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The Dungeon 3 (Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon, Omnibus Volume 3: Hidden City/Final Battle) - Charles de Lint, Richard A. Lupoff, Philip José Farmer The Hidden City: In the fifth book in the Dungeon Series, the group is scattered across the eighth level of the Dungeon. Clive and Guafe end up being giant sized and captured by the Ren. Neville and Shriek are shrunken and join forces with a band of rat riders. Tomas and Sidi meet a gang of feral kids, led by a giant slug named Frenchie while Annabelle and the rest mingle with dead rock stars and a psycho biker named John The Baptist. Another fine day in the Dungeon...

In the fifth volume, a lot of questions get answered but some yet remain. Clive and company find out that the war between the Ren and the Chaffri isn't the only thing going on in the Dungeon. There's a third force jockeying for power and everyone think's Folliot and his gang are part of it. The purpose of everyone in the Dungeon being after the Folliots is answered... or it is?

De Lint's writing continues to be the best in the series. Annie and Shriek's personalities haven't mutated and their dialogue is actually consistent with the last book. A couple of the twists seemed a little forced but five books deep, it has to be getting hard for the writers not to be trampling over one another's stuff.

While I'm digging The Dungeon, I'm really ready for it to be over. I've grown to love Clive, Shriek, and the others, even Neville, over the past 1000+ pages but the story is getting to be like a batch of good chili. You like it for the first couple of days but after a week, you're ready for something else. Let's hope Lupoff can wrap this up in a satisfying manner.

The Final Battle: I'm not going to dignifiy this with a summary. Let's just say that Lupoff shat on books 2-5 and went with what he had in mind when he wrote the first book. I made it to page 100 and just couldn't take it anymore. None of the characters acted the same, none of the events in the previous volume were mentioned, and the ninth level of the dungeon was ignored completely. I can't believe Lupoff even read books 2-5. The whole point of a shared world is to actually share it, not ignore everything you didn't write. I had such high hopes for the end but instead get a piece of crap that doesn't even connect with the previous five books. I would have been better off imagining what happened in the sixth book.

In conclusion, the first five books of Philip Jose Farmer's The Dungeon were passable to good. The final book, however, shouldn't be touched with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole.