I had given up on being truly surprised by fiction; I’m the type of person who can always see what’s coming, and usually that’s fine, I’m more of a “the journey’s more important than the destination” person. Then comes along The Eternal Dungeon, which has been one of the most surprising, satisfying, and enjoyable reads I’ve ever encountered.
Dusk Peterson has accomplished something incredible with this series. The reader is immersed seamlessly into another world filled with lush characters. The world building is intricately woven into the narrative, creating the framework of politics, religion, and culture that gives the story substance and the characters background. There are no “good” and “bad” characters, only complex characters. Yet all the twists and turns The Eternal Dungeon takes are believable because the characters are so authentic and the author stays true to their natures and personalities. In fact, after every revelation or twist in the story I was left thinking that I should have been able to see that coming because it seems after the fact that it was the only course of action the character could possibly have taken. The way the author writes the human mind is simply amazing, it is so honest in both its complexity and simplicity.
The author challenges readers by forcing them to see the story from different perspectives, both the perspectives of different characters taking part in the action, and the historical perspective that frames the entire series. At times it can be difficult to keep these characters straight. This is due to the fact that a character will be referenced by his last name, first name, and title and it can be confusing if the reader is not paying attention. Also, seemingly minor characters mentioned briefly in the beginning reappear with stronger roles later on and the further I got into the series I would find that I would occasionally have to glance back and brush up on who a character was when they reappeared.
A good book has me eagerly reading from chapter to chapter, a great book from paragraph to paragraph, and an extraordinary book from sentence to sentence. The Eternal Dungeon Omnibus is an extraordinary book that gets better with each subsequent reading. The characters that inhabit the Eternal Dungeon are some of the most captivating I’ve ever read. Dusk Peterson’s knack for tackling the complexity of the human mind and ability to thrust readers into an engaging foreign land is what makes this one of my all time favorite reads. I give it five stars and place Dusk Peterson firmly at the top of my list of authors to watch.