||HarperCollins / Eos
||Jan 1 2002
Now available as an e-Book for Kindle and Nook, Angelfire is a fast-paced tale of strange magics and heroic destinies, the exciting sequel to Magic Time, the novel Orson Scott Card praised as "the best new dose of magic to hit the world of fantasy literature in a long time."
The world has changed -- forever. Across America, technology has been eclipsed by magic, and people are changing into the embodiments of their darkest desires and deepest fears. In this new time, former lawyer Cal Griffin has united a small group of outcasts to battle the chaos.
Searching for the source of the unholy phenomenon -- and to save Cal's sister, Tina -- these unlikely heroes make their way cross country, led by the visions of a lunatic and the fragile song of a blind man. Hidden within ancient burial mounds, a secret paradise may offer the chance of hope. But first they must make their way to Chicago to battle a primal monster . . . and the darkness within themselves.
"Takes up where The Stand leaves off. Taut writing, interesting characters, fascinating situations -- they all make me eagerly look forward to the next installment in this saga." --Harry Turtledove, on Magic Time
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Another hour ticks by. We speak in whispers, keeping each other alert. Cal wonders aloud what they’re waiting for. I don’t want to find out, I seriously don’t.
“Just pray they don’t start singing,” Colleen says.
I take that as an order.
It occurs to me that we could be sitting here till dawn, and I wonder if our fires and lamps will last that long. We are destined to find out. My pile of wood is dwindling and Cal is dropping on his last log when Colleen swears.
“Dammit, the lamps.”
They die as we watch. Then it begins to rain again. It’s a gentle rain, but it it's killing our fires, and the dimmer the fires get, the closer the menace moves. I recall that Colleen theorized our shadowy friends were afraid of rain. I could say 'I told you so,' but decide it would be exceptionally bad timing.
The twists begin to make a sound that's less like singing than it is like wind through high-tension wires. Then they move, oozing toward us like sentient oil slicks. Like the thing in my nightmare. Our pathetic horses are freaking. I can hear Doc desperately trying to calm them.
“Torches!” yells Cal, and lights one. Firelight gleams down the wicked length of the sword he readies in the other hand.
The twists dance at the edges of the light, shapes shifting, now solid, now ephemeral, always distorted, as if they're dressed in clothing that twists and deflects sight. They advance, they retreat, they keen and wail, they eddy like candle soot. And I realize that they're more than just sensitive to the light. They’re terrified of it.
The fire I shelter behind leaps no higher than my thighs. I drop the machete and hold out my arms?-palms up, eyes closed--and imagine four people and six horses inside a snow globe. My palms tingle. My eyes open to a veil of blue-white light.
“Sonofabitch!” Colleen squeals like a five-year-old and leaps back from the shimmering curtain.
Beyond the veil, our would-be gourmands shriek in fear and fury. I want to laugh, not at Colleen (although, I have to admit she looks damn funny--kind of like a guerrilla goldfish), but at the sheer exhilaration of what I am doing.
If they came like smoke; they leave like a buffalo stampede. When the thrashing fades, the wood is as tranquil as a Robert Frost poem. There is only the whisper of rain and the breathing of ten relieved creatures in a bubble of light.
In Zicree (The Twilight Zone Companion) and Bohnhoff's (The Spirit Gate) engrossing sequel to last year's Magic Time, Cal, Colleen, Goldie and Doc continue their quest for Cal's sister, Tina, a captive of the magical Source centered in Chicago. They journey from New York through a contemporary America where magic has wreaked havoc and come across the Preserve, where they recruit half-Lakota musician Enid Blindman, who can defend humans against the creations of the Source. In Chicago the company has to try freeing Enid from the Primal, the local supernatural presence, who turns out to be a golem under control of another formerly human minion of the Source. And so the quest goes on-which most readers will consider good news, as this is an intelligent variation on the quest theme as exemplified by Stephen King's The Stand. The story doesn't repeat itself; the characters grow (witness the relationship emerging between the ferocious army-brat survivalist Colleen and nurturing Chernobyl survivor Doc Lysenko); and the ultimate secret of the Source is sufficiently well hidden that several more volumes seem logically justified. The book doesn't escape the current saga-mongers' problem of losing some emotional impact for new readers, but the series will probably win a strong SF/fantasy following as long as future installments keep up the high quality. (Dec. 23) FYI: Magic Time was written by Zicree with SF and mystery author Barbara Hambly. Robert Charles Wilson is slated to be the coauthor for round three. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Angelfire is the second entry in the planned Magic Time trilogy, but readers shouldn't feel they have to backtrack to be able to understand what's going on. This novel is strong enough to stand on its own. The plot centers on former lawyer Cal Griffin and his small troupe of travelers -- Goldie, the ranting lunatic/genius, Colleen the mechanic-turned-warrior, and Doc the melancholy physician. These heroes have embarked on a journey, not only to find the source of the Change (the location of which the prophetic Goldie can generally perceive), but also to rescue Cal's captive sister Tina.
The quest brings them to the ruins of Chicago, now called "the Ruby City," which is ruled over by an evil creature that might or might not be the Change's source. Befriending an old bluesman and an angel-like being called a "flare," Cal and the others soon find themselves struggling against the powers of the Ruby City in order to save a nearby safe-haven colony, where refugees can find temporary peace.
Kudos to Bohnhoff, who does a sterling job of mastering the characters' individual voices, an especially complex task since each new chapter is told from an alternating character's first-person point of view. The variation in narrator keeps the energy of the novel up and lets the reader get intimately involved in the thought processes of each member of the group.
It's this character work that makes Angelfire eminently readable, and would make this novel appeal to those consumers that might not normally be attracted to the fantasy genre -- a rare achievement.
In the wake of a devastating accident, the face of America has changed. The land is warped and twisted, and previously normal humans now exhibit strange, magical talents. The forces unleashed by the accident cause people to manifest their greatest potential . . . or their darkest desires. Driven by guilt and a powerful vision, Cal Griffin has assembled a small band to seek out and destroy the source of the evil, which is known as the Storm, and to rescue his 12-year-old sister--if she is still alive. Led by the unpredictable manic-depressive Goldie, whose newly emerging talent is to sense the direction in which the Storm lies, and the old and ailing musician Enid, whose ethereal song repels the life-sucking evil, the band makes its way westward to the Storm. But the group's first stop is Chicago, where another evil nearly as potent as the Storm has arisen, is growing rapidly, and must be dealt with. A terrific story featuring powerful, strong characters, this is rather a must for fans of postapocalyptic fiction.
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Reader Reviews for "Magic Time: Angelfire"
|Reviewed by jeniffer wamalwa
|i feel it is an interesting book that one should read .|
Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff