January 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads)

chiefMyth-chief by Robert Asprin & Jody Lynn Nye


I’m kind of shocked with how far these books drop the more I read them. I wasn’t expecting too much from the co-authored books, but even then, I find them lacking in so many ways. Myth-chief is no exception to that rule, and maybe I’m predisposed to not like them after being continually disappointed, but it drops so far that this doesn’t even feel like a Myth Adventures book.

The chapter quotes are back, which is nice, but then we get another book told through multiple first-person narratives — Skeeve and Aahz. This time they’re facing off in a challenge to determine who will serve as President of M.Y.T.H. Inc., since there’s some bad blood between Skeeve and the rest of the organization. That in itself is odd, since there’s been no indication until now that Skeeve’s departure was anything more than a mutual understanding. Sure, there was confusion, but I never got the feeling that the others felt left in the lurch, especially when we saw enough other viewpoints so we could see more than just Skeeve’s perspective on the issue.

I think what the authors tried to do here is give us an accurate look at what it’s like in a group of friends when one of them needs time alone. They try to give us the full spectrum of reactions, from disappointment to understanding to full-out hurt feelings, and while I give them credit for trying, the books aren’t about any of that. They’ve always been light-hearted and fun, so this turn of events is a bit of a let-down.  In addition, the books work when the characters are all working together toward a common goal, and here we literally have members of the team competing directly against each other. It doesn’t fit the style of the previous novel, and even does a disservice to the established characters. The ending brings it back around enough to remind us that, yes, these people are a team, and yes, they’re friends, but it takes a long time reading characters not acting like themselves to get there.

It seems like the next book will see the entire team working together again, with all of the nonsense that’s preceded it set aside, but that will be the last book that Asprin had any involvement in before his death. Too little, too late, I imagine, even though Nye does take up the mantle for two solo-written books to continue the series. Unless something major changes in the last three books, I don’t see myself continuing this series once I get caught up.


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