"Angel Time: The Songs of the
By Anne Rice
Copyright 2009 Knopf Publishing
Publication Date: October 29th, 2009
Time is the first novel in a new series of
books entitled “Songs of the Seraphim” and written by
international bestselling author Anne Rice. Best known for her Vampire Chronicles and Lives of the Mayfair Witches
novels, Rice has taken a new direction in her writing.
In 1998, Rice - who had left behind
religion many years before and become an atheist - returned to the
Catholic Church. And in 2002, she consecrated her writing entirely to
Christ, vowing to write for Him or about Him.
This abrupt change left many
fans scratching their heads in complete shock - and left some feeling
abandoned, and others, angered.
So following two books specifically
about Christ - Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
in 2005 and The Road to Cana in 2008 - plus the memoir, Called
Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession,
Rice introduces us to Toby O'Dare: a hit man whose boss is "The
Right Man." Born in New Orleans to a corrupt cop father and
an alcoholic mother, Toby dreamed of becoming a priest, a scholar, a
Highly intelligent and
musically gifted, Toby believed he could make a better life for his
family, and calm the demons that haunted his mother. Educated at Jesuit
High School and earning a full music scholarship to The Conservatory,
he had also fallen in love with Liona, a Jewish girl from a nearby
school. Well on his way to making his dreams come true, his world
comes crashing down when he discovers a gruesome and bloody scene that
changes his life forever.
Leaving New Orleans in
secrecy for New York, Toby begins a new life for himself - and finds a
father figure in a kindly restaurant owner, Alonso, who gives him a job
and a place to live. When Alonso and his family are threatened,
something snaps in Toby - beginning his life as a hit man known only as
"Lucky the Fox." Faithless and empty inside, he kills
without question or pity.
One night, after a swift
kill, Toby is approached by a Seraph and is offered the chance to make
amends for the evil he unleashed upon the Earth since leaving New
Orleans. Mythical, magical and holy, Toby's Seraph - who calls
himself "Malchiah" - tells Toby that a battle is ensuing for
Warning him that other forces are
at work, Malchiah convinces Toby to accept the mission and takes him to
13th century England. Toby discovers he must protect a family
threatened by a group of superstitious and ignorant people, full of
bigotry and greed. The lives of many hang in the balance and Toby must
make the ultimate choice: does he stay and help the
innocent, or does he leave them to their own
Well-crafted and carefully
researched, Angel Time is destined to become another Anne Rice classic.
Captivating and enthralling, Angel
Time proves that despite the genre, Rice's
work belongs on the shelves of every reader.
Much like the novels that
catapulted Rice into stardom, Angel Time has many of the same elements as her early works.
Only this time - instead of blood drinkers, mummies, ghosts and
spell casters - we have angels and saviors.
Like many of her previous novels,
the reader must have a willing suspension of disbelief in order to
fully enjoy the novel - and be open to the idea that all things are
possible, whether it's the walking dead or a heavenly creature.
And as with her previous novels, readers will happily take that
journey with her. So fear not, reluctant readers - Anne Rice has
done it again.
Nick Manix is a professional writer and journalist
who splits his time between Central Texas and New Orleans.
(Cover image and Anne Rice photo courtesy Random