Monday, November 28, 2016

Only the dead have seen the end of War


Wielding a Red Sword
Book Four of the Incarnation of Immortality series
By Piers Anthony
Book review by Lynndee Theson

I had a lot of trouble relating to this character.  Mym is an Indian Prince who runs away from an arranged marriage and falls in love with Orb.  Family duty forces him to leave Orb.  He returns to his kingdom where he is once again forced into a relationship.  After accepting that he can never be with Orb again, Mym falls in love with Rapture who is an Indian Princess.  Although they don’t marry right away, it is assumed that they will since it is a good match.  When family duty once again requires him to give up the woman he loves, he goes into an angry rage.  Since the world had no conflict, the office of war was not needed and the previous Mars was able to pass on to the afterlife.  Once conflict started again, the red sword was drawn to the person with the most anger.  It is at this exact moment that Mym is in a rage so the red sword appears to him.  He takes the sword and becomes War.

What I didn’t like about this book
  1. Mym easily falls in love  
    I felt Mym falls in love way to easily.  First he falls in love with Orb. Then Rapture, then Ligeia, and then the demon Lila.  The book only takes place over a few years so that is falling in love with multiple women very quickly.
  2. Concubine  
    Mym takes a concubine and his partner is okay with it.  What?  It is because he is a prince.  He can have mistresses and everyone seems to be okay with it.  Well, I’m not.

What I enjoyed about this book
  1. Overcoming his disability
Mym has a stutter.  He has always had a stutter.  It is with Orb’s help that he learn a way to communicate without stuttering.  By singing.  So he sings instead of talks.  I like the idea that he is able to find a way to overcome his disability.
  1. Recognizing the need for conflict and how to handle it
Mym comes to understand that his job is not to stop conflict but to make sure it is handled in a fair way.  This idea is hard for everyone, even the other incarnations, to understand.

Overall, Mym’s story is good.  It is a good vs evil story with good coming out victorious.  Evil has not given up yet though.  It has just moved on to a different incarnation.  
Lynndee Theson

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Update

What happened last week?
  • There is no Fate but what we make book review for With a Tangled Skein, book three in the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony.
  • No journal entries.  Sorry, my computer was in the shop.

What will be happening this week

  • New book review for the fourth book in the Incarnations of Immortality series.  Hint:  This book is about War
  • Two new journal entries.  Day 25 and Day 27.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

There is no fate but what we make

With a Tangled Skein
Book Three in the Incarnations of Immortality Series by Piers Anthony
Review by Lynndee Theson
With a Tangled Skein is my favorite book of the Incarnations of Immortality series.  Each book in the series focuses on a different aspect of an incarnation.  This book is about Fate.   Niobe is considered to be one of the beauties of her generation.  She is from a time when women married young and so at twenty-one she is married to sixteen year old Cedric.  She doesn’t love Cedric.  The marriage was arranged by her father who feels this is a good match.  Niobe slowly falls in love with Cedric over the next year.  It is before Cedric turns eighteen that Niobe has her first child.  Unfortunately, Cedric dies and Niobe is left alone with a new baby.  Trying to discover why Cedric had to die, Niobe seeks out the incarnations.  When offered the position of the youngest aspect of fate, Clotho, Niobe accepts.

Why I liked this book

  • Flowed really well         
This book is so easy to read.  I really liked the story and maybe because Niobe is a female I was able to relate with her better than Zane or Norton.  I was able to read this book in two or three days.    
  • Niobe gets to be two different parts of fate
Niobe first becomes Clotho, the youngest aspect of fate.  This happens really fast in the book.  After being Clotho for three decades she leaves the office and becomes mortal again.  Years later, she returns to the office of fate as Lachesis.  I liked that her story continued.

  • Really start to see the connections between the other books
This book really starts to connect the other books.  Some of the characters from the other two books reappear in this one.  These are not main characters so it isn’t until this book that readers discover that they are significant.

  • Niobe doesn’t age well
I found it very realistic that while she was mortal she let herself go a little and didn’t have the perfect body anymore or the youthful good looks.  Again, I felt like I could relate to her.

Things I didn’t like about this book

  • Niobe is of average intelligence but really attractive
Maybe it is my feminine sensitivity coming out but I didn’t like that Niobe was beautiful but no smarter than average.  Why couldn’t she be pretty and smart?  It’s like defining her by her beauty.  Once her beauty is gone she is just a middle aged woman who was once beautiful.michael whelan_sf_piers anthony_with a tangled skein (niobe).jpg

  • Confusing timeline
Niobe becomes Clotho around 22 years old and doesn’t age for almost 40 years.  So at 62, she still looks 22.  Then, she has another baby around the same time her first child who is now almost 40 has his first child.  She babysits for her son and both girls look so alike people think they are twins and her children.  Her now husband is also the father of her son's wife.  WTF!  So her and her husband are the grandparents to a child who is the same age as their child and she still looks 22.

