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Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book 1
Anne Rice
Narrated by Paul Michael, unabridged
Random House Audio, 9 hours

Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book 1
Anne Rice
Anne Rice was born in 1941 in New Orleans. In 1957, her family moved to Richardson, Texas. After high school, she got married and moved to to San Francisco in 1962. In 1973, she wrote Interview With The Vampire. She has gone on to write numerous bestselling books and has had published several other titles writing as Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure. She and her family live in New Orleans.

Anne Rice Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Blackwood Farm
SF Site Review: Merrick

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

Anne Rice is best known for her Vampire Chronicles, including the most popular, Interview with the Vampire. But any Rice fan knows she's written more than just tales of vampires, so it should be no surprise that her latest novel is about angels. What is surprising is how she explores the topic by telling a story of an angel who "hires" a modern-day contract killer to defend the Jews of 13th century Norwich, England.

The story is told in first person through the voice of Toby O'Dare, a hit man known as "Lucky the Fox" by his boss and associates. Toby is preparing to perform a "hit" on a Swiss Banker in San Juan at the Mission Inn when the story opens. Unknown to those who gave him this assignment, the Mission Inn is Toby's sanctuary, where he goes to escape his criminal life. Consequently, having to actually perform a hit in the sanctuary rattles the soul of this soulless man.

The beginning section of the book seems drawn out and, to be honest, boring at first. But once the story gets rolling, this section starts to pay off and listeners will appreciate the connections within the story. After Toby pulls off the hit, a stranger walks into the room where the murder was committed and begins to tell Toby an almost unreal story. This person is an angel of God and was sent to recruit Toby for a redeeming mission.

Before the mission can begin, the angel tells the story of Toby's life. In this section, listeners learn all about Toby's childhood and what led him to become a hit man. The angel describes his dark past, from how the irresponsibility of his alcoholic parents forced him to care for his younger siblings to the horrific event which changed his life forever and placed him on a path of destruction. Once this story is told by Malchiah, Toby realizes the angel is who he says he is and asks why God would need him. The angel only remarks that God forgives him.

The mission now can be performed. Traversing through "angel time" Toby and the angel are taken to 13th century England. There, Toby finds himself to be a Dominican Friar in the town of Norwich and is given the task of saving the lives of the Jewish community. Those lives are in jeopardy because the daughter of a Jewish couple is missing and presumed dead after she attended a Christian Christmas pageant. The villagers accuse the Jews of murdering the child because of her "conversion" to Christianity. They demand that all Jews be killed and the dead child be hailed as a saint.

The reader of this audiobook, Paul Michael, does an excellent job of voice characterization, including the subtlest of accents to establish which character is speaking at the moment. His low, soft voice definitely kept my ear tuned-in to the story. It is an amazing story and Anne Rice proves again that she's more than just a vampire novelist. This intriguing and thrilling story, with many twists and turns, is sure to appeal to a broad audience.

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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