Plushinomicon: The Legends of Teddy Bear Island - Kristi King-Morgan, Pat McNary, Keith Gutierrez, Macario Hernandez III, Kelly Caldwell, B. Jaymes Condon, Joseph Ezell, Anthony Fierro Jr., Connor MacDonald, John Ladner, Niki Browning
What, you may ask, did Jessie the Flufamancer do? Well, he animated the plush creatures of the children. Then he made them do his evil bidding. I can’t even begin to tell you about the bidding that he bade, but just believe me when I tell you that it was evil!

That's the third (or so) paragraph in this collection of short stories -- and it's the one that convinced me I wanted to finish this.

 

It's a collection of stories about various adventurers (or the like) going to Teddy Bear Island to try to find Jessie (for various reasons), to find treasure, just to prove they can -- or any number of other reasons that dwarves, elves, humans, orcs or kobolds might find themselves adventuring (There are more kobolds in this collection than I've probably ever read before -- and I really liked them). They're designed as campaign starters for the RPG, Teddy Bear Island, or to enjoy on their own. They work either way.

 

There's a sense of play, a sense of fun in the middle of traditional-ish fantasy adventure stories. The various plush animals are a hoot, my favorite idea was the hydra-bear. I don't know that I can point to any particular stories and say "This is one of the best," -- or the worst, actually. They're all delightful in practically equal amounts.

 

There are laughs, puns, pop-culture jokes and danger in the midst of the goofiness of stories. It's hard to explain, but imagine a less-intense version of The Lord of the Rings, but populated by stuffed animals (and you'll be pretty close).

 

I am not an RPG player -- I've tried, but just never clicked with me. But these stories make me really want to, first time since Dragons of Autumn Twilight that a book has had that effect on me. Which is sort of the point, right? Even without that, it was a fun collection of adventure stories.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this from the Publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts.