I picked up Vox MIachina: Kith & Kin on a whim because it looked interesting; I didn’t realize at the time that this was actually a close up for a couple of characters who were part of a bigger D&D related franchise with a new Amazon animated show. I haven’t seen any of the stuff this novel is apparently based on, and as it turns out that’s not necessary. Kith & Kin is pretty standard fantasy is nearly every way; the main characters are two half-elf siblings, who are not wanted by their elven father or his world, but they can’t go back to their mother’s rural village since they don’t fit there any more either. Instead, Vex and Vax stick together and have various misadventures.
The main adventure this time is that Vex (sister) is threatened by a killer hired by a guild and Vax (brother) makes a deal with some sort of criminal organization to save her; this involves the supposedly simple mission of going to a remote mining village to steal a magic ring, except that naturally things are more complicated than that. Vex and Vax are separated and end up with opposing sides of a long-standing war of sorts, and they have to figure out what’s going on, try to reconcile their understandings with each other, try to get the ring, all the while dodging zombies and other threats. None of this is especially new or interesting, and none of it is given any kind of interesting twist, except that there’s a basic hint that both sides of the mining town war are both sympathetic and also responsible for atrocities, which in itself isn’t all that new either.
Vex and Vax themselves are also pretty standard characters; he’s the rogue who has moments of conscience, and she’s the intelligent archer type. They fight but also are both willing to do anything for the other no matter what, and while this is not terribly unexpected given their “tragic” backstory (also not terribly interesting although rather sad), the inflexibilities of both siblings as individuals and as a pair get irritating to the point that while both have sympathetic moments, I don’t care all that much about either one too much.
I’m guessing the original Vox Machina Critical Role iterations have to be more interesting with more of an ensemble to change up the narratives, because Vex and Vax by themselves, while generally inoffensive fantasy types, just aren’t terribly interesting.