At the start of Anthony's routine 30th Xanth novel, Stymy Stork refuses to deliver Surprise Golem's baby, because Surprise is too young, per the dictates of the Adult Conspiracy. After the stork flies off with his bundle, Surprise, the two bratty children she's babysitting and the pet peeve (the obnoxious bird of 2005's Pet Peeve) resolve to bring the baby back. Their meandering quest takes them through various alternate Xanths, including Lion Mountain, complete with Mountain Lion, and the Punderground. Hardcore Xanth fans will enjoy the pun-filled journey, but other readers may raise their eyebrows at how often the Adult Conspiracy fails to protect teenage girls from sexual activity. In the end, Surprise and her baby reach home but is this the home and husband they left? At least the book closes with a tantalizing question to set up the sequel. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
When the Stork refuses to deliver Surprise Golem's baby, fleeing with it to another reality instead, the sorrowful mother and her friends must track down the missing bird through a number of different realities, each with its own special characteristics. Prolific fantasy and sf author Anthony celebrates his 30th volume in the perpetually popular "Xanth" series with a tale of love's struggle to overcome adversity. Filled with the requisite puns and plays on words, this installment features both old and new Xanth residents caught up in a series of whirlwind events. The usual author's afterword credits fans' contributions to the puns and catches up on current events in Anthony's life. Libraries should purchase according to anticipated demand. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.