Death Bowl / Rumble In The Jungle


I polished off the last two Blood Bowl novels over the last week, reading them under bedcovers while waiting for our children to go to sleep, on planes, or when I could have been reading motivational literature. Or letting off fireworks indoors, so swings and roundabouts, I guess.
Editing got a bit worse on the last book (spelling mistakes reappear, names occasionally being swapped) but that’s liveable. The bigger issues are the plots, as there was clearly a need to do more with each volume, but with diminishing returns.

In Death Bowl, Dunk meets his father, and travels to the Realm of Chaos (effectively Games Workshop’s attempt to steal copyright for hell) to play Blood Bowl against daemons (demons to you and me, but again, I assume Games Workshop needed to find a way to trademark that as well). His father dies, they win the match, it’s a bit underwhelming.

Rumble to the Jungle has Dunk meeting his long-lost sister. I assume after this volume, when there were no more long dead relatives to reveal as not being dead, they couldn’t think what to do next. This is probably my least favourite of the four stories, because of the atrocious setting – off to South America to regurgitate some puns about Gilligan’s Island, some awful riffs on Indiana Jones, and some really questionable work with pygmies – although there is a decent interlude where they play Blood Bowl on a boat.

(Even that has some odd puns based on Jon Madden and orcs, but it feels less forced there.)

Honestly, these aren’t ever going to be incredible stories. I’m probably not quite in the right demographic. The bigger problem is reading all four in one go. If I’d kept them in the trash pile and had one per month, I may not even have been so intolerant of their faults.

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