Non-Player Character

E-book, 403 pages

English language

Published Aug. 31, 2021 by Witch Key Fiction.

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5 stars (7 reviews)

32-year old Tar feels like a Non-Player Character in their own life. They’ve been utterly sidelined by their anxiety and they spend all their spare time playing video games. Then they get invited to play Kin, a table-top roleplaying game their friend swears will change their life. And it does, but not in the way Tar expects. Friendship, it turns out, is even better than escapism.

But what none of them knew was that it would change their life a second time. Because the world of Kin is real. And the whole party soon discovers that changing your setting doesn’t change you.

Non-Player Character is a cosy, queer portal fantasy for adults featuring a non-binary autistic protagonist and their found family of fantasy-loving nerds.

2 editions

Magical Mystical Tour

5 stars

A lot of fun here. A lot of angst. A window into what it's like on the inside looking out.

The characters weren't exactly fun, but they felt real, even when they played new roles. I couldn't help but like them as they struggled to work together, to support each other, and to find a way through they each could live with.

When I started this story, I wasn't sure which world represented the NPC. Was it the one being held up as real life? Or the one in the game? Like is Tar's job at the museum the NPC role or is it their role in the game? Neither? Both?

The tension gets resolved nicely before the story ends but it really made me think about how that game space exists for me. Digitally or mentally. Digitally AND mentally.

Highly Recommended!

a triumph of empathy

5 stars

At some level this is a standard sword-and-sorcery fantasy novel (mostly sorcery). The device of role-players cast into the game "for reals" has surely been done before. The interesting part is the characters, and how the plot progresses.

The hero (gender neutral) is extremely anxious, and the book presents their struggles in a way that is both relatable and interesting. The reader (at least this reader) sees themselves in these struggles even if they don't normally identify as neurodivergent.

Don't hate me for not giving it five stars, a few of the romantic(?) scenes didn't quite work for me. Maybe that says more about me though.

Amazing Fantasy Wholesomeness

5 stars

SO great I can't even. A hugely diverse cast of characters - more of this in fantasy books please! - all treated with dignity and inclusivity and respect. The relationships, both friendships and otherwise, dealt with in NPC are utterly wholesome, healthy, and heartwarming. The tale itself is a grand 'people from Earth find themselves stranded in a fantasy land', but executed in a far more entertaining and endearing fashion than other attempts I've read at this kind of story.

Strong recommend, grab it immediately. <3

Absolutely amazing

5 stars

Non-Player Character is an absolutely lovely book about adults who get unexpectedly teleported to a different world, where they have magic and other special abilities. It is not only about their wonderful adventure in Vanthis, but it is also about how changing your setting doesn't change you. It is about how everyone has their own difficulties and so much more. It is just an incredibly well-written book and I truly recommend you to read it if you haven't already. This might be one of the few books that I want to read a second or maybe even a third time. Maybe this has actually became one of my favourite books.

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5 stars