Published by Avon Books Pages: 378
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In Pursuit of the Ultimate GoodAfter an overwhelming succession of tragedies, life has finally, mercifully ended for Orlene, once-mortal daughter of Gaea.
Joined in Afterlife by Jolie -- her protector and the sometime consort of Satan himself -- together they seek out a third: Vita, a very contemporary mortal with troubles, attractions, and an unsettling moral code uniquely her own.
An extraordinary triumvirate, they embark on a great quest to reawaken the Incarnation of Good in a world where evil reigns -- facing challenges that will test the very fiber of their beings with trials as numerous, as mysterious, and as devastating as the Incarnations themselves.
I’ve read this book a few times over the years, and I’ll state the same thing at the beginning of reviewing all the I of I books: this is a re-read, and the first time reviewing the books. I’m reviewing all of the books after I finished re-reading the entire series, which I don’t normally do & didn’t do deliberately this time, either…
(read in 2016, but I’m counting this as a 2017 book since I’m finally reviewing it now)
This book falls a little flat for me, though it has lots of Satan bits with keeps things interesting. Orlene just isn’t a very loveable character for me, and I just feel like she’s so BORING. I love Jolie (and loved her in the previous books), and I love her story arc and how she changes over the centuries.
Vita isn’t necessarily a likable character right away, though you do end up really cheering for her. My biggest issue with Vita is her love affair with the Judge, who’s twice her age – this throws me for a loop or five. At least the judge isn’t married. The love affair, for Piers Anthony anyway, is relatively well done, though really, why couldn’t Piers have written the man to be ten years younger (so the story line still fits, but the love affair isn’t quite so eww?) The Judge really struggles with his attachment to Vita, an underage girl, so it’s an interesting sub-plot through the book.
It’s the end of a series, so you expect to see a lot of storylines finally close, which you do see for the most part. I am still left wanting more, however, which is never a good end to a series.
That being said, my standard comment applies – Piers Anthony is a pig, so much so that sometimes I’m ashamed of reading his books (as a woman) and I will never, ever actually pay money on one of his books because I just can’t support an author who devalues women as much as he does. (at least these books aren’t quite as bad as the Xanth books are).