Adventurers Wanted, Book One: Slathbog's Gold

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The sign is small, tucked into the corner of Mr. Clutter s bookshop window: Adventurers Wanted. Apply Within. No one but fifteen-year-old Alex Taylor even seems to notice it is there. And for Alex, who has wished for a change in his life, it is an irresistible invitation. Upon entering Mr. Clutter s shop, Alex is swept away to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves. Alex becomes the eighth man in a band of adventurers seeking the lair of Slathbog the Red an evil dragon with a legendary treasure. Along the way, Alex and his new friends must battle dangerous trolls and bandits, face undead wraiths, and seek the wisdom of the Oracle in her White Tower. Alex s adventure takes him to distant and exotic lands where he learns about courage, integrity, honor, and, most important, friendship.

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About the Author:

M. L. Forman was born and raised in Utah and now resides in the foothills of the western Rockies. He tries to write as much as possible while working full-time as a systems administrator and attending to his many other hobbies, such as fishing, camping, hiking, and almost anything that will allow him to enjoy the magic of nature.

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When Alex sees the sign “Adventurers Wanted: Apply Within” in a shop window, he can’t help but inquire. He is soon steamrolled into his first adventure by the shop owner, finding himself packed off to a fantasy world as the eighth member of a group going after the dragon Slathbog. This first novel plays out like a game of Dungeons and Dragons, with the reader in the role of Alex as he learns to play, making the story entertaining but disappointing in its lost potential. Nearly every genre cliché since Tolkien is present, yet Forman does nothing new with his cool premise; the quest and Alex himself are led through predictable paces. While Alex is an agreeable character, he is too perfect to be credible: after the umpteenth time praise is heaped upon him for something that he did accidentally or much too easily, readers will be rolling their eyes. Still, the laws in the Adventurer’s Handbook that govern the group are an entertaining remix of the laws that govern RPGs, and the camaraderie among the group members is a strong draw. For those looking for a straightforward, uncomplicated quest, this will do the trick, and the series potential is limitless. Grades 5-8. --Krista Hutley

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