Don't miss the other books in the Incarnations of Immortality series.
©1983 Piers Anthony Jacob; (P)1996 Recorded Books
I average three books a week, but as I cannot afford to purchase that many books I frequently re-read those I already have. If you are here looking for reviews, I typically only review those books I feel particularly strongly about or have some insight that hasn't yet been posted in a review.
If your reading this your probably looking for a good series to get into, having read all the books here is my take on the series as a whole to help you make that decision:
The first book is excellent and sets the tune for the entire series. If you pick up this one and dont like it then you can safely avoid the others in the series as they are very similar in most ways (though the rest of the books tend to be more plot driven and less focused on the powers of the office involved).
Book 2 unfortunately has the least impressive plot of any, you absolutely must ride with it despite the strangeness for it to make sense and reveal itself as a decent book. The odd points are explained in the end, and when the plot is progressing its very interesting.
Book 3 and on plot becomes very important, the characters become much more real outside their offices and it takes longer to get around to the overall theme, but is a vast improvement over book 2s interludes. Maybe its just me but book 2 really messed up my perception of the timeline of the series, to the point where I was confused on that point for most of this book - to clarify, this one takes place before either of the other books so far. Much of the structure of the incarnations is revealed in this book.
Book 4 is interesting and quite diffrent plot-wise, though I have trouble relating to the character of Mars. Mars character makes the story work however, I dont think your supposed to relate to all of his aspects - but its his idiosyncrasies that progress the story.
Book 5 is the slowest of the series, and would be my least favorite if not for the ending. The ending of this book is one of the great scenes of fiction and makes the entire series worth reading.
Book 6 is a work of art, it spans the entire series and more filling the perspective of Satan in each novel. This is the perfect end to this series, it binds everything together and gives greater meaning to the work as a whole.
Being a fan of Piers Anthony from the Xanth books and also a fan of George Guidall (the reader of this novel) from listening to multiple other books he has read I thought this would be a safe pick for something I would be sure to enjoy, but alas I found myself disappointed.
Piers certainly portrays the universe in an interesting way but I found little humor in the book. It was too off the wall for me to take it seriously and it was not funny enough for me to to take it in a comical way. I found the larger plot intriguing enough to pick up the second book in the series with the hopes that it would develop in to something I would enjoy; however, book 2 put an abrupt end to that thought and I have moved on to other series.
To give some reference to my tastes: I am a fan of Fantasy/Sci Fi books in general and I also enjoy books portrayed with a sense of humor like Discworld, Xanth, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. I listen to audiobooks regularly and I wanted to like this one but I just couldn't get myself to enjoy it. It is definitely better than book 2 though.
I knew nothing about this book or the author when I purchased it on a friend's recommendation, and against my better judgement. Was I surprised! A book about death and the meaning of life and all those serious topics with a sense of humor. George Guidall brings this story alive (no pun intended) and makes it a truly enjoyable and thought-provoking experience. I'm not a Sci-Fi or Fantasy fan, but just purchased the next Audible in the series. Give it a whirl!
I purchased this book during the Discover a New Series sale. It was worth every penny of the $4.95 I paid.
I have read many unflattering reviews about the narrator, George Guidall. I was introduced to him in Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series. Since then I have listened to a number of other books he has narrated and I think I have discovered that to bring his reading to life, Mr. Guidall requires a certain kind of book. In my opinion "On a Pale Horse" is perfect for him.
The story is strange but as I began to understand it, I became enthralled. This is the first Piers Anthony book I have listened to and I am going to listen to the second book in the series within a week or two. I don't think I am divulging to much to tell you the book is about the Grim Reaper. I have listened to all the Terry Pratchett books and one of my favorite characters is Death. By reading this book it seems I have a much better understanding of Death and what motivates him. That's not to say that this is a rip-off of Pratchett, instead by treating "Reaper Man" in a somewhat more serious way, the juxtaposition was very enjoyable for me.
Reviewing what I have just written causes me to assume that most anyone reading this review is going to respond with WHAT? Unless perhaps you are a Terry Pratchett fan.
I hope that if you take the plunge you enjoy the book as much as I did.
If you're the type of reader/listener that puts yourself into the book your reading, then you need this in your collection! Imagine yourself... as... "DEATH".. The Grim Reaper... Piers Anthony steps you into your role like none other!
This is a non-stop thrill ride on the back of a "Pale Horse"! You'll be humored, thrilled, and startled... then you'll start the book and it will only get better!!
After you've wetted your appetite for Piers Anthony on this audio book, you'll need to follow it up with book 2, Bearing an Hourglass.
The entire Incarnations of Immortality series is a great read!!
Then, hopefully his Xanth series will hit audible.com!! One can only wish!!!
i am a 48 year old disabled man. i am an aspergers cyber junkie and techno phile. i enjoy cyber punk, net runner epic fantasy and mysteries
this is the first in a 7 part series about the ultimate struggle between god and the devil. set from a fantasy viewpoint it has major implications on an alternate viewpoint of life death and reality.
Hey there! I am a Fantasy/Sci-Fi nut. I also enjoy a good zombie novel or thriller now and then. My likes tend towards Young adult novels as I find most of the "adult" Fantasy novels to be uppity for lack of a better word. Follow me if you like the same as I intend to go back and review every book I had listened to on this site and will keep doing so.
This is my personal favorite book of all time. I love the way piers mixes magic and science, His outlook of hell and heaven, and Zane. The book is both fun and light as well as addressing some very intense topics.
I first read this book as a child in the 80's and have since read it once a year. Sadly the later book in the series are not as good however still worth reading.
This book is completely insulting to women and a thinly veiled catholic sermon. I was expecting a fun scy-fi/fantasy book and instead was hugely disappointed. The book speaks of the inherent "bitchiness" of women, suggests that a baby born in incest has "evil" on it's soul and a describes this poor woman who's father is trying to offer her up as a sex slave for death as "un-special, and un-remarkable" when it's pretty remarkable to me that she didn't run screaming out of the room. Terrible book.
not written it
I'm a web designer in Southern California that loves a good thick book - especially epic fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary thrillers. My favorite authors include Stephenson, Erikson, and Sanderson.
I didn't particularly love this book, but I'll admit that it's got some interesting things going on. The deity, "Death", is new to the job and essentially wanders around collecting souls and engaging in "episodic" internal debates over the merits of man's life here on earth and whether or not a soul should go to heaven or hell.
Cool story bro. It reminded me of the television show Grey's Anatomy - but replace the intense personal drama with heavy philosophical arguments.
The story just didn't really engage me in any real way, but I'll be the first to admit that I've read a lot of material like this and that, ultimately, if I'd read this when I was a bit younger, it would have become one of those cherished novels that I push on my friends and children. I suppose I'm a bit jaded by the whole heaven and hell world structure, so this felt a little stale. To be fair though, the book is 30 years old and has aged as well as any book has in the genre.
The ideas here are great - even if you don't love the world, there's tons for a young mind to ponder over and it gave me plenty to chew on myself... I just got bored of the chewing and wanted to move onto something else. It's solid writing, has a great narrator, and is worth a listen - if only to say that you've touched on this classic.
I enjoyed the book and the Narrator did an excellent job! There was quite a bit of talking in the background and I found that very distracting.
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