Archives For November 2016

Review: NPCs

JasonC —  November 15, 2016 — Leave a comment

NPCs
NPCs by Drew Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun romping adventure wit ha nice twist. If you ever enjoyed playing Dungeon’s & Dragons or anything similar for hours with your friends, you’ll “get” this book.

A group of players starts a new campaign that the GM has invested a lot of time and effort preparing for them. A campaign that is “a lot more realistic” than their previous ones. That means they have to pay attention to every little detail. Unfortunately, as many gamers have experienced, there are always those in a gaming group who only care about certain parts of the gaming experience (the fighting) or who are so busy trying to figure out how to short circuit the “experience” to get to the loot. So not long after setting the stage for the campaign, the whole party ends up dead due to an unfortunate side effect of some mushrooms they found along the way.

But the NPC’s (Non-Player Characters) in the campaign world are left to pick up the pieces when they find the bodies and realize this means the less-than-benevolent King may come to their town and destroy it because of these “lost adventurers.” So they have to take up the mantle and set off on an unexpected quest.

It’s a pretty fun read. I’m not going to say there’s anything exceptionally original about it, but it moves quickly, develops the characters and world, and definitely left a smile on my face after reading it. This is the first in a series, and I’ll definitely pick up the next one to see what happens next. That said, this is a pretty well-contained story in itself. More like reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe than The Fellowship of the Ring.

Similar reads:
Off to Be the Wizard (Scott Meyer) (the whole Magic 2.0 series, in fact)

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Review: The Last Colony

JasonC —  November 15, 2016 — Leave a comment

The Last Colony
The Last Colony by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Part 3 of the John Scalzi Old Man’s War series carries the torch quite well, delivering a good story, advancing/developing the characters we meet and ones we’ve come to enjoy in the previous 2 books.

Very briefly, this is a continuation of the story with John Perry and Jane Sagan as the primary protagonists. They’ve settled down as colonists on a human planet when the United Defense Force comes calling. Along the way, they are tricked and cornered. Scalzi continues his excellent way of telling stories, infusing suspense, action, and humor while producing a story that ends up feeling satisfyingly deep and nuanced.

If you haven’t read any of these, definitely start with Old Man’s War (which is first in the series) before moving on to The Ghost Brigades prior to picking up this one. Those are both 5-star reads, so it’s worth the time and effort. This is a good series to invest your time.

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