Taako, Magnus, and Merle are back! And they’ve decided to join the Bureau of Balance. Their tasks will take them all over the kingdoms retrieving magical ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and bringing them back to the moon for disposal.
The first job is to take over a mission for another agent who wasn’t able to track down a device. They journey to the train station and are forced to join the queue of the next departure amidst the usual comedy of errors. On board they meet up with a professional wrestler, a brainiac kid detective, and a wizard attendant and his mentee. There’s puns, splats, and portals galore! And as you can tell from the title, an old fashioned train murder mystery.
The Adventure Zone books definitely test that balance between gag/ funny/ zingers and plot. I thought the first one was near perfect, but this one gets a tiny bit caught up in the funny and drags a tad in the middle. As evidence, it took me three days to make my way through this one, but I zipped through the first in one sitting.
The artwork is comparable to the first book, which I absolutely loved. And we get to know the main characters more in a sense that the more tests and times they level up we get a better idea of their capabilities. And as usual, our DM is there to steer the gang back on track and also back is the fun RPG player notes every time we meet a new character.
The fun continues, but this time the formula is tested. If you liked the first, you will certainly like this one, but the question is if this series can stay fresh? I think it will.