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C. E. Barrett

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Angels Among Us
by C. E. Barrett   

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Publisher:  Word Wrangler Publishing, Inc. ISBN-10:  1586300784 Type: 


Copyright:  Jan 1 2001

Word Wrangler Publishing
CE Barrett's SF/Fantasy

What happens when you stumble and fall--and land in a grassy meadow you have never seen before? How do you find out where you are? How do you get home?

Imagine coming from a world where it's a moral crime to be heterosexual. Now imagine finding yourself flung into a world you don't know, where the rules are changed, and trying to find your way home again--but do you really want to?

When Daffyd ap Owen, who comes from just such a world, and Seren Baker, hailing from our own reality, find themselves in the middle of nowhere, they join forces to try to find their way home. Neither realizes they are the subjects of an experiment, nor do they realize they are from different versions of Earth.

They find another stranded person, a little girl from yet a third reality and take her into their care. When Galactic Recruits Gerri Reznik and Rapsim ba Sharaval arrive, they begin to have hope that there will be a way home.

Now available in trade paperback!
The force of his landing drove the air from his lungs in a great 'whoosh'. He lay, stunned and disoriented, for a long moment before pushing himself up onto his hands and knees. He stared without comprehension at the bent and crumpled long grass where he had lain. It should have been the icy concrete of the streets of Montreal.

Hmmmm, he thought. I must have hit my head on something when I fell. I'm dreaming, I suppose. I hope someone calls an ambulance soon. Maybe I'm already on my way to the hospital. He felt his head for a bump and laughed to himself. That's silly. I wouldn't have a bump in my dream. But I've lost my hat. He shrugged philosophically. Dreams were like that sometimes.

He stood upright and looked around. The grassy meadow stretched to the horizon in all directions but one. To his right, a road ran along the side of a hill. A brilliant sun shone high in the sky. He removed his gloves and put them in his coat pocket as he began to walk towards the road.

Professional Reviews

Angels Among Us, by Judy Gill for

Two people, Daffyd ap Owen, a world-renowned composer, and Seren, a widowed writer and mother of four, are unexpectedly popped out of their own realities and into another. Both are certain they must be dreaming, but everything feels too real. They find themselves on a featureless grassy plain, with nothing but a road to follow. Though many other bewildered people are wandering in the same area, only Daffyd and Seren team up, as slowly the other people disappear.

Together, the two approach a farmhouse in the hope of learning where they are, and why. The house is unoccupied by all but a terrified seven-year-old, Devany, who appears to have been raised in a communistic society where her every action was regulated, her every thought dictated. Without the boundaries that have ruled her world, Devany can scarcely function.

Bound together to help the confused child, Daffyd and Seren stay with her in the house and slowly begin exploring their surroundings, finding many of the things that will make survival possible should they be stuck there for any length of time.

Meanwhile, those they have left behind are as frightened and confused as
they are.

When a tall young woman, Reznik, and a short, stubby man named Rapsim show
up at the house, they astound the other two adults by explaining that
there are many versions of Earth and of other planets, this composite of worlds being known as the Multiverse. Not only are Seren and Daffyd from
different times, she from a late-20th century summer day, and Daffyd from an early
21st century winter, which explains their difference in clothing, but they are from parallel worlds. Reznik, who comes from the same version of Earth
as Seren, is from several centuries later when not only is time travel
possible, but knowledge is much greater. Reznik is a member of the elite corps of Recruits, who patrol the Multiverse, and Rapsim is a Recruit counselor who has been Reznik's teacher. Not human, but Dral, Rapsim's
short stature derives from his being from a planet with extremely heavy
gravity. While he might be built like a child, he has a very sharp mind,
much specialized knowledge and has, for which he is thankful, been
carrying a very handy tool when he was dragged from his own realm. This tool just
might provide the means for getting everyone home to where they belong and
when they belong.

Except . . . does Daffyd really want to go back to a world where his
natural sexuality is considered aberrant and abhorrent and where he might
be killed for having committed a terrible sin? Do they really want to send an imaginative little girl back to a place where choices are made for
people, not by them and using her imagination is enough to get a child's
mind wiped?

Seren is the only one with a real stake in needing to return.
Her four children must be lost without her, yet in Daffyd she has finally
found the soul mate she has always longed for. How can she leave him? How
can she leave the needy child, Devany, who trusts both her and Daffyd?

There is also the question of why they have been sent to this odd place,
and by whom?

With the forces of good embodied by Mykal, and the forces of evil
personified by Blagdur and Blaz, who try to interfere with the student
Mykal's attempts to in righting certain wrongs in the Multiverse, the
transportees begin to feel like pawns in some cosmic chess game.

Cleverly delineated characters captured my imagination at once, and the
intriguing premise kept my interest throughout. As the protagonists slowly

come to terms with their differences and similarities, sorting out the
and wherefores of their existences, and come to an understanding of the
purpose behind their being brought together, I was drawn inexorably into
their lives and left them at the end with great reluctance. This is a
I will read again and again, recapturing the subtle nuances of each
character's growth and emotions, so skillfully portrayed by C.E. Barrett,
from whom I hope to see many more books.

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