Puatera Online Box Set - Books 1 through 3 - Desert Runner, Desert Born, and Desert Storm

Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Contains all three books of The Desert Sequence: Desert Runner, Desert Born, and Desert Storm.  

Follow NPC Maddie on her journey of self-discovery, which takes her through the deadly desert plains to the inner programming that makes her who she is.

©2018 Dawn Chapman (P)2018 Dawn Chapman

What listeners say about Puatera Online Box Set - Books 1 through 3 - Desert Runner, Desert Born, and Desert Storm

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Definitely a... different litrpg

Well, in my opinion it wasn't really much of a litrpg. There was the vr game and all, the stats were rarely talked about, no level ups, no skill progresion or spells. Puatera is supposed to be a magic based game, but we see more tech than magic, and the magic we do see isn't really described in the game's context. Overall it's more like a scifi/fantasy book rather than a litrpg. The suffering and pain, along with the adictive health potions are too real for it to be a game. All that said the story is still interesting and keeps your attention as well as entretain you. I'm interested in seeing where it's headed.   I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting premise presented quite well!

This is actually an omnibus of the first 3 books in this series (of which there are currently 4 – though I believe these are the only 3 currently that follow this character). This wasn’t a very long audiobook, especially for an omnibus, as these books individually aren’t very long. So it’s about 9 hours total for all 3 books. I kind of thought of this as one big story, with 3 smaller sort of ‘acts’ if you will, so I’ll make this one big review, but I will try not to spoil any of the huge plot points, because that would be no fun. :D Maddie is a Desert Runner, which is… actually pretty self-explanatory, lol. She takes deliveries and does other quests through the dangerous desert plains. In the world of Puatera Online… in which she is an NPC. This is not exactly unlike a host in Westworld, if you’re familiar. But, unlike the hosts, she knows that her thoughts and desires are programmed. She knows the nature of her world and the ‘visitors’ that pass through it. She’s one of the few NPCs that does realize that she is a character in a game. This is actually really interestingly done, because Maddie is, in her world, for all intents and purposes, a real person – with real feelings, a real boyfriend, real hunger, a real sore hip, and a really slowly falling health bar. Potions are more or less like a drug to NPCs, and Maddie has a bit of an addiction after such a long time trying to treat her injuries. So, out of money and almost out of potions to bring that health bar back up, she takes on a really dangerous quest across the desert, especially dangerous at this time of year because the creatures in the desert, Tromoals (basically dragons), are breeding, and extra-extra dangerous. Turns out that it’s an escort quest. Kind of a reverse escort quest, wherein she, the NPC, has to escort a player to the other side of the desert. The visitor, Alex, is trying to get across the desert with a package quite urgently, and so off they go. Shenanigans abound as they journey, and we find out more about the Tromoal, and more about the nature of Puatera Online as we go, and as it turns out, Puatera Online is far, far more than it seems on the surface. This story is something like Mad Max meets Sword Art Online meets the Matrix, and it was incredibly easy to get into it based on that. The narrator, Andrea Parsneau, did a really fantastic job bringing these characters to life. She told Maddie’s story very well, and gave her a great voice (as this story is told in the first person). She can do a bunch of accents capably, and though one or two seemed a bit forced at times, all the same they were still recognizable, so that was nice. The only thing that made this sort of weird, as an audiobook, was that Maddie and many of her friends are narrated as American, however, much of the vernacular these characters use is very definitely British, and so it seemed out of place. The thing is, if I had been reading the book in print this would have been no problem at all, as I would have read the book assuming British accents. But, having had it read to me, it was much more noticeable when words like ‘bonnet’ and ‘lift’ were thrown in. Not a dealbreaker by any stretch, but just something that sort of stuck out as odd. Maddie and Alex, as… well, as I had guessed would happen, because of course it did, began the whole falling for each other thing as the story went, and as this is a fairly short trilogy, it happens at pretty much the speed of the Pursuit Special across a desert wasteland. Maddie’s NPC-ness actually explains (a bit) why this happens to her so quickly. Her programming is telling her to fall for the sexy visitor. This is assuming we believe that she’s listening to her programming, which she usually ignores. Maybe it’s just really hammering the point home here this time. Alex has his own reasons for… kinda grabbing life by the horns as well. The romancey bits of the story weren’t terribly written, as romances go, and it’s not a whole huge chunk of the actual storyline, and Maddie and Alex were pretty cute at times, but there was a time or two in the very beginning that my eyes did a bit of a roll. It was fast. It was getting The L Word in play for a dude you’ve known for like 3 days and know next to nothing about fast. It was falling in love with a dude whose name you’re not sure is his actual real name fast. It was swearing to and actually somewhat attempting to give your life to save his life the next day fast. That’s NPC amore, I guess. I’ll give this instalove a bit of a break for being half-programmed. Just this once. >.> There was a pretty good deal of action, as all kinds of shenanigans happened to Maddie and Alex and company. Shenanigans with dragons. Shenanigans with bandits. Shenanigans with pretty much everyone and everything they do. The main problem that the world is having, at least in the beginning, is that they need the Tromoals to continue to live and breed in order for the world to survive, but in this particular year, they don’t have enough food to feed their clutch, and if the clutch doesn’t hatch, then everything is doomed. And so, the mission, if they choose to accept it, is to find food for the dragons! MORE SHENANIGANS. Everything from crazy zombie cows, to secret underground dev bunkers, to vampires and dark lords, to aliens, portals to the real world, and everything in between. It got kind of bonkers in the last book, but I didn’t dislike it. I quite enjoyed it, all told. This is not the end of the story, though it appears to be the end of Maddie’s books in this series for the moment. It left me with a few questions. Perhaps one day I’ll get to see those questions answered. This is an honest review based on a review copy of this audiobook. :)

