nice and varied party around her.

There's certainly no shortage of action, though the plot and motivation behind it is a little on the slight side.

This is just a quibble though as in Jones' hands, you know you're always in for a good time.


A good book!

*****

I don’t normally write reviews, a pattern I’m trying to break. With Stalking the Best we get an enjoyable read of a wide (but rapidly dwindling) cast.
Back are Elyana and Drelm, the unusual pairing from the end of Plauge of Shadows. One nice thing about them is they have their own lives, and are not even touched by the ‘will they/won’t they’ tension seen so often in such pairings. Both are professional, and friends.
The villians, and their plots are equally varied. People familiar with the world will quickly suspect the <redacted> when they are first seen, but <redacted>’s plans are much more layered.
The use of rarer classes actually works in the broader context of the River Kingdoms. While the LBEG and Lisette are not as common as a fighter or a wizard, they work in the context of the ‘everything goes’ nature of the Kingdoms, much better than, say, a ninja in Taldor. Also the logistics of a gun user are nicely referenced, as well as the fact that the story takes place largely away from resupply. I will admit, it would be entertaining to see, for example, someone write the logistics of a archer fighter or ranger who blows through 4+ arrows a round.
Game mechanics are visible at times, which works in the context of a RPG novel. Some surprisingly mundane methods are used to support the mechanics, others take advantage of rules people forget. (Without spoiling to much, when your SLAs don’t work, your spells still might.)
The cast of characters, while focusing on three, is rather large, and you get attached to a few before they die horribly. This is an ensemble piece, with some surprisingly powerful moments (Drelm’s final fate is clearly a surprise to everyone, including him.)


Definitely worth the wait!

*****

So I've been looking forward to this book since it was announced a few months ago, and I picked it up today at the local bookstore. I could not put it down, and just finished it, so I came here to share my views!

-Good characters! Glad to see Elyana and Drelm back, as I really enjoyed Plague of Shadows. I was also glad that all of the POV characters have strengths and weakness that drive their motives throughout the novel, and make the story better.

-The story was excellent, and the various races and classes of the Pathfinder RPG are well represented, and to me, in a way that makes sense. All the confusion over Lisette and her "wands" was rather hilarious, and helps show just how rare gunslingers are.

-Since this is a non-spoiler sort of thing, I will finish off with the fact that this book is a keeper and will be read again, and I will be convincing my players to read it as well.


If you liked Plague of Shadows....

*****

...Then you will Love this one!

I REALLY enjoyed this book. It got my attention right from the start, and kept me turning pages till the end. I wish I could say that for some of the other PF Tales books, which turned out to be good, but just took a hundred pages or so to really get me invested. (Still trying to finish the "Queen of Thorns"... ugh, and I LIKE Radovan and Jegare)

I like the Gunslinger class, so seeing it in action was fun. Eagerly awaiting more from this author... hopefully another sequel.


1 to 5 of 7 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
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