It’s almost 5 o’clock in the morning, and I’m trying to convince myself I’m either tired or going into labor. As I haven’t had any contractions, I’m mainly working on the “you are getting sleepy, very sleepy” angle.
Of course, if that were actually working, I wouldn’t be posting to my blog.
Since I can’t seem to fall asleep, I started reading other people’s blogs and thinking. I’m envious of those who’ve managed to develop a strong personal voice, and clear, concise opinions on the things that interest them. Hopefully, as I keep up with my reading and reviewing, my own voice will improve. If I want to try my hand as an editor someday, I have to be able to break down a work into something more than, yes, I liked it, or no, I didn’t. So I’ll try to break down Split Infinity somewhat.
The Apprentice Adept: Split Infinity by Piers Anthony
Believe it or not, I first read this book back in 6th grade, as well as others by this author. This nerdy kid I knew had tons of Piers Anthony books, or his parents did, and we kind of became weird friends by reading them together. Piers Anthony is most well known for his incredibly prolific Xanth series, of which there are over twenty published novels, but I found the second book in the Adept series at a thrift store for .44 cents and grabbed it. I picked up the first and third at Half Price Books.
I have to say, I like the Xanth series much better, at least the earlier books, like the first 10 or 15.
The premise is two parallel worlds, one Proton which is scientifically and technologically based, and one Phaze which is magic and myth. Proton is ruled by extremely wealthy people called Citizens but populated by serfs who walk around naked and, for diversion, play what is called The Game. Phaze is run by ten Adepts, each based on a color, Red, Yellow, Blue, Black etc. The main character, Stile, is a serf on Proton, a jockey for a wealthy equine-inclined Citizen and an expert in The Game. Through a series of events, Stile stumbles upon Phaze while trying to keep from getting killed in Proton. But alas, someone is trying to kill him in Phaze as well. This problem is not solved in the first book.
The book was all right, I wouldn’t call it stellar. I’m working on the second one, Blue Adept, and I have the third so I’ll probably read that as well, but the story itself leaves me a little flat. You will find out in the first chapter or two that Stile has a short-man complex which is picked and pointed at throughout the series, and can be very annoying at times, because Stile never seems to learn from his mistakes.
Stile’s main fault is his gut reaction to anyone who is in any way bigger or in some aspect more talented then he is. He has a tendency to analyze and acknowledge his course of action, mentally articulate why and how he should not follow some petty or simplistic urge, and then throw that conclusion out the window and go with his base instincts anyway. Unfortunately, he of course manages to pull victory from the jaws of defeat every time. Argh! The fact that he is aware of this fault and ignores or excuses it is very frustrating at times.
Also, the female characters in the first novel are very underdeveloped and have an alarming habit of falling into bed with the main character at the drop of a hat. Sexually monogamous Stile is not. Apparently, STDs aren’t a worry in the future.
I can’t remember in any detail the rest of series, so at least I’ll be reading the other books like they’re new. I’m hoping for improvement, because I know Piers Anthony writes better than this later in his career.