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Mad Max's distant cousin

The Desert trilogy takes place in the artificial world of Puatera Online. Our protagonist, however, is what we would call a Non-Player Character (NPC) - i.e, not a flesh & blood human that logged into the game. She has her own personality though, and more characteristics than the average NPC. To summarize the story, there's a lot of driving, interrupted by short bursts of panic and destruction, then resumes driving shortly afterwards. I enjoyed it. **I was provided with a free promotional copy, at my request, and have voluntarily left a fair and honest review**

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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For fans of litrpgs and gamelit alike

A lot of fun listening to story through the eyes of an NPC instead of a player. Lots of fun moments and colorful language keeps you wanting to see what's going to happen next, hopefully we see more soon. Parsneau does a great job and kept me interested with how she kept the tone of the story. Def an enjoyable listen. I received a this free book in exchange for my honest review

2 people found this helpful

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A nice surprise...

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Let's start by saying that I enjoyed this book. The narration was top notch. Andrea Parsneau did a fantastic job in conveying emotion and adventure. On to the story. For LitRPG fans, this is light on the stats..just enough to let you know they're there. That's fitting for this story, which is a nice change from similar novels. I liked that the story revolved around a NPC, which is becoming more aware. There were just enough twists and turns to keep the story moving, and I look forward listing to the author's other work. I don't give away much plot in my reviews, but I will say it's a solid adventure, and I enjoyed it. Worth the listen.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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wanting more!

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review. this book was so good I'm just so sad it was so short definitely enjoy the narrator definitely enjoyed the story is one of these types of books that you can easily listen to a couple of times and still enjoy it every time I want more thank you thank you thank you.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting take on a virtual world

I thought this was a pretty interesting take on this genre. I feel like the first 2/3 fit together pretty well but part 3 felt really different. This is where it started getting into some really interesting aspects of the world.. but then it was over. I understand why this was the case as our knowledge of the world grows with Maddie's but it felt quite jarring to me.

Personally, I think I would have enjoyed the story more if the first 2/3 was condensed and the last part was expanded on. I thought that Maddie's character building was important but things she learns towards the end of part 2 / start of part 3 and things that happen in part 3 were much more interesting and I wanted to know more! Unfortunately how things end (though they do tie up many loose ends) leaves you hanging. I wouldn't say it leaves as a cliffhanger but there is definitely unresolved story. Hopefully there will be a continuation of this series. If so, I will definitely check it out.

Excellent narration by Andrea Parsneau! I have no complaints here. I would not have a problem listening to more works narrated by Andrea.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story line and great narration!

