Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Myth-Chief - Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye

Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye


At the outset, I should state that I read a couple of the MYTH books ages ago and remember really liking them. Those books were early in the series, though, and I haven’t kept up with this world since then. My long hiatus from the series makes me feel pretty much like a newbie; and I can say that it’s not at all difficult to pick up this novel and understand the characters and setting. The only problem new readers may face is that they want to go back and read the previous books.

The wizard (of dubious skill) Skeeve, known as the Great Skeeve and head of M.Y.T.H., Inc, decides that retirement is more boring than restful and decides to go back to work. After some consideration, he decides that the only place for him to hang out his new shingle is in the Bazaar that is, essentially, the crossroads of all worlds and dimensions. But he didn’t think his plans all the way through, and discovers that, while his old friends at M.Y.T.H., Inc are happy to see him personally, they’re a little confused as to his new role. At first glance, it looks like he’s going to be competing against his old outfit for business.

Skeeve, and his assistant Bunny, do all they can to avoid stepping on toes, and even refer business back to the guys at M.Y.T.H., Inc. But it’s inevitable that their paths will cross, and they do. It’s clear that there can only be one Boss (chief,) so Skeeve and Aahz, who now heads things, decide on a little wager. They’ll each take on the next case that comes in, and their success or failure will determine which of them is in charge. Anyone who has even seen a sitcom will understand that this plan has ‘trouble’ written all over it.

Maybe it’s just rose-colored hindsight, but this installment does not live up to my memories of the first few MYTH books. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining; it most certainly is. I just got a different vibe from this installment. The plot is a bit thin and the finale seems rushed and unexpected. New readers will feel pulled into the MYTH world along with Skeeve as he returns and sets up a new business. There’s plenty of action, a good bit of humor, and a great cast of characters. Readers who like their fantasy mixed with more than a bit of noir will enjoy this series.

Rating: 7
February 2009
ISBN# 978-0-441-01687-7 (paperback)


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