M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action

December 7, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads)

actionM.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action by Robert Asprin

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The One About the Army

To say that I wasn’t thrilled about returning to another M.Y.T.H. Inc. novel is an understatement. I wasn’t looking forward to another mish-mash of a story with alternating points of view and multiple plots, but it turns out that Asprin wisely chose to focus on just one other character than four, as he had done with M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link. Of course, focusing on Guido means we get a full novel of his Runyonesque style of speaking, which takes some time to get accustomed to.

The plot involves Guido and Nunzio joining the Possiltum army as a means to slow down its efforts to take over the world. The previous book had ended with Skeeve and crew getting a severed finger in the mail, the ring on said finger being a giveaway that Queen Hemlock was up to something. The two bodyguards hope to bungle the army’s efforts, and the story is about how they adapt to basic training with a crew of questionable recruits.

The story is a let-down, not just because it doesn’t involve Aahz or Skeeve. Poised over the entire story is the threat of Queen Hemlock, and the ending resolves that problem by saying that it was never a problem at all. It was frustrating, not just because it felt like a cheat, but also because that threat was the whole reason for the novel. Why spend so much time with the story if it just winds up being pointless? Some of the other books in the series had endings that were cop-outs, but none were as egregious as this one.

The problem is that it’s not feasible to skip over this book unless you find a good summary of it elsewhere, since the events of this story happen at the same time as Sweet Myth-tery of Life, which follows this book (and then there’s Something M.Y.T.H. Inc., which takes place at the same time as both of those). I had heard that the books get worse the further into the series one goes, but I didn’t expect them to be this bad. The only thing that kept this book at three stars was my nostalgia, and even then, I was being generous.

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