The Newest Graphic Novel About D&D: Roll for Initiative

The Book:

THe cover of Last Session VOlume 1 Roll for Initiative focuses on two characters, Cassandra and Lana, in their D&D alternate personas wth the other four character lined up in the background. All six of the character sit around a table on the bottom.
The Last Session Vol. 1: Roll for Initiative pulled from Goodreads

Title: The Last Session Vol. 1: Roll for Initiative

Author: Jasmine Walls

Illustrator: Dozerdraws

Series: The Last Session #1

Published on June 22, 2022, by Mad Cave Studios

Genre: Graphic Novels, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+

Pages: 136

“Roll for initiative! Jay, Lana, Drew, Walter, and Shen have played Dice & Deathtraps together since high school. Now, on the verge of graduating college and scattering, they’ve decided to finally complete their unfinished first campaign. But when Jay’s partner Cassandra joins as a new player, Lana’s afraid the party won’t ever finish their quest…” –Goodreads page

My Review:

Stranger Things has been the only thing on my mind recently, so when Roll for Initiative, a graphic novel about a group of friends playing D&D, popped up in my inbox this week, I was so excited. 

I received a free copy of this graphic novel from a sweepstake I entered. Thankfully, Mad Cave Studios granted me access to read this arc. This graphic novel is out on June 22, 2022. 

This was not a long novel, but I believe the story will continue since this is a Vol. 1. I would have preferred a bit more to read, but the shorter graphic novels are always fun and get my reading count up. 

My most extensive critique of the story is that it probably should not have a sequel. The tale of these characters seems like it is over. There was absolutely nothing in the end that had a bit of suspense or openness. When I finished the story seemed over. There were no loose ends. 

I would have preferred the book to have stopped in the middle of the conflict, like a few of the graphic novels I have read do. I don’t know if there is a reason some stories like Heartstopper do that and this one didn’t. It just left me not feeling the need to pick the next copy.

Another issue is there really was no time to develop the characters. Yes, we got little blotches of the character here and there, but we did not get to understand the characters. I will explain more in a second. 

This novel does not center around one character. It centers around six characters, five of which who met in high school and began playing D&D together. 

Lana is the character who is the most irritating. I feel like she would not have been as irritating if we got a bit more context of her character, I think that is one f those things that happen when books are shorter, we don’t know why she is the way that she is. It could have been something the creators could have tried to explain. 

Drew is my favorite character. The illustrations of him make him seem so suave and charming. Who doesn’t love a barista? But, honestly, we don’t learn anything about him. We learn he has one struggle, that’s all. We don’t learn about his current projects, only his past writing projects. 

Shen and Walter play more of a background duo. They do not have too much that makes them stand out, and the story does not focus on them too much. We get a bit of background, but it did not go to places that they reference in the present day of the story. 

Jay and Cassandra are my two favorite people because I feel they were the most unproblematic of the group. Obviously, good characters have problems, but they seem to be at a point in their life where they can be themselves, and it is cool to see. I would love to get a background story of how they met and how Jay introduced Cassandra to D&D. 

It was short and sweet to read, but I am left a bit unsatisfied. I would love for people to check this out and comment about their thoughts. 

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3

Rating: 3 out of 5.