  • Leaves her baby
This is the mother in me but I really don’t like that she chooses to leave her infant son to try and figure out why her husband had to die.  Don’t you think you would stay home and cherish your child that much more since he is the only thing you have of your husband?  It would be very hard for me as a mother to justify leaving my kids.

If you are interested in reading this book, it can be purchased from amazon.  If you want to read it but not buy it be sure to look into local libraries where you can borrow books.  Find your passion for reading.
Lynndee Theson

Friday, November 18, 2016

Journal Entry Ten: Day 19

Day 19
I want to make something for Will and Beth.  I’ll give it to them when we meet.  The Robinson’s are in the same town as Will and Beth.  I think they are only a few miles away from each other.  They have offered to take Will and Beth in.  Dad insists that no one leave their shelter for at least another two weeks and all the families have agreed.  The Robinson’s will be the first to open their shelter and go out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Journal Entry Nine: Day 18

Day 18
Dad spends a lot of his time on the two way radio talking to the other families and trying to find other survivors.  Besides the three families we knew of before, today he found a brother and sister who holed up in a bomb shelter at some school a few towns over.  I guess the guy is the same age as David.  His name is Will.  His sister is 14.  Her name is Beth.  Even though they are both older than me they don’t know what to do since they have no survival training. They got really lucky with the bomb shelter which already had an old two way radio that still worked.  Because they don’t have a lot of supplies they have gone out to look for food and water.  Will said that there is fire everywhere.  Many of the buildings and homes have burned down.  Smoke is in the air and blocks out the sun.  I feel really bad for Will and Beth.  They don’t have anything but each other.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bearing an Hourglass Book Review

Bearing an Hourglass
Book Two in the Incarnations of Immortality
By Piers Anthony
Book overview and review by Lynndee Theson
This is the story of the Incarnation of Time.  Norton lives a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle of the city in a park in the middle of it all.  He enjoys his quiet life.  Then one day he meet a ghost named Gawain.  Gawain changes Norton’s life.  First by introducing Norton to Orlene, the woman Norton falls in love with, and then by helping Norton become the incarnation of Time.
I’m going to change it up and go over what I didn’t like about the book first.

What I didn’t like about this book

  • Very Technical
Piers Anthony spends a lot of the book trying to explain how the office of the Incarnation of Time works.  It is very technical and to be completely honest, over my head.  It is so technical that some parts of the book can be skipped or skimmed through without losing the main story plot.

  • michael whelan_sf_piers anthony_bearing an hourglass.jpgSlow
This book drags on and on and on.  So much of the book is Norton trying to understand how to be Time.  The office of Time is unlike any of the other offices that none of the other Incarnations can help him learn to do his job.

  • Hard to get through
The technical aspect of the book makes it hard to read.  Because it is slow, it is a challenge to finish.

Things I liked about the book

  • Living backwards
I really like the idea that in order for the Incarnation of Time to know what will happen in the future, he must be from the future and as the Incarnation live backwards.  This is where it gets so technical.

  • Essential to the series
This book is so important to the series.  If you don’t read this book, you will miss the connections in some of the other books.

While this book is my least favorite of the series it introduces us to some important characters.  I would recommend this book young adults and up.  Get a copy of Bearing an Hourglass on amazon.  Many books can also be found at your local library.
Lynndee Theson

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Update

Sunday Update

What happened last week

  • New book review for On a Pale Horse
On a Pale Horse is book one in the series Incarnations of Immortality by a Piers Anthony.  This book is the story of the Incarnation of Death.  Read the review for On a Pale Horse.

  • Two new Day Zero journal entries.
Journal entries seven and eight were published for the first time.  Follow all of Day Zero journal entries but make sure to read them in order starting with the first journal entry.
What is happening this week

  • Bearing an Hourglass book review
Lynndee will review Bearing an Hourglass, the second book in the Incarnations of Immortality series.  Special Thanks to Gingi from Domestic Geek Girl for the tips on writing reviews.

  • Two new Day Zero journal entries
Another two journal entries will be published this week for Day Zero.  Day 18 and 19 will bring new characters as well as more hints about the age and gender of the author of the journal.

