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Angel of Darkness (Key Books) Paperback – 9 Nov 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; Reprint edition (9 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312874006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312874001
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,076,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

In the early 1990s, Charles de Lint wrote and published three dark fantasies under the name Samuel....

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Angel of Darkness is a fury. We see her first unleashed into modern-day Ottawa by a sadist who has taken sounds of pain, and mixed them into music. Then it's up to the living to figure out how to stop her.
Originally written under the pseudonym of Samuel M. Key, Charles De Lint originally wrote this as a horror novel. Nowadays, this book would probably be classified as "dark fantasy". As such, it is much darker than a lot of his other novels, but I'd place the level of "horror" as about the same as in "Moonheart" (which is classified as fantasy). In other words, it's not very gory. By the way, there's a few swearwords, but I wouldn't say that they are gratuitous.
De Lint explores several themes with his usual acuity - abuse, pain, being victim and perpetrator, city life. One theme that permeates all his books and that he does very well is the supernatural entering the everyday; this story is no exception. His characters come to life as living, breathing, thinking, hurting people confronted by situations where they have to explore the darkness of their own souls, and you come away feeling you've learnt something about yourself.
My final word on this novel - if you like Stephen King, you'll probably really enjoy this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good start, easy read, but unsastisfying finish 23 Mar. 2004
By A. Tsurukame - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book is like eating bag of tasty chips -- the first few euphoric bites entice you to devour more & more till nothing is left and when peering at bottom of the now-empty bag, you get a not-so-good-feeling in the pit of your stomach of a having eaten an unsatisfactory meal.
The book's first few chapters about an evil song made up from screams and sufferings of human beings hooked me in like a good "Twilight Zone" episode and I was intrigued at this original preimise but like someone else mentioned, I eventually felt the characters were wooden and plot twists predicatable leaving me feeling a bit cheated out of a potentially very good story. While I won't give away the ending, it would have been nice if De Lint played more with the sonic aspect of his plot. Aside from the opening chapters, this aspect of the plot was ignored.
In anycase this was my first De Lint book, and I've heard great things about him so I'm optimistic that his other books will be better. While I don't recommend this one, there was enough spark here to make me consider reading his other Samuel Key books
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Dark Plot Filled with Darkness & Horror 24 Jan. 2005
By Naomi DeBruyn - Published on
Format: Paperback
I always have to wonder about the minds of the authors who can come up with such diabolically deranged characters; characters like Chad Baker. Chad ran a recording studio out of his basement, and also helped a number of runaways survive, either breaking into the music scene, or going home. Then he came up with one very twisted idea, and those runaways began to be recorded as they were tortured. Pain creating a very interesting series of notes and sounds to Chad, notes which he then put together into something which became far more dangerous than a simple experiment. Perhaps it isn't wise to fool with death, and the sounds of inconsolable pain of so many different types, but it was something Chad felt he had to do. Blended in with this was some genuine singing and other sounds which can be acquired in asylums and hospitals, all culminating in a symphony of horror.

Using current technology, Chad finally put all the sound bits together and then played the painful music back for himself. The outcome of such a composition was unknown, but not for long. When you dabble in the pain and anguish of others, sooner or later it will seek you out. Chad's music unleashed a horror upon the streets of Ottawa that should never have come to light, a horror so unknown and inexplicable that normal methods would never be adequate for destroying it. When the "Angel of Darkness" is called forth, she destroys Chad and the police are called to the scene by a private eye who'd been looking for Chad's last victim.

It is a horrible scene, but unfortunately for humanity it is an ugly part of reality, for there are those who prey on the young and the helpless in our society. The officers who attend the scene all find their lives changed, as they keep slipping in and out of this reality into a far bleaker one. One where it looks as if a nuclear bomb has been dropped and they are not safe. These people and those close to them begin to pop in and out of sight unexpectedly, and when they return, they are usually corpses. The police are mystified, and have no idea who or what is behind this, and the measures that are taken to destroy this evil walking the streets of Ottawa are quite fascinating.

Samuel weaves together a tight plot filled with darkness and horror, with only a glimmer of hope shining as a beacon for some memorable characters. Characters who resemble any number of people you might know or meet, characters who are wholly believable and human, characters who may not survive hearing the music. In all of us there is some past or present hurt we have caused to another - however unintentional it may have been - will this come back to haunt us someday? Samuel seems to think it may...

And for those of you who don't know it, Samuel M. Key is actually a pseudonym for Canadian fantasist Charles de Lint. Two other titles have been published under this name, and they are "From a Whisper to a Scream" and "I'll be Watching You."

Review Previously Posted at [...]
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Different Kind of De Lint 22 Feb. 2007
By Leslie Schaad - Published on
Format: Paperback
When I picked up this book I already knew that this was a project De Lint had used to convey a 'darker side' of his fantasy endeavors. While its the first of his books that I've read under the pen name Samuel M. Key, it didn't seem unlike many of De Lint's other novels in his writing style.

With his descriptive scenes and character development, it was easy to see that this was, without a doubt, CdL at his finest. The story throws you quickly into the gut-wrenching myriad of details of murder, fear, peril and distinct sorrow. While the book, itself, is fantasy, the real life issues that this book is based on are far from fiction. CdL never fails to bring the issues he feels important right to your nose by exposing the gruesome truth of child abduction, abuse and survival.

The story was compelling and I held on right to the very end, however, I had very little time to get emotionally attached to any of the characters because of the length of the book and its fast-paced style. As stated before, the author's ability to weave a tale of fantasy into the believable is uncanny and he has a way with getting down to the nitty-gritty details that just might make you a bit uncomfortable if you've got a weak stomach and a strong imagination. The imagery is haunting and the book is a definite page-turner.

My complaint is in the length of the book and the ending that appeared to fizzle out. It was almost as though the author had gotten his point across and therefore felt it unnecessary to continue on with the aftermath of the thriller he had written. It left something to be desired but it was no less a good read because of it. With De Lint's incredible ability to bring Urban Fantasy that 'real world possibility' feel, I felt it worth the lack-luster ending to get through it.

Charles de Lint states in the beginning of the book that his pen name was his ability to portray the darker side of his mind. Perhaps delving into the deep recesses of horror is not one of his strengths, as I still feel tied to his more fantasy-oriented novels, the book 'Angel of Darkness' is still a good read.

If you enjoy De Lint's style and storytelling you will, no doubt, enjoy this book. His storytelling ability shines through and grips readers from page one. Be prepared, however, to touch on subjects you've never seen before from the dark corners of Charles De Lint's mind.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
What's all the fuss about? 12 May 2003
By lunaburning - Published on
Format: Paperback
After reading all other reviews, I was eager to read this one. Now I'm left to ask myself what all the hype was about. I found the characters to be very wooden and the dialogue completely unbelievable. Everyone was either really really good or really really evil with no texture or subtlety. Still, DeLint used some good devices. He then proceeded to run them into the ground and use slight variations on the same scene over and over.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dark and evocative, an interesting contrast. 18 Dec. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
A different side to a familiar author, this book is much darker than the usual De Lint novel. True to its author, however, it captures you with the same pull that so many of his books do. It is very evident that this is a book that De Lint felt he needed to write, "to get it out of his system" so to speak, and the finish is rather abrupt. Even so, it shows his versatility as an author, describing with vivid detail the more gruesome aspects that his other novels only allude to. I still would recommend it to De Lint fans, but perhaps not quite as appropriate for younger readers. Don't read it when alone or before going to sleep, though!
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