Thursday, September 15, 2011

Steppe- A second look

A few months ago, Ross reviewed Steppe for us.  Ross was nice enough to send me his copy so I could give it a read as well.  I did and was pleasently surprised.  I had never read a Piers Anthony story before and didn't know what to expect but I had heard only cheesy things about the Xanth novels. 

I won't go over the plot again as Ross did an excellent job at this.  I will simply talk about what I liked and didn't like about the novel. 

I loved Alp's, a character from the past, response to the people of the future.  Alp sees the men as weak and the women as not very womanly.  When he escapes into the game it is almost as if it is the only way for him to survive the cultural shock.  I also liked that bonds in the game seemed to carry over.  Anyone that has played a game knows that your personality shines through your character.  The playstation and MS networks are proof that people like to connect as friends to people they meet in game and Anthony wrote this long before video games were networked.  I guess he could have observed people in the arcades.  Any way, back on topic, the players were able to form bonds with each other, some stronger than others. 

I also liked the illustration of nations as giants and dwarves.  At first I thought it was kind of dumb, but it worked so well in describing what would happen that it really grew on me.  I wonder why no one has done an actual animated film based on the movies in the book to use as an educational tool. 

My one complaint about the book is that it is almost too predictable.  Even before Ghengis was mentioned, I knew that he would be the obvious conclussion.  Because the book was so closely tied to history and educational, it locked itself in and there was not as much room for creativity. 

Overall-  I agree with Ross that it is a 3 star book, maybe 3.5.  It was a great introduction into Anthony as I am interested in reading something else by him now.  I don't think you have to be a fan of history to enjoy this book, but it probably helps a lot.  It was enjoyable though.  Age wise, I would say about 13 and up, but adults will likely enjoy the book more than teens. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Xanth novels are a bit cheesy, but some of his other stuff wasn't.

Pat Tillett said...

I don't remember ever reading any of his books at all. Maybe I'll check one out and see how I like it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Looking forward to your picks for the blogfest on Monday!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Interesting review! Too bad about the predictability factor, but it sounds like it was still entertaining?