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Robert Asprin's Myth-Fits
by Jody Lynn Nye
Ace, $16.00, 305 pp
Published: June 2016

Robert Asprin started this series way back in 1978.  Along about 2002, Ms. Nye started collaborating with him.  After he passed away in 2008, she continued the series in 2012 with “Myth-Quoted” and followed it up with this novel.  After having worked with Asprin for so many years, the transition seemed pretty seamless.  She describes the books as “gentle humor” with a strong dash of adult innuendos.

The main character is Skeeve, a young man from the dimension of Klahd, who began the stories as an apprentice to a magician and is now a master magician in his own right.  His best friend and former mentor is Aahz, a green-scaled “demon” from the dimension of Perv.  Inhabitants from Perv refer to themselves as Pervects but other dimensional beings frequently misname them as Perverts – a long-running joke in the books.  Skeeve and Aahz have acquired a host of good friends who have become coworkers in their corporation: Myth, Inc.  Their expertise is used to solve problems.  So each book is a particular problem.  In this book, business has been slower than their current President, Bunny, would like. (Bunny came into the story as a Mob Moll sent to both impress and control Skeeve who was thought to be challenging the Mob’s business.  She turned out to be quite a bit more than a dumb blonde moll and is a trusted member of Myth, Inc.)  So, when a less-than-lucrative and more-than-troublesome job comes along, Bunny insists the company take the job.  The crew doesn’t mind a bit when they discover they have to spend time – all expenses paid – on the most luxurious resort world in all the dimensions.  Although the job seemed pretty straightforward – locate a missing goblet – it seemed to be complicated by the resort’s problem of losing access to their magic supply.  It takes Skeeve’s innate belief in people’s goodness to see that the two problems are linked.  But it’s a rocky path that sends the crew to hell (literally) and back and might even have started an actual romantic interlude for Skeeve; something the series has been very gradually leading to.

I liked the plot of this story much better than its immediate predecessor.  I thought it more complex and layered without being confusing.  The characters are, of course, completely familiar as I’ve been reading the stories since 1978.  It’s been a while since a new character was introduced and remained with the cast and that hasn’t changed yet.  The character development advances slowly in this series and I didn’t see too much advancement in this book beyond a bit more conversation from Gleep (Skeeve’s baby dragon; no one but Skeeve knows he can talk) and a strengthening of a minor (but really fun) character called Markie.  While I miss Asprin’s unmistakable barbs and puns, I’m glad Ms. Nye is at the helm and I look forward to more.  ~~ Catherine Book

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