Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
I was a little skeptical that this book would work out from the first opening listen. Gradually I started to like the tale more and more as Proton, its society, and the game were introduced. By the time that Phaze (the alternate reality world) and Stile's long ride of the unicorn commenced, I was hooked. I joke a bit with the title and if this all seems strange, well, it really is... But if you like science fiction / fantasy that isn't space based then this is up your alley. I think fondly of the Landover series by Terry Brooks and find this book to be comparable in style.
Basically, Proton is a world of advanced technology where man is ruled by the rich and the games are the only way a servant can become a citizen, thus earning the right to stay on planet. The other world introduced is Phaze which is full of all types of magical fairy creatures and operates on a more primal nature where death for transgressions seem more common. Stiles is our protagonist who is of the servant class in Proton. He is also a top competitor in the games and finds himself to be of magical powers in the alternate world of Phaze. With free travel between both worlds, Styles is forced into situations of life and death where he must discover who wishes him dead before it is too late.
I wouldn't say there is a heavy amount of action, but enough to make this a fun fantasy full of adventure and discovery. I found some facets of the society of Proton to be fascinating. Particularly, I found interesting how the separation of a classes is distinguished and the parallels can be drawn to the alternate world of Phaze where magic holds the power. The author's description of events and surroundings were admirable. However, I felt at a few points this extended too far. For example, when Stiles profession becomes that of a stable hand, the intricacies of horse manure and his job were explained in too much detail. Also, there are some strange happenings that include romantic interest with an equine and a robotic women. Suffice to say, the characters or Proton are quite liberal with their bodies in such respects.
I liked the story crafting in other fashions. Piers Anthony utilizes both past and present to explain our protagonist and shape a believable character. Then he introduces a world much like that of Proton, except with magic, where the rules and laws of nature change dramatically. There is quite a bit of potential for sequels. I felt the ending wrapped up like the end of a good chapter in Stiles life but certainly didn't conclude events by a long shot. I now eagerly await book two.
Yes. The idea was creative and engaging.
Stiles, the underdog who succesfully overcomes adversity.
Piers goes a little wobbly toward the end of the series, but this first book was thoroughly entertaining.
I first read this book over twenty years ago, I think. I was a teenager and all my friends loved it.
It was one of the staples of teenage sci-fi reading in the late eighties, such was Donaldson, Eddings and Fiest. Piers Anthony is the lesser of these four.
It is entertaining, and the story spans over several books. I started listening to book 4, which is new to me, and immediately felt it betrayed the first three.
As a younger reader... Piers was one of my favorites... could not get enough of Xanth (if I remember that correctly). The story line is entriging truly... is listening to the book better then sitting in a dark closet letting the mind wander... Yes... but this book did not grab me... will I get the next book in the series... we will see with the flip of a coin...
Love epic sci fi and fantasy, but hate looking of really good books. So many duds out there. I am gamer too.
I give this book an A+ for the attempt to merge fantasy and sci fi, but it seems to not have a major punch. The book is now a classic(1980) and that may explain some, but the story is not dated. Feels like it could have been written yesterday. The story flows well and issues are resolved along the way. The plot does a nice twist toward the third book, upending some of what you know at that point. I did think the conversation between the Stiles and Sheen in the beginning was unique and I like the dialog between them, but that is about as deep as the book gets. I guess that between Stile's perceived handicap of being short and his abilities, his abilities out weigh any empathy you might feel for him. I found myself caring about the robot more than anyone else. All in all it is good story worth the read, if anything just to learn about the two worlds. The narrator is just okay, but did his job well though. Was able to listen without complaint. I think this maybe one book where a movie version might do better in showing visuals rather than explaining them, especially when playing the games or using magic.
As a very young man I read this book and enjoyed it. Now decades later, it appears my memory was based on the feeling I got as a young college student. Now as an older man I have a more mature point of view that makes the author's perspective seem base and juvenile.
So my disappointment is in my failed expectation because I was not able to revisit the experience. Now if the essence of the story were rewritten without the preoccupation of describing the visual delights of the flesh at every turn I would buy and read the series again.
I realize I am no longer the target audience for this series.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
First let me say, I like the idea of a hero under five feet tall. Many of you will snicker, but being a short man is not easy. Our society idolizes tallness. A tall man gains respect when he enters a room, just because he was born with genes that make him tall. Studies show that short men get passed over for promotion, etc. And what girl will date a man shorter then her. Some popular actors are short such as Newman and Cruise, but they do things on screen to make you unaware. Anyways hats off to PA for making his hero short.
I also like a fantasy and science fiction in the same book.
I don't like books with characters I just don't care about. I agree with the reviewer Matt, that I just could not get myself to care about these people. After four and a half hours I called it quits, I could not see myself wasting time and being terrible bored with the rest of the book.
I am not a big fan of PA, but I did like "On A Pale Horse" and "Bearing An Hourglass"
engaging characters are everything to me,
unfortunately this book just doesn't have that
i think everyone knows what are interesting characters and mehh.... characters
and unfortunately this book has mehh..... characters
Piers Anthony: No. Absolutely not. They misogyny of this author is both depressing and insulting. His characters are flat and honestly don't make much sense.Traber Burns: I don't know. His acting is mostly monotones, but I can't tell if he's being sardonic (it gets especially flat at very appropriate moments, as though to make fun of the misogyny and the absurdity of the characters behaving the way that they do).
Yes, actually. Using different voices for all the characters, even becoming more expressive for some of the more obscure and momentary characters. It makes me think that the way he was reading Stile was very intentional, and if it was, I am very grateful. He made me laugh very hard several times.
Very disappointed, disgusted.
Holy crap, THIS is what I was reading when I was a teenager? I can't tell if this was a symptom of the self-hate or a part of the problem. Probably both.
Photographer and office professional
I would definitely recommend this to a friend and I have to several. It is a really good story that you don't want to put down. It is fast paced and the writing is good with plenty of twists and turns. I read this book 20 years ago and was glad to have it read to me on a long drive. It was like a visit from an old friend.
Piers Anthony is really a one of a kind and I find it hard to compare his books to others.
I have not listened to Traber's performances before. I enjoyed this one. He doesn't stumble over words and is consistent.