Cover Image: Penultimate Quest

Penultimate Quest

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Member Reviews

What an amazing read. I have truly enjoyed going through this phenomenal work.As far as the writing style and narration is concerned, it is really good. Overall, a good reading experience. Highly recommended
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This is a fun, dense graphic novel that explores various metaphysical aspects. A bit hefty at times but overall a fun read.
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This graphic novel's art reminded of old video games, which is exactly what it was going for. I loved the synopsis, a dash of dungeon crawler and D&D, seemed like the best thing in the world. The story however, has a slow start to it. There is lot of talking involved, when you just want to get into the action. Ultimately, I felt like it had more potential.
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'm really struggling to get my thoughts in order. I am not sure what to make of Penultimate Quest. Overall it was a satisfying reading experience. It is a strange, meandering tale about repeating patterns of behaviour that at one point served a useful purpose but now do more harm than good. The characters were well written, and I personally became very invested in their fates. Frustratingly this is one of those books that I think requires repeated readings to get the most out of it. It certainly makes literary allusions that I didn't understand, and the plot is somewhat convoluted. It is overlong, but I think that is part of the point. 

The dialogue is witty, and the banter between party members is engaging. The page layout and panel composition are masterfully done. The art style took me a while to get used to, but for the type of story this, it works well. Our protagonists are believable, damaged, and, sympathetic even when they are doing things that are hurtful to each other and the world around them. 

My criticism is that this is a novel that requires a lot of effort, which given how the book starts caught me off guard. There are middle sections where plot and character progression almost crawls to a stop. If I didn't have to review it, I might have stopped. I was lost at which direction the story was trying to take me, and there were points where I was frustrated and confused by what the comic was trying to do. I am glad I kept with and finished it but fair warning if you are expecting a light read think again. There are heavy ideas explored here, and Brown often takes the most arduous path to get his points across. The story takes characters off in unexpected tangents that are often delightful but on occasion are tedious. 

I have mixed feelings about it. It is undoubtedly a novel that deserves to be read. I enjoyed vast chunks of it. Yet, when it didn't work for me, it really didn't work me. It is a thought-provoking and challenging book that stayed in my head for days after I had finished reading. It is the sort of book you want to discuss with other people to find out what they made of it. Lars is a fantastic cartoonist, and Penultimate Quest is a lavish showcase of his storytelling prowess.
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'Penultimate Quest' by Lars Brown is a large graphic novel of quests for treasure and meaning and meaninglessness.

A group of adventurers are compelled to look for treasure in a never ending dungeon.   If they get killed, they respawn and do it all over again with little or no knowledge of what happened previously.  Some of the people look for answers to why they are on this odd island and how do they stop the never ending cycle.  Some pursue higher things like study and designing cathedrals.  Others are content to keep killing monsters and finding what seem like amazing treasures. 

I really liked this graphic novel, but I'm not sure I completely get what the author is trying to get at.  It delves in to life having meaning and philosophy, but I feel like, for me, the end just kind of didn't coalesce.  Still I found it a really engaging read.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Iron Circus Comics and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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I had a good time reading this graphic novel. It began simple enough, but took a surprise turn once someone began to wonder if there was a way off this strange place. Once they did this, a new adventure began for these 3 people. Along the way, they faced some deadly monsters and we learned about the mistakes they made in their lives. As this tale came to a close this graphic novel had a pretty satisfying ending. This might not be a graphic novel for everyone, but some readers are sure to enjoy it.
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I received an advanced copy of Penultimate Quest through NetGalley so I could share my review with you!

Somewhere outside of time, there is an island with a never-ending mission.  Heroes from across the isle combine their might, delving into a seemingly bottomless dungeon.  With each mission into the dungeon, it becomes less clear why they continue to fight.  What is it they are really searching for?  One adventurer begins to puzzle over what it all means and finds the answer to be more complicated than he ever could’ve imagined.

You can get your copy of Penultimate Quest from Iron Circus Comics!

My favorite thing about this book was the art, as I found it to be exciting and very evocative of what I picture when I imagine an RPG adventure!  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else in Penultimate Quest that I found to be particularly enjoyable.  I felt as though the story was trying to be too many things simultaneously, leaving a rather scattered plotline.  I spent a lot of my reading time trying to understand what was happening, so I couldn’t really enjoy the story.  Additionally, I found the characters rather two-dimensional, with lacking development.  Overall, I was let down by Penultimate Quest, as I was hoping for a more character-driven RPG story.

My Recommendation-

Though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Penultimate Quest, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a good fit for you.  If you love RPG games, adventures, and good ole’ fashion questing, Penultimate Quest might be the right book for you!
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This is an interesting book. I've read the story several times previously, when it was published serially in several Kickstarted books, and its depth always impresses me. What starts out seeming like a MMPORG satire takes a philosophical turn at the end of the first chapter which I was not expecting. But despite being impressed by the storytelling and scope of the book as a whole, I've never quite connected to it. It's always been a little too dense in its themes for me to wrap my head around. But I would very much recommend it to someone interested in explorations of role playing games, guilt, identity, life purpose, and death. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an unbiased review.
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This comic is of the alarming sort where at first you think it's just a fun romp and then about halfway through you realize that no, it's a deep and heavy allegory.  I highly recommend it even if I truly don't think I understood more than half of what I just read beyond the surface level.
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An interesting but confusing read. Very philosophical and existential. I love the surreal concept this book is based on--what if RPGs were literal, that people were going day in and day out into dungeons and defeating monsters? What would the meaning of it all be? 

I followed it all--I thought I did at least--until the climax. The reveals confused me, and what I thought I understood became unclear. I probably need to read it a couple times to fully absorb, though unfortunately I don't have the time with the e-arc expiring soon. Certainly a unique and interesting read.
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So why are all these folks on an island? And why do they keep going down into this dungeon? I mean they traipse down, fight monsters, get treasure but then they die by some horrible monster and come back to do it again. Why are they doing this? Well, in Penultimate Quest, the party is on a quest to get to the bottom, solve the mystery of the island and find out why they exist, sort of. It is a quest of understanding, but not your normal philosophical argument, rather a physical quest for figuring out how to right a wrong done in the far past. And in the end, learning how to live. A satisfying, if puzzling read.

Thanks Netgalley for the opportunity to read this title
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A few pages into this book I figured I knew exactly what I was looking at - treating playing an rpg as if the character were real, had motivations beyond some simple back story. And then we get hints that these folks were all actually dead in the "real world", so I figured we were looking at the afterlife as a never ending dungeon quest. And that may be a tangential part of the plot. It's it's actually far more philosophical than those early pages suggested. There's this idea that reality is experiential, that we can influence by our ideas and desires. I feel like there was a lot more going on than I grasped on a single read, what with elements of the regrets and responsibilities of power and creators. Enjoyable enough for a single read but will probably grow in value with repeat reads.
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Thanks to Letter Better Publishing Services and Netgalley for the digital ARC.

So this is a very dense metaphysical book which does a great job keeping you always wanting to turn the page. We follow a few characters who are initially looking to conquer a dungeon but as the story unfolds it moves into world saving and major character studies. A very fun read for those who like meatier graphic novels.
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Give me a beer and I'll sing you a song
Of a life that's too short and a book that's too long.

Still waiting that beer, now...
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This was an interesting book and I enjoyed reading it but I think it has a fairly limited target audience.  If you fit the category of being a fantasy fan, a rpg player, a graphic novel reader AND the idea of a book that meanders into philosophy about life and its meaning sounds interesting to you then you’ll probably enjoy this graphic novel.  If you aren’t all of the above then I think you will just find it kind of weird.
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