"THE FRIAR'S LANTERN" by Greg Hickey

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, May 17, 2019 Under: Book Reviews



Greg Hickey is a wonderfully gifted author, and “The Friar’s Lantern” is extremely articulate and well-written.  Add to this that the author is also, evidently, a talented mathematician and sociologist, and you might have some idea of what to expect from this entertaining, engrossing first person role-play challenge.  Be warned, though, if you are expecting action, or the excitement of the Fighting Fantasy series, this is not what you will find; in this respect, perhaps the book’s title will fool some: what it actually refers to is the elusive nature of the protagonist’s (reader’s) challenge.  Don’t expect a broad range of adventure scenarios: there aren’t many decisions to make, and any two real story arcs: will you win the million dollars, and how will you find the murder defendant?  However, the dilemmas are complex and extremely detailed – perhaps too detailed for those who are reading for relaxation and leisure; I would really only recommend this book to those who are truly interested in testing their brain, and that it should be treated in the same way as any other conundrum or puzzle – entertainment for this very reason.

I do not want to take anything away from this book: it is undeniably high quality, the trial scenes are well researched, and the mathematical puzzles are, I am sure, very well constructed.  I read the book in one sitting, though, of course, given the nature of it, I didn’t read every part of it – to experience every combination would require playing it several times (I’m sure Greg would be able to accurately tell you how many).  One point I noted, when reading the .pdf version, is that the page decision options were not hyperlinked, and I feel that in the ebook they should be, because when moving where required, I was trying not to accidentally read anything which might spoil any future reads. 

I felt, on occasions, that Hickey was pitting his own wit against that of the reader, and I was also of the opinion that perhaps the incredibly detailed narrative would have benefitted from a few more commas, in some long and wordy sentences, to help the pace of its flow.  But, that said, the narrative is gripping, and the quality of this book is unquestionable; Greg Hickey is a tremendously good author, and “The Friar’s Lantern” is a great book, which I highly recommend for more discerning or academically-minded fiction readers.

In : Book Reviews 


Tags: greg-hickey  role-play  challenge  puzzle 
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