Fiction - Fantasy - General
496 Pages
Reviewed on 07/13/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

In Timothy David’s The NPC, Deodin hadn’t asked for the life he’d been dealt. People interacted with him differently, and behaved oddly around him; even the mobs had it in for him. He couldn’t even buy the armor he wanted without being told to fetch, gather, and perform some outrageous task across the vast regions. Thus was the life of a sheyaktu, a person who can perform magic without words and gestures, a god slayer that the red mages believed was the very key to unlocking the truth of magic. The universe throws challenges in his way and sets him on quests, and once again it falls to him to stop the end of humanity, to stop the world from burning. But just because the universe asks it of him, this doesn’t mean it will make it easy; in fact, it promises to be anything but.

I knew from the opening paragraph I was going to enjoy The NPC. The injection of humor adds flair to Timothy David's immersive writing as he crafts this epic adventure. There are things within the brilliantly scripted pages that will have a reader, gamer or not, chuckling. The premise is brilliant, the writing smooth and immersive. There were times while reading when I laughed out loud, and others when I couldn’t bring myself to stop reading because I just had to know what happened next. As a gamer, I often find myself thinking in terms of player characters, those who can be recruited or play an important role in the story, and every single player character introduced in this book was written vividly and beautifully with engaging and distinctive personalities and traits that breathe life into them. This is definitely not a book to be overlooked, with hours of entertainment, adventure, and engagement. Add this book to your daily tasks; you won’t regret it.

Asher Syed

The NPC by Timothy David is a fantasy with a reluctant hero named Deodin. Most people who hate their jobs are able to quit and walk away, so long as their bills are paid and their belly is full. Not so for Deodin, a wielder of magic and defender of the realm who would prefer not to be that guy. At all. Power has a price and that price is public service unless you are an absolute idiot, which Deodin can be but not in the 'I don't care if you die and become a smoldering pile of goo' sense. When the ultimate evil threatens the lives and souls of everyone around him, Deodin is again the 'sheyaktu' who must save the world. The job to defeat the Crown isn't as straightforward as the others. With the help of a team of warriors less inclined to survive everything thrown at them but more inclined to continue fighting the good fight, Deodin is struck by questions about his role, his heart, and his ability to take down another highly powerful mage named Entorak. “Red mages. Troll caves. Escort quests. Merchants and their preposterous equipment. Spikeboar livers. He hated all of it.”

In addition to being a solid fantasy adventure rife with magic, spells, and a crazy little thing called love, The NPC by Timothy David is a fantastic character-driven story with one of the best anti-heroes I've come across since Vincent Ngo's original screenplay, Hancock. Instead of being a superhero in the world of man, the sheyaktu Deodin is a mage warrior in a world of man, monster and beast. All of the fantasy elements come to vivid life amidst Deodin's acerbic outlook and comedic timing that is insanely hilarious in his deadpan boredom. Pel, a strong woman with her own career and independent way of living, is a perfectly matched counterpart. Her ability to wield her own power and see the auras of others sets her apart. Her compassion humanizes Deodin and makes him likeable even to himself, and this is the best part of David's work. I love the dialogue and the action scenes tick all of the boxes; no doubt those who enjoy fantasy, adventure, well-developed characters, and satire will also find The NPC impossible to put down. Very highly recommended.

Kim Anisi

Deodin, the main character of the fantasy novel The NPC by Timothy David, is fed up with his life. The universe always throws danger, obstacles, and new quests into his life. Nobody ever cares whether he wants to be the hero. He has to go and fetch things for people, he has to go and kill certain monsters, and on top of that, there are always mages out to kill him. When he learns that there's a bigger threat, he is obliged to go and help, but he also wants to learn why the universe seems to play a game with him. The answers to his questions are supposedly in an old tomb. But will Deodin find a satisfying answer, or will it just be the beginning of more trouble?

As a gamer and a reader, I enjoyed The NPC by Timothy David a lot. Quite a few of the parts that made fun of various aspects of role-playing games made me laugh, e.g. when Deodin had no choice but to choose a rather silly-looking outfit because the merchant would only sell him the nicer-looking stuff if he'd do a certain lengthy quest for him. All RPG gamers know this issue. Or the parts about the troll caves, boss monsters, "the big bad", and so on. The ending of the book was also quite clever. I wouldn't have expected it to happen that way, so it was a nice surprise. From editing to content, the book is well done. It's always nice to see when proper effort has been put into a story. I enjoyed the twists and turns, the different characters that were all memorable, and the general atmosphere. I do hope we'll get to see more of Deodin in the future because we all know that there can always be another expansion/add-on for a good RPG!

Craig Michael Beck

A delightfully sardonic journey into the musings and escapades of Deodin, a fearless adventurer who begins to question the meaning of life, as he ponders his insatiable drive to complete an endless series of tasks thrust upon him by The Universe, regardless of his success, failure or interest in doing so.

For anyone who has ever played an RPG and wondered what their character might be contemplating as they interact with wily merchants, encounter potential friends or enemies, slog through endless marshes, battle packs of wolves, ambush hordes of goblins, explore troll caves, or face down fearsome dragons, The NPC is a joyful slash and stab at that most fearsome of existential monsters: the choices we make.

Driven by a twisting, slow burn plot worthy of an experienced dungeon master, and complemented by a compelling cast of fully developed characters who aid Deodin as he traverses the realm to save the Crown, The NPC will leave you chuckling in your chair, grinning like a goblin, and laughing out loud, longing to know what happens after the last page, and possibly wondering if you are actively crafting your own life’s path, or just checking off someone else’s boxes yourself.

— Craig Michael Beck, Actor, SAG-AFTRA