Board Stiff by Piers Anthony
Well, what to say about this book? Number 38 in the Xanth series-I’ve been reading these since forever ago, started in paperback and now ebooks. This is one of my favorite series and I buy & read every one of them. Always hoping for that elusive WOW like in the first 10 of the series but only sporadically in the last 28. Perhaps I’m just too old for these books? The puns are terrible and the storylines just meander all over the place.
This book starts out with a great premise-beautiful girl asks wishing well for help because she is board with men seeing only her beauty. Notice the spelling of board-the well turns her into an actual board! While she laments this mess, a handsome lunk ambles up to the well and places his wish, picks up our heroine and off on a quest we go. The book goes downhill from there.
Instead of a funny & fun Xanth book, we get a travel guide to Xanth. Our quest takes us to every corner of Xanth as the group tries to stop whatever is destroying the puns that keep Xanth, well, Xanth. Sadly that means we must meet again & again old and new friends & foes. The adult conspiracy is forefront and trampled on as we get way too much kissing, etc. It is exhausting.
The main plot seems to be a straight shot from a-z: remember the puns are everywhere so HAIR/HEIR is obvious. NO IT’S NOT. Anthony takes a complete left turn into another ending that sets up book #39 with even more new characters! As I said, exhausting and I’m a HUGE fan of the series. 2 sad little stars for this one.