THE LONE WOLF SERIES BY JOE DEVER
NOTE: These books are now FREE in digital form. If you would like to read them FOR FREE and in APP format then CLICK HERE to go to the Google Play store. I assume there is a version on the Apple store but I could not find it and do not have access to an Apple device. (I am in no way affiliated with either the author or the app creator)
Alternatively, you can CLICK HERE to go to Projectaon to download the books or read them online. Personally, I think the App is better because everything is tracked and calculated within it rather than you having to do it yourself.
To say this series, of some 28 books had an impact on my formative years of writing is an understatement. It had a major impact on it! That is why I wish to speak of it now.
SO WHAT IS THE LONE WOLF SERIES?
Lone Wolf is a series of game books, written by English author Joe Dever. It is set in the vast and varied fantasy world of Magnamund (see map) or CLICK HERE for full size. Dever wrote the books as though you are Lone Wolf, (second person and present tense) and they play out like the old Choose your own adventure books (remember them?). The major difference is that there is combat, inventory management, selectable abilities that have an impact on the narrative and only one win condition: Get to page 350!
THE WORLD OF LONE WOLF
Magnamund is not your typical Tolkien like fantasy safari. While there are non-human races like Dwarves (with airships and blunderbuss), there are no elves, hobbits or orks. Instead, you have a world with multitude of races, some natural, like humans, but others created artificially by evil entities called The Dark Lords of Helgdad, like Giaks and Helghasts (among others).
Some of the books, especially books 14-20, traversed the realms of fantasy, steam punk and sci-fi, to create a perfect concoction of varied scenes to adventure in. Even though the settings sometimes differed greatly between book to book, it all felt consistent with the world and you were never left with the feeling that something was just added on a whim, with little thought to the over-all story.
The world of Magnamund; like many fantasy worlds, is torn apart by the forces of good and evil. Where Lone Wolf differs from most other fantasy books, even game books, is that you get to play through the conflict, gaining power, friends (who appear in multiple stories) and collect items that may or may not be helpful in future books.
Rarely does a series convey a sense of exploration and danger like this series does. Because you “play” the protagonist (Lone Wolf), choose his starting powers (which have many different effects on your experience through the story), make the decisions to go left or right, to help or not to help and engage in combat (with a pencil and the random number page at the back of the book) the books feels “more real” and immersive.
The creatures of Magnamund, both good and evil, were many and varied. Look at these enemies you will encounter and fight in your travels.
There are dozens more enemies throughout the different adventures. Some have special powers and
are immune to certain weapons and abilities and each has different combat stats so each fight is different. There are boss fights, riddles to solve and each time you read
your story will be different, even if it ends at the same place.
The books might be a few decades old, but they have aged well. If anything, they feel as fresh today, as they did twenty-five years ago. The series can be read by teens or even adults and can be enjoyed by both. I started reading them when I was about nine years old and enjoyed them then as much as I enjoy them now in my early thirties!
THE PHYSICAL BOOKS
There are several different versions of the physical books, with a variety covers by different publishes so it can be a little confusing to know where to start. If you do want the physical books start with “Flight from the Dark.” There is also a non-game book series of Lone Wolf books called Legends of Lone wolf. The first book in that series is titled, Eclipse of the Kia. They are good reads in their own right and delve more into the back story of the protagonist and surrounding characters.