Forging a new quest, Maddie and Alex unite the desert runners in order to find enough food to feed the Tromoal through their birthing. But there’s descent into chaos at the mayor’s farm on the discovery of a stolen Tromoal egg and the fact he’s hoarding zombie cattle. Maddie's choices are limited, but her fight isn’t.
My Opinion: 124 pages, $1.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: The author has a link to the podcast in the back of the short story.
The started reading this short story very impressed. Finally, the main character (MC) gets a character sheet and the ability to change her stats. I thought that this was going to be the one in the series to finally get that 7 or 8 out of 10. There was a promised huge war coming and I fully expected to see some big battle by the end of the story since this is the final book in this trilogy.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed. From the 28-75% mark, the story instead takes some out of left field plot turns that feel like filler. Then even after the 75% mark, the story never delivers on that promised war that was made such a big deal about at the end of book 2 and the beginning of this story.
I’ll give more specific details below but they’re a bit spoilery. Suffice it to say that while the middle scenes in the story were interesting they just didn’t make sense and had little to no setup.
The biggest issue I had with the story is that the middle (28-75%) feels unnecessary. You could skip the whole section and you wouldn’t lose much. Additionally, it adds a bunch of stuff that just doesn’t make sense and just seems to come from nowhere. Stuff like a vampire that’s cured of vampirism, portals to other dimensions, time travel, the MC is suddenly an alien, the MC has matrix powers to see the code of the game.
Each of these elements is just introduced without any setup. It felt like, *Poof* ‘Hey I’m a rouge that discovered portals in this game that let people visit the past on earth.’ *Poof* ‘I’m a vampire that has a portal under his castle. Want to go through and kill the guy you fell in love with last book?’ *Poof* ‘Hey MC, did you know you’re an alien?’
I may be exaggerating a bit but not by a lot.
I also expected the last 25% of the novel to have that promised war that had been talked about so much. Instead, the MC decides that killing Dale, who gets his own weird plot twist, is the way to go. Then the MC jumps through a portal and the story ends. That’s it.
I’m not saying the story it bad. Each scene is well written and is interesting in its own way. Also, this story does have the most RPG mechanics in the series. However, the story just took many turns that didn’t make sense to me and had little to no setup. That coupled with the unfulfilled expectations left me feeling disappointed.
Score: 6 out of 10
Desert Storm (Puatera Online Book 3) (Dec. 13th, 2017)