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Demons Don't Dream (2015)

Demons Don't Dream (2015)

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3.77 of 5 Votes: 2
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0812534832 (ISBN13: 9780812534832)
tor fantasy

About book Demons Don't Dream (2015)

I remember liking this one okay when I read it in high school, primarily because it involved kids from the "real world" (well, Mundania, as Xanth calls it), and involved a computer game. Overall I kinda hate the trope of "kids play a game and OOPS IT'S REAL," but since everything about Xanth is kinda ridiculous, it's not too hard to overlook that in this case.Kim and Dug are the Mundanian kids. They have to pick a Xanth character as a companion and go on quests to win a magical talent, which sounds pretty cool. And, predictably, Dug decides to pick Nada because, well, how often have we talked about Nada's boobies (excuse me, I mean, her good looks) in these books? Despite knowing that a character choice could be a "false companion," Dug totally lusts after Nada and ends up in the land of Xanth screwing things up and not believing in magic. Now Kim, the other Mundanian, has chosen Jenny Elf as her guide. She has interactions with goblins that she has to outsmart, and eventually meets Dug. And because this is traditional fantasy and Piers Anthony, a guy and a girl never meet without falling in love. (The guy doesn't love the girl back at first, but that doesn't last long.) You know, considering the fact that love seems to transcend SPECIES in Xanth all the time, is it too much to ask that there be an occasional gay couple? I got kinda tired of the heteronormativity of it. Though of course since this is Xanth and it was mostly marketed to teen boys, they'd probably only allow lesbians. Since that's hot.The kids getting pulled into the game is actually a demon-fueled duel, so that gave an added dimension to it, but I thought the riddles and puns were again insufferable. I thought seeing new characters was refreshing, though.I tried to play the computer game. It didn't work.

Two children from Mundania get pulled into Xanth through a computer game--which is actually the plot of a demon!--and each has a Xanth guide. Dug chooses Nada Naga to guide him, and Kim chooses Jenny Elf. As they quest to win a magical talent, they encounter each other, and soon love is in the air. But how will Dug's skepticism and Kim's encounter with goblins affect the land of Xanth?The introduction of an outside element provided a breather from the same old thing--sort of--but most of the same tropes were there. The overused puns, the compulsory male-female couple falling in love, and the absurd outwitting of baddies. I'm still confused how a person from our world can travel through a computer game and get sucked into a magical land but insist on not believing in magic, though. It's clear something magical has happened. This is the second time a Mundanian's refusal to believe in magic has been central to the plot. Anyway, I found this a little more readable because I liked seeing Mundanian kids react to Xanth, but beyond that, I was tired of many of the staples of this series.

Do You like book Demons Don't Dream (2015)?

Ten years ago when I was freelancing I read most of the Xanth series in order. Usually I don't binge on a book series like that but I somehow had most of these books and they were easy to read while I was riding the train to and from San Diego to work with my main client. Although I think I've had Demons Don't Dream for a decade I somehow missed reading it.So ten years in, my tastes have changed and matured. I read up chapter four and had to put the book aside. The puns were forced. The plot was forced. Then there's the whole demons using a video game to trick humans into fighting their duel for them. Of course there is a Companions of Xanth game but I've no desire to play it having now suffered through four chapters describing it in painful (punful) detail.
—Sarah Sammis

The 16th Xanth novel (or so) and I had anticipated having to slog through another pun-filled, strangely-fixated on juvenile sexuality, walk-around Xanth novel, which the series seems to have degenerated into after the first half-dozen novels or so.Well, I was right, except that the video-game twist and Mundane main characters really did provide enough difference to what I was expecting to make this a relatively pleasant read.Not prime Xanth (which hasn't existed for some time before this novel), but a step above previous entries in this series.If you like Xanth, you'll probably like this, and I suppose that's a good thing.

Haven't read any of the Xanth series but this (and an illustrated "Compendium of Xanth" I bought anticipating I'd read more than I did) but I enjoyed this book. I actually played the obscure computer game before reading but that made me appreciate it more, since everything the game writes out or makes up pales in comparison to the fun of the actual book. I've always been a sucker for quirky adventures with strange characters, and this one satisfies (highlights include the memorable Com-Pewter). I don't remember enough to gush too much about it, but I do recall it being delightful to the right person (I think it goes without saying that the wrong person will avoid it altogether).

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