Off the Shelf - "Blue Adept"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

Blue AdeptThis book is the "enchanting sequel" to another novel called Split Infinity. I did not read Split Infinity. As a result my enjoyment suffered. So first off, let it be known that Piers Anthony does not continue books with the new readers in mind. Then again, let it also be known that when one reads Piers Anthony in succession one has a very good experience(1).

Unfortunately I couldn't locate a copy of Split Infinity in my collection so I'm afraid I will have to start here. Blue Adept seems like a well-done book, but without reading the prequel to it the milieu as a whole breaks down. The prime idea behind this is the separation of two "phases" of worlds - that is, another across a "curtain" of time and space. It seems and acts as a dimensional portal, with opposites yet equals on either side of the curtain. The idea of it is barely touched upon on a theoretical level within Blue Adept and that damages the novel leaving it disbelievable.

On the upside however, the adept caste system described in one of the worlds is very well done. Likewise the caste system on the modern version of the world. The plot was mystery-filled, but the novel suffered as a whole by coming to an anti-climactic ending. Seems to be a sadder attempt at phase-fantasy (a la Neverwhere(2) or the White Gold Chronicles(3)). Doesn't last much past the reading. Interesting small twisting plots - a well done time control clock throughout the storyline. Middling but enjoyable. I'm sure it would have been better with the prequel first - live and learn I guess.

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(1) See Off the Shelf: Bio of a Space Tyrant in Legends #120 & #121.
(2) By Neil Gaiman. Reviewed in Legends #115.
(3) By Stephen Donaldson.

"Blue Adept" by Piers Anthony
Ballantine Books
Copyright © 1981 by Piers Anthony
ISBN: 0-345-28214-0

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