Critical Failures (Caverns & Creatures Book 1) by Robert Bevan – A Book Review

Critical Failures


What if you and your friends got to live the game for real? What if you and your friends were assholes?

After relentlessly mocking their strange new Game Master, Tim and his friends find themselves trapped in the bodies of their fantasy game characters, in a world where the swords, the magic, and the gastrointestinal issues are all too real. 
They learn hard lessons about tolerance and teamwork, and a new meaning for the term “dump stat”. Ha ha. Just kidding. They don’t learn shit.

Never before have comedy and fantasy come together so much like a train wreck, in which each train was carrying a shipment of burning dumpsters. You just can’t help but continue to stare.

Don’t be the last of your circle of nerds to read this book. Shake the Dorito crumbs out of your neck beard, grab your large sack, and prepare to enter the world of Caverns & Creatures.


Author: Robert Bevan

Publisher: Robert Bevan

Release Date: 5/6/2012

Pages: 258

Genre: Fantasy

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating for ‘Critical Failures’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UKAmazon USBook Depository



This was one of the first books I discovered by using Bookbub, waaaaaay back when. I read this pretty much when it first came out and, enjoyed it so much I wanted to read it again so I could properly review it on my blog. That and book 5 has just been released and I want to re-read every book in the series so book 5 will feel extra special.

I’m an author, and even I struggle to find the words to describe just how much I love this series. Caverns and Creatures is essentially the D&D of Robert Bevan’s universe. The story follows four friends who, after picking on their strange new Game Master (Cavern Master) find themselves magically transported into the game itself. But, our four heroes (I use the term loosely. The term idiots, morons, dicks, lovable yet dumb protagonists all fit the bill) aren’t themselves. They wake up in the bodies of their characters: a halfling, a half-orc, an elven wizard and a dwarf.

For anyone that enjoys D&D or any of the other games like it (Warhammer Quest, GURPS etc…) this is a must-read series. So many little moments will have you grinning like a fool as you try not to laugh. You don’t have to be a fan of those games to enjoy Bevan’s work. A friend of mine had never played anything remotely like D&D but, after reading this series, has joined my monthly game. 

I will say that, a little over 9 tenths of the humour is swear-word based. So, if you are easily offended by strong language, this really isn’t the book for you … and I should probably apologise for the blurb. A few of those nasty words made their way in there 😉 But, if you don’t mind swearing in your literature, and you enjoy zaney situations with great characters, then Critical Failures just might be for you. And if you feel it just might be for you; book one is only £0.99 at the time of posting.

Having listened to the ‘Kings of the Wyld’ audio book, I feel the humour in this is very similar to that, if you take away the vast amount of swear words, of course. The similarity is mainly down to the subject matter, as it is all derived from the rich world of fantasy and everything that happens within a fantasy world. Critical Failures just has a heck of a lot more game references than Kings of the Wyld, obviously.

I almost always say something negative about a book or audio book. It’s a testament to how much I love this series that I genuinely can’t think of anything bad to say. Might I also add that I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, on my re-read.

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