Thursday, 16 October 2014

Reading NPCs

Continuing in the same style as last week; I read yet another nerdy book, this time taking it one step further by reading one that centers around a board game. Please don't judge me.

Drew Hayes has written a book in which we find out that when a tabletop game ends, it doesn't necessarily end the story for the NPCs in it. When four geeky boys lose their characters to poisonous mushrooms, four NPCs decide to take on their roles and carry out the quest found on dead adventorous. A gnome, two humans and a half-orc with little to no experience of adventuring, they know themselves that they hardly stand a chance but somebody needs to answer the summoning of the king. During the journey they get to know their roles, do a bit of swapping around and also stumble into vicious and unexpectedly strategic demons along the way.

This is like Toy Story for (nerdy) adults - your game is actually real and the NPCs have their own lives. Except for that the parts that actually include any references to the tabletop players are the least enjoyable parts and for the most of the story it just feels like any light-hearted fantasy novel. And not a bad one at that. The characters are likable and with realistic personalities. I also appreciated that it didn't conform to traditional gender roles (although how the NPCs related to each of their role didn't necessarily satisfy me). It's not badly written either and the story is interesting and funny. I am looking forward to the sequel!

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