- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 3 hours and 5 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Dawn Chapman
- Audible.com Release Date: January 10, 2018
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B078WF9P3P
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Desert Runner: Puatera Online, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Have read quite a bit of litrpg now (played quite a bit years back)...and what i find least interesting is when the author utilizes too many stats with no story line. Near worthless writing (to me) would be the opposite extreme...too much story and not enough like a game world.
This (1st Puatera) book was verging on the latter. I want a good story-line, coupled with a good balance of gaming believability. Didn't get it here.
Interesting world & character concepts...but hard to love, and even more difficult to recognize as "living in a game world". Litrpg means need of some game-stats, and much less non-story filler.
Currently reading 2nd book...yes, want to see what happens to characters...even more want to see if author does better (often happens with newish author as they progess). Hope Dawn doesn't disappoint and matures with the series...
I'll be honest. I've never read a LIT RPG story before this one, so I have nothing to compare it to other than the other SciFi stories I've grown up on. I didn't even know the genre existed, but I'm so glad it does.
Dawn Chapman delivers an action packed story that gives you the feel of a gaming experience or a fan-fiction about your favorite gaming character without shortchanging you on character development or offering you a hollow story. Desert Runner has depth and subtleties that will make you want to run out and read book 2.
Desert Runner is an NPC story. An NPC (I did know this term from my own gaming experience, limited as it may be) is a non-player character that players can interact with. Maddie is the NPC and the main character. It's a great twist and what gave it the fanfic feel for me. Here's this great bad-ass character with a kick-ass vehicle that you can bum a ride from. And, oh, by the way, she has her own outrageous missions too.
Maddie takes on a quest that no other runner will take, pick up a package and cross the desert during Tromoal breeding season. When the Tromoals are most likely to eat you. Of course.
Did I mention she's handicapped by a previous fight and dependent on pain relievers? That she's programmed to fall in love with any regular player she meets, and hates it? And that another NPC wants her to marry him?
Maddie has her hands full with the mission, but with everything else she might just be over-committed. That's a feeling I identify with. The challenges thrown at her would make another hero flinch and maybe even give up. Not Maddie. She just powers on.
When she finds out what her package is, and that Tromoal breeding season will be much more challenging than usual, she doesn't turn back. She fights back.
Maddie has a lot to learn about herself, and she will. Jump in and find out for yourself. But be prepared to buy book 2.
Indeed, while the book doesn't go into it, I believe Maggie is actually designed to be a love interest for player characters to fall for in the same way Westworld's Doroles is meant to be. It's something which bothers Maggie a great deal but she has as an essential part of her personality. She falls in love easily and, invariably, the men (and probably women) she meets go off to do their own thing as they pass through the game.
DESERT RUNNER follows Maggie as she goes on a desperate mission into the badlands, picking up one of the "visitors" along the way and dealing with the fact she's falling in love with this one as well. This is bad because she's already engaged to a fellow NPC (and may have been programmed to be stuck in a perpetual holding pattern of mediocre romance).
There's a bit of confusion from the book on just how "real" things are. The people here react with horror and sadness to the deaths of those around them but re-spawning is mentioned. I also felt the story ended prematurely and wish this book had been all three of the ones Dawn Chapman wrote for this story and sold as novellas. This is only 100 pages long and a very short read but also appropriately priced (1 dollar).
Is it worth reading? Oh, I definitely think so. I should mention this is advertised as Lit-RPG but has less focus on looting and leveling up than feelings--which is a good thing in my opinion.
The length of the book is fairly small, but sometimes shorter stories can pack more of an impact.
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