  • Continued work on Dystopian Shuffle
Dystopian shuffle is getting makeover.  We are trying to make the site more user friendly and easier to navigate.  Please bear with us as this is a process.  Another special Thanks to Chanda Hahn for her input and advice!  We welcome suggestions from our readers to make the site and posts better.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Journal Entry Eight: Day 16

Day 16

It’s only been a few weeks and already the close quarters are getting to me.  I don’t think I am the only one either.  Lily and Courtney seem to be extra sensitive lately.  There is nowhere to go to get away from everyone.  I miss fresh air.  I miss sunshine.  I miss  . . . everything.  There is only so much to do down here.  Mom used the shelter as a storage so she has more stuff here than anyone else.  Lily at least has her slate to keep her busy.  All I have is old board games and a deck of cards.  Not that I could even get anyone to play with me.  Lily doesn’t want to be bothered, Courtney is taking care of the garden, and Brooke is busy drawing on everything.  Mom doesn’t seem to care that Brooke drew on the walls.  She actually told me it made the place look better.  I tried reading but the books down here are mostly non fiction about people that no longer matter.  It’s hard to care about what people did fifty years ago when you don’t know what is even happening to the world outside of the shelter.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Journal Entry Seven: Day 14

Day 14
I’m so mad at Lily!  Crocheting isn’t easy at all.  You have to hold your hands just right or the yarn becomes too loose or tight and holding them that way makes the muscles cramp.  I’m suppose to be making a potholder but so far all I can do is a bunch of loops in a row.  I keep trying to add a second row and it isn’t working.  I don’t know how mom and Lily do it.   Even Courtney can crochet.  I guess I was doing other stuff with David while they were all inside learning to sew and crochet.  I really wish I could be doing stuff outside again.  It’s only because I am stuck down here that I have to learn this stuff anyway.  I don’t even know what good a potholder can possible do anyone at this point.  We don’t even have pots anymore.  Most of our meals are not even cooked.  When they are cooked, mom or Lily use the camp stove and cook in a cast iron skillet.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Incarnations of Immortality Series Review Book 1

It was over ten years ago when I was first introduced to the author Piers Anthony.  Piers Anthony is a science fiction and fantasy author who has written over a hundred books.  The most popular series is set in a magical land called Xanth.  To date there are forty books in the Xanth series.  I have only read a handful of that series, but will always be grateful to the girl who recommend the books to me.  Years later while talking to a coworker about fantasy books Piers Anthony was brought up.  My coworker at the time told me about The Incarnations of Immortality series also by Piers Anthony.  As luck would have it, the coworker owned the books and loaned each book to me so I could read them.  I later purchased my own set.  There are currently eight books in the series.  When I read them there were only seven and I have only read the first seven.  I will be reviewing the seven books from the series that I have read over the next seven weeks.

The first book in The Incarnations of Immortality series is On a Pale Horse.  Each book is a story about a different incarnation.  The incarnations are death, time, fate, war, nature, evil, and good.  This book focuses on the incarnation of death.  The story is set in a world where science and magic both exist.  Zane is broke and alone.  After the death of his mother he has no money and no one.  After trading a possible soul mate for a wealth stone that doesn’t work as he had expected, Zane decides to commit suicide.  Not even that goes as planned.  Instead of killing himself, he kills death and becomes death himself.
He learns how to run the office of death with the help of his pale horse and the other incarnations.  He falls in love with Luna, a mortal woman.  Zane comes into his own as death and changes the way people view death.

Things I like about this book
  1. To become death, you must kill death   I was really fascinated with the idea that to become death, you must kill death.  I know this is not an original idea but, I liked that is gives the person who holds the office of death mortality.  
  1. Death doesn’t have to be something we fear Zane runs the office with compassion.  I think it sometime compassion can be controversial.  This book is no exception with Zane showing mercy to people who live only because they aren’t being allowed to die.  Zane also warns people to change their ways before it is too late and gives second chances when he can.

  1. Zane When we first meet Zane he seem to be a down on his luck guy.  So much so that he feels his only escape is death.  He is also rational and passionate about what he believes.

  1. Mortis Death rides a pale horse.  I really liked how Piers Anthony modernized Mortis, the pale horse, to be able to change into whatever death needed him to be.  He could be a horse, a limosine, a flying carpet.  I thought that was very clever.

  1. Good vs Evil This book wasn’t religious as much as good vs evil.  The evil is very obvious in the form of Satan but it really isn’t about religion.  It is good trying to win against bad.

I would say this is more for an mature audience as some of the themes may be hard for tweens to comprehend.  This book has some adult themes  and the author is obviously a fan of the female figure, but it doesn’t have any intimate scenes.
As the first book of a series it is important to read this book first to understand the world.  If you are interested in reading this series you can purchase On a Pale Horse on amazon at the link below.
Don’t forget about your local library.  Copies of this book as well as many others can be borrowed for free and if the library closest to you doesn’t have a copy in stock can often be requested and sent to the library of your choice.
Lynndee Theson