At first i wasnt sure I'd be into this series by reading the synopsis. I'm so glad i did listen, i was completely surprised and really liked these books! Not only does it feature a strong female protagonist, which is rare in this genre, the story is nothing what i expected. Once started i wasn't able to stop listening until the end! i highly recommend these books if you want or may curious about a change from the typical LITrpg genre of leveling up and stat points. While the author does touch on those aspects it is not at all the focus of the books. I found it refreshing and entertaining. The narrator did a great job conveying the mood and emotions of the characters in the books. Im very much looking forward to listening to the next book!

1 person found this helpful

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great series!

Solid and engaging story, and nerration that brings the characters to life! It is a breath of fresh air to have a protagonist that is down to earth without whining all the time like a little girl with a skinned knee. Great story - worth a credit - buy it you won't regret it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Surprising and Emotional

I really enjoyed this story because it did not follow the same path as other immersive online game fantasy rpg fantasy fiction titles. It went place I quite literally did not think that it would as well as providing a reveal that I never saw coming. I think it's well worth a listen. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 07-23-19

thurally enjoyable.

I have to say I really enjoyed this box set of the first 3 books in the serise, the take from an NPC was a nice change, the whole story was very interesting. The journey it takes you on is fascinating, the characters are easy to follow, very likable. Maddie's self discovery is full of challenges, I found myself wanting more. brilliant! I'd deffinatly recommend it

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • C. Rowlands
  • 03-19-19

A boxset suits these books

This boxset release of the first three books in the series makes perfect sense, none of them are very long by usual audiobook expectations and they do not really feel like distinct entities either, the transition feels more than going to a new chapter but not by much. This series of books focuses on the adventures of an 'NPC' character in a game and it skirts the line between being a regular scifi/fantasy novel and the lighter end of the litrpg genre, there are some mentions of healthbars etc but not to much in the way of stats interrupting the actual story that escalates quite rapidly from this starting point. Even with Maddie (the npc in question) being very much slotted into the chosen one style of main character, it doesn't feel too forced and the character remains likeable and the story engaging. The narrator gives a strong performance, a good tone for the main character and keeping the supporting cast sufficiently distinctive from each other to enhance the flow of the overall story. Overall, this boxset is an entertaining introduction to this series and I anticipate enjoying further instalments in the series too. [Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dennis Payne
  • 02-07-19

awesome

loved the story andi did great with the narration Dawn's characters were fleshed out and had a few twists that I had not thought of

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nighteyes
  • 12-10-18

Well worth it

The boxset is the way to go with this series, I would have felt cheated and given it a far worse review if I had bought the first book simply because they are so short... however the story told is very interesting and I've highly enjoyed it... You follow a female protagonist in semi LITRPG series as she discovers herself, the system and what it means to be her, the series is a little rough around the edges at times, but overall, I've truly enjoyed the boxset and will be getting the rest of series once the second boxset comes out <3

1 person found this helpful

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  • Allan
  • 05-05-18

Good basic story with good twists

This is a good book with some really good twist but there are number of places where the book seems to be not working correctly end of book 2 Seems to jump missing A large amount of the story out and at the end of book 3 repeats part of the story at the start of the book 3 which is quite annoying As I’m not sure if I’m missing the end of the book I would guess from three books I’ve listened to that this would have a least another three books in the series if they are ever written

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Aj Finch
  • 11-12-19

Not Bad, Didn't Grab Me

I did not find the story compelling; it was close, but I stopped listening and didn't miss it. The performance was pretty good, but I found the regular mis-emphasis offputting.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mircea Ciorapciu
  • 10-14-19

Good story and good narrator

My first contact with litRPG is great adventure story. Would recommend as a casual listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MANI
  • 10-06-19

Book set 1-3

These books are like Ready Player One, Push Start to Play etc. Puatera Online is simply fabulous! The fact that this story is told through the POV of a self-aware NPC is unique!

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  • John
  • 09-25-18

Puatera online box set

Dawn Chapman is a author with great insight experience and talented and with the narration skills of Andrea Parsneau who is one of my favorite narrators her voice acting is brilliant and talented she makes the characters in this books come alive 5 stars a must to add to your audible library.