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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, book 1) » User review

Death Rides A Pale Limousine ... (caution, spoilers ahead)

  • Jul 15, 2010
What would you do if you were broke, unemployed, and to top it off, loveless?

This is the situation Zane found himself in. He is desperate and losing hope.

One evening, lonely and facing a bleak future, he decides to end it all.  Armed with a gun he acquired by saving a ghost from being treated harshly by a mugger (yes, you read that right), he points it to his head and as he is about to shoot, his apartment door opens and a cloaked and hooded figure comes in.  It was no one else but the Grim Reaper.  

Instinctively, Zane reacts. He points his gun on Death's skeletal head and shoots.

In less than a second, the dreaded harvester of souls lie lifeless on the ground.

Death is dead!

Zane finds out that Death really is an office, much like the office of a government official. His killing of the person who held this post automatically made him the successor; thus, Zane  assumes the office of Thanatos and works by collecting souls and pointing them where they should go in the afterlife depending on the wealth of good or evil deeds they have merited - whether to Heaven or to Hell.

As Death, Zane rides a pale limousine whose name is Mortis. Mortis can change into a pale plane, a pale boat, and of course, a pale horse.

Zane then meets and falls in love with Luna, a magician's daughter, and finds out that Satan is planning to have her die and take her to hell to prevent her from thwarting his plans for the future.

So what does Zane do?

Believe me, I want to tell you, but that's enough spoilers, I hope, to lead you to pick up the very first book of Piers Anthony that I have ever read.

Piers Anthony writes in a very light, readable, and enjoyable style.  The conversations may be a little lengthy at times but they are always interesting. The inherent wit and genius of the author is clearly evident in all of the book's pages.  His imagination and creativity instantly made me a fan.  Trust me, you will never be bored with this one.  

Also, since is the first time I have read one of Piers Anthony's works, this is the very first time I have also read one of his Author's Notes.  The note is a lengthy description of how he came about to write this book.  He reveals how he got the ideas for certain sections of the book and tells a few anecdotes about himself and the way he works - from the conception of his ideas through to publication.  It is a very intriguing and interesting read by itself.

On a serious note, Piers Anthony tackles various subjects in this first installment of his Incarnations of Immortality series; but the main subject of course is about the mortality of our selves and of those whom we love.  

By reading this work, you will not be able to stop yourself from reflecting about your own attitude regarding death. Is death merely an end to this existence or is it something we all have to go through in order to get to a different, and hopefully better place. Would you usher in the death of a loved one for convenience's sake? Or would you trade the life of one person for the benefit of the greater good?

After having read On A Pale Horse, I came away with a desire to seek the answers to these questions. But in the end, for me personally, all the answers lead to these two words that say it all...

Love and Compassion.

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More On a Pale Horse (Incarnations ... reviews
review by . June 16, 2010
While the beginning was a bit slow and confusing, readers quickly learn the ins and outs of the setting--a modern day world in which magic exists. This book kept my attention from beginning to end as the main character, Zane, attempts to take his own life but ends up killing the incarnation of Death instead. With the help of Mortis--a new twist on Death's steed from tradition--Zane quickly learns the ropes of his new job as death. However he struggles with the idea of having to take another's …
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
Quite possibly the best in the series, this first of the "Incarnations of Immortality" shows how ordinary people take over the offices of immortal abstractions -- in this case, Death. An amazing look at who/what Death is, and how he takes on his office, about what it means to die... and to live. Great summer read!
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
My first encounter with Mr. Anthony, one I will never forget!
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
Can't ever get enough of this series, but the first book is just phenomenal- can't waiy until its a proper TV series
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