Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony
This is a great series. I have Read the first and second ones, and am now reading the 3rd Book. Im not going to give anything away, but those who enjoy fantasy (and even those who dont) I highly suggest picking up "On a Pale Horse" and reading the rest of the series. It is awesome! Piers Anthony is brilliant!
Submitted by Deirdre
These books are an excellent example of amamzing detail and hard work. Once a camp counciller of mine recommended them to me and i decided to try them out. I love them for many reasons but mainly because they really make you think about the world around you. Yes, sometimes you may have to read the paragraph two or even five times to understand what Piers Anthony is getting at/explaining (its hard to get your mind around some of it) but to me when you do understand its like "Wow, this author really knows what hes doing." I found the characters believable and the plots entrancing. I would definately recommend these books to anyone who loves to read (or anyone who doesnt).
Submitted by Nick Daniel
Piers Anthony is a very creative man, as witnessed by this series, and the world of Xanth that he created, not to mention several more works. This particular series, Incarnations of Immortality, is inspired. This is a world where Death, Time, Nature, War, and Fate are people who assume those roles, incarnate them, until something happens that marks the end of their tenure. The ending event is different for each incarnation.
The first two books, about Death and Time respectively, are sheer genius. He creates a fabulous world, with good characters and plot lines, and a great wit, which I have always found amusing.
However, from here the series slides. The plots of the remaining books of the series go steadily downhill. Anthony's writing, while not bad, isn't really enough to hold onto your imagination. There is admittedly great potential in these stories, and Anthony managed to realize some of that. From the third book onwards, however, I felt there were weak plots with simple resolutions that leave you unfulfilled. I found that the characters are no longer fleshed out, and instead are consumed by the story they find themselves in.
Like I said, the idea is fantastic, but that's it. The execution of those ideas grows worse as the series progresses. While the series is not a WASTE of time, I couldn't call it time well spent either.
These books are best read whilst on a long trip or merely for 'fluff reading'. Expect the idea behind the story to remain with you for a while, but the characters, plot lines, and all else will soon fade from memory.
Submitted by jenna
I first read this series many years ago and as i recently started to read it again i remembered why this was always my favourite. I am a big fan of Piers, I have read a lot of his other books but these have always stuck in my mind. The world he creates is exquisite, an amazing mix of science and magic which I'm not sure anyone else could pull off. Each book explores a different incarnation, and their worlds are all so different. Yet at the same time they are all linked, not only through their offices but also through their human lives. Every book is amazing on it's own (my favourites are the last two, dealing with evil and good), however it is the plot which runs through the entire series that is really mindblowing. I have never read another series with the same level of imagination (not even by Piers!). I wanted to give this a 20 out of 5! I highly recommend the series to anyone with enough of an open mind to watch the lines between science fiction and fantasy blur beyoned recognition.
Submitted by Paul
I was in the Navy back during desert storm. Exciting enough. Part of my duties while I was onboard the ship was being attached to the fire team. That just meant making sure that nothing 'explosive' happened during the helo's unrep's (underway replenishment). My specific duty was to man a fire extinguisher. To make sure that the fire team was always at the ready, we were assigned to nothing else. This left plenty of time for me to twiddle my thumbs. Once, I asked a fellow shipmmate if he had something I could read while topside, being bored. He gave me a copy of "Bearing an Hourglass". The title didn't pique my curiosity, but I thought, "At least I have something." I started to read about this poor guy who seemed to lose everything, but had a chance to gain it all back. A couple of my favorite scenes were when we discover that the apparent paradox of him existing in two frames of reference at the same "time". He actually picks up the hourglass before he assumes the office. Wow. Also, when he zips back and forth through time to discover the problems of the current "time", unknowingly screwing up everything because of Satan's minions were hitching a ride. Also, when a gentleman is doing his business in the lavatory, and is forced to experience backward events, causing being unable to stop the retro-grade motion of his, ahem, stool.
After I finished the book in about 8 hours, I disovered that there were more books! Yeehaaw. I begged my friend to find the rest. He relented, and I poured through the series in 7 days.
Now aren't you glad to know that the people you trust to protect your country are busy ready Piers Anthony? : ))