Myth Alliances

December 30, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

alliancesMyth Alliances by Robert Asprin

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I resisted going this far into the Myth Adventures series. Even when I was younger, I felt like the books became less and less charming as they went along, and after so many years had passed and Asprin returned to the series with a co-writer, I felt like the magic would be gone. But I’m a sucker for an unfinished series, and someone did tell me these books were better than I would think. What I should have done was reflect on how bad I thought they would be and ask if they could be worse.

Well, it turns out my initial thoughts were correct. This book doesn’t even feel like Myth Adventures book. I expect that Nye wrote the bulk of the book based off of Asprin’s notes, because nothing about the book feels anything like the older ones. The last two books in the solo Asprin books were a let-down, but they still read and felt like Myth Adventures books. Myth Alliances feels like someone trying to pick up someone else’s series and hoping for the best. Which, I guess, is exactly what it is.

How could this book go so wrong? Well, Skeeve makes a gross assumption about the antagonists who aren’t really antagonists, the plot and jokes feel forced, and the dialogue falls flat. It doesn’t help that the illustrations don’t have the whimsical nature of Phil Foglio’s, partly because they’re computer generated, but mostly because they look remarkable lifelike (well, the humans do, at least; you can see how bizarre the Pervects on the cover look). The story is boring, since the entire thing hinges on the fact that the conflict is a big misunderstanding on Skeeve’s part. It’s one thing when it’s not quite clear from the get-go, but the story meanders from Skeeve as the narrator to a third-person omniscient narrator to get the Pervects’ points of view, so we know from about the third chapter what’s going on. The entire thing feels frustrating, and worse, pointless.

The authors manage to pull everything together for the ending, but maybe I was just so happy to see the end of the story that I mixed up the source of my emotions. It’s definitely the worst of the bunch so far, and it’s an inauspicious start to reading the second half of the series. I’m still planning on finishing out the series (I already bought the dang books), but so far my feeling is that fans should just stick with books one through twelve (omitting the eleventh one).

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