On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality #1)
When the grim reaper shows up a few seconds early, Zane shoots him instead of using the gun on himself as he’d planned. Now, instead of being dead, Zane is Death. He has to take over the office, riding around the world in his convertible pale horse collecting and measuring the souls of those who’ve committed equal amounts of good and evil during their lives — those who are “in balance.” In his new guise (complete with all of the accoutrements: scythe, hood...more
The premise is similar to "The Santa Clause", but instead of the jolly old elf, it's the Grim Reaper who kicks the bucket. Erm, gets shot to death by the protagonist. It's an ACCIDENT, okay!
Now the protagonist has to take his place, and figure out all the gadgets Death uses to find the souls he collects. There's a cool car/horse, an...more
4.0 stars. Piers Anthony is a MIND-NUMBING ENIGMA to me. He is capable of writing extremely thought-provoking, imaginative stories that are both original and speak to fundamental aspects of the human condition. The mystery is that he does so infrequently, despite being one of the most prolific authors in the speculative fiction. Wait....on second thought, maybe that is the answer. Quantity of production slamming right into the proverbial nuts of quality.
Well this first novel in the Incarnation...more
Sadly, that's not saying much. Anthony has some very creative ideas, but his prose is mechanical at best and plainly clunky at worst.
Even so, some of the ideas are worth the slog. The Incarnations of Immortality series, though it fades at the end as all of Anthony's series do, is a clever and occasionally inspired look at religion, spirituality, and morality. In different hands it might have been pure art (see also, Good Omens by Prat...more
A couple of days later, we meet up and she pulls out a present for me from her bag. A copy of Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse. When she left, later that day, I began to read the novel and was immediately submersed into Anthony's universe. The story...more
A friend of mine in high school pushed this series on me and I reluctantly started to read it. Have I mentioned that science fiction really isn't my favorite yet? Because yeah, it takes something special for me to really delve into science fiction.
Anyway, I started to read this book and was drawn in quickly. I think the basis is what did it for...more
The series questions the nature of life by having mortals take on immortal offices which they can execute in whichever way they so choose... for the most part anyway.
This book in particular follows the story of Zane and then Luna. His soul is fairly balanced between good and evil... or at least enough so that he has to be attended to by Death himself when he tr...more
The books thems...more
Zane has lost everything. Watching his future disappear in a world that equally embraces magic and modern technology, he finally decides that suicide is his only option. However, Zane didn't expect to have the Grim Reaper walk through the door. The surprise leads him to r...more
On a Pale Horse starts quickly, and Anthony begins to attempt to weave his complex tale, unfortunately at the expense of the pace of the book. While his actual prose should never be considered anything except utilitarian and his characters (regardless of intention) are absolutely one-dimensional and his uneven tempo is only magnified by the obvious fact that Anthony is...more
I am fascinated by points of view of normally feared characters, like Death, or the Devil. I think that there is always more than one side to a story, and I love exploring that. So On a Pale Horse was like catnip for cats, to me.
I liked his very human characterization of Death. I liked that Death made mistakes, very funn...more
That being said, there are few surprises to the book, although he makes his interpretation of Thanat...more
I am not putting the rest of the book down; I am just saying the main character was superbly formed.
As a whole the story kept me hooked and I read the book over a couple of weekends, so not fully a ‘couldn’t put down’ read but q...more
Fast forward 27 years. (Yikes! Speaking...more
Anthony's best series by far.
The first seven are obviously part of his original concept, & fit very well together. Each book builds on the one before, leading to the climax in book 7!
Beginning with Thanatos(Death) the series introduces one major immortal in each book.
Each has unique attributes, not necessarily 100% matching to any myth you've read previously on the character.
Thanatos: a human who successfully catches the pre...more
The first book of the Incarnations of Immortality series follows the life of Zane who, at the end of his rope, decides to commit suicide. In an act self-preservation he shoots Death who has come to reap his soul. After this Zane takes the mantle as the new death and must manage his difficult duties to ensure that the world continues in a moderately normal fashion.
The main plot concerns Zane attempting to save his love interest,Luna, from the hands of Satan although generally the novel best succe...more
Piers puts a whole to concept to the word "death". It's not just something that happens, a state that livings things fall into, but he turned it into an office; a type of job. The story begins with a young man who was about to commit suicide and when Death shows up at the door to take him, he accidentally kills Death. By rule, he must now fill the office. He has no idea what he is doing, but once h...more
When I was in my early teens I started reading Piers Anthony's Xanth books and I eventually read most of his books that were...more
Let's start with the major problem I have with this series. Piers Anthony writes almost every single female character as some crazy or weak person that needs a man to come save the day. How insulting! As if women can't be just as tough, reasonable or resilient as men? I don't know how I missed it the first go round - maybe I f...more
I'm glad I did; it's a new favorite. It had everything I could have asked for from this concept. It was fun, and interesting. At a healthy pace, things were always happening. New things that made the story interesting. You know how many different ways people died? At the same time, it asked many of the questions most people wonder about and hesitate to answ...more
This book was recommended by a work colleague who thought it would be my kind of book and so it became my ninth read...more
Piers is a self-proclaimed environm...more