Desert Runner (Puatera Online Book 1)


An NPC story.

With her pain potions in short supply, Maddie accepts a deadly run, pick up a package in Trox City and cross the desert plains to Port Troli, the only issues – an unwanted passenger and Tromoal breeding season.


My Opinion: 107 pages, $1.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

There’s a not much in the way of action in the novel. This is a journey story. Maddie is an NPC that’s aware that she’s programed to fall in love with the Visitors or PC players that come to her town. When she gets a quest to take a package across the desert she accepts because she needs the money to buy a healing potion for herself. Yet, when she gets the package, she finds that it’s a Visitor.

The journey across the desert is as much about facing dangerous obstacles as it is about Maddie struggling against her programing. Their both journeys.

Game mechanic wise, the story is set in some kind of VR game, but for all story purposes it is an independant world. The game mechanics in the story are almost entirely informational. Health %, item descriptions, etc. That doesn’t mean it’s not LitRPG but the story’s focus is definitely not the game itself, it’s more of a place that the story happens to take place. This will appeal to some readers and not others.

Overall, the story is well told, it just wasn’t engaging for me. The big quest is an escort mission after all.  However, there is some good sci-fi speculation about what it would be like to be an NPC in a game world and know you’re an NPC.

Score: 6 out of 10

Desert Runner (Puatera Online Book 1)