Day 134. “On a Pale Horse”: a review

About a week ago I finally finished reading On a Pale Horse. It took me months to read this book because 1. I usually only read it at work on breaks and 2. the book didn’t interest me at first.

I find Piers Anthony’s writing style to be very juvenile, very un-eloquent. His style, to me, is the style of a person who wishes to be an author but is just not mature enough, does not have the right words, to get a book published. I could write like he writes, in fact, my fiction is probably much like his writing style. The words generally don’t flow well together when I read his books. They are clunky. The dialogue is choppy and seems forced at times.

This is how he appears to me. I am sure there are many readers who love him and perhaps I am just not the right audience member but that is why I was hesitant to read On a Pale Horse.

It did take some time for me to get into the story. There was actually a few weeks, maybe a month, where I did not read it at all, it just sat on a side table. But I did eventually pick it back up.

The story is actually fairly interesting. The gist is that magic exists in the world and Death exists as a job to be filled. The main character finds himself in the position and must learn how to take balanced souls and determine their fate (Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory). That is an interesting concept to me, that Death should live as a person. Time, War, Nature, and Fate also exist in this world and they all interact with the new Death.

Events ensue and Death finds himself in a situation. I shall not spoil anymore for you in case you decide to read it yourself.

Overall, this book was okay. The writing still bugged me but the story was intriguing enough that I continued. I guess it goes to show me that a good idea can overcome bad writing. Death’s personal growth throughout the story was a bit unbelievable, it happened too quickly for me to accept it. The sprinklings of social thought and thoughts about death were often times very obvious, which pulled me out of the story. But I suppose it’s nice to think the author was trying to get the readers to think of other things than just magic.

Honestly, I would not recommend this book, at least not to adults, but I got this book as a gift so I gave it a try. Sorry, but I’m afraid Piers Anthony is just not for me.

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