I started NPCs by Drew Hayes. No, not Drew Hayes the graphic artist, Drew Hayes the novelist.
You don't know who that is? Neither did I just an hour ago. Maybe a quote from the "about the author" section on his website will help.
Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots.
So now that that's squared away, let me give you my initial impressions of this novel. It didn't seem like anything special at first, just another parody of D&D tropes. What would happen if the background characters picked up weapons and armor and decided to go adventuring? You get Goblins
"NPCs". Not actual NPCs, I meant the nov- oh fuck it.
So I wasn't hooked until about a quarter of the way through after the adventurers' first real battle, wherein their classes become obvious. In a humorous twist, the classes they chose do not work for them, and instead they take to different roles as if they were chosen for them by fate. The half-orc becomes the wizard, the mayor's daughter a barbarian, the town guardsman a rogue, and the crippled gnome a paladin. It all makes sense in context, trust me.
That's where I'm at, and I'm now interested enough to keep plugging along and seeing how this plays out.
FINAL VERDICT: 5d10
Rather short, but not enough going on to fill out the story, so there's a weird combo of too fast and too slow at the same time. Nothing's going on for a chapter, and then I look again and the main antagonist has been defeated. If you've read Goblins and/or Mogworld, there's nothing new here. The dialogue is stiff; all of the main characters speak like they're on loan from an R. A. Salvatore novel, and not in a good way. It's interesting enough if you're hard up for a postmodern fantasy story, but I don't plan on following up on this series.