Are you done taking advice from a floating eyeball that worships his fish? Now you can get real grounded advice from a villinous witch instead! In all seriousness, I was / am totally hyped for this book’s release.
For some reason though the first read left me underwhelmed. I came to like the book much more on my second perusal. I think most of my underwhelmedness on the first read was that I thought the “lineage system” was going to be more of a thing. The book has a few guidelines for modifing fantasy races that more or less take up two pages. Perfectly useful two pages, but if you are buying this book for the hype around the Lineage System . . . just do some google searches and know you can switch out your stat bonuses / languages / proficiencies.
Nonetheless when I set aside the shortness of the lineage section the subclassses won me over. Note: I am not a person who gets involved in the minutate of stat maxing, so I can’t judge the subclassess on that front (though Cody below can). But as a Rogue player the concept of the “Phantom” subclass strikes me as awsome. These rogues have a connection with death itself, learn from spirits and can even release the cries of the dead on their enemies. Other favorites: Twilight Cleric Domain (a lot of my D&D characters worship the moon / moon goddesses), Psionic Fighter, Way of Mercy Monk (fists that can break bones and heal!), Fathomless and Genie Patrons (complete with lamp your character can retreat into), and of course the Artificer class.
I also very very much like the idea of group sidekicks. Usually in a party of 5, 1-2 people have to miss each session. Real life and family has to come first. Having a sidekick that can fill in a gap now and then seems very useful when balancing the game with real life, and to be honest who wouldn’t want an adorable little monster pet to be their party’s mascot?
So my review is basically this: if your main intent in buying this book because of the lineage system, don’t. There’s nothing wrong with it, but you can’t justify a hardback on it when D&D beyond’s can step you through most if not all of it for free. But if the subclassess seem cool to you, you want to play an Artificer, you want a team sidekick/patron or you’re a DM who just wants access to every single magic item that is in the official canon, its a good buy. Stay magical friends.