- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Eos (Dec 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061050687
- ISBN-13: 978-0061050688
- Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.5 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,363,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
There are too many characters for the modest length of the book, and most are not well drawn. The cliched imagery verges on the ridiculous. It really is a comic book -- one person appears to be changing into Catwoman. The plot is fast-moving but shallow and unbelievable. While the basic idea is an interesting one, the book never gets off the ground. It comes across as imitative, lacking themes of its own.
I had a very hard time getting started with this book. At first, a lot of characters got introduced, in snippets no more than two pages long. Then some stuff started to happen... in snippets no more than two pages long. You can really tell that this story started off life as a movie script. But I can tell why they never made it... there are just too many characters thrown at you too fast.
Then stuff starts to happen, and we start checking in with all our characters, round and round and round again. Some of them get together. Some of them just disappear, and you find out later that something more final happened to them. Some of them seem to just achieve their purpose and walk off.
I think this work would benefit greatly if the authors picked one or two viewpoint characters and stuck with them, rather than visiting the viewpoints of so many of them.
Warning: this book is clearly the first in a series. It ends with several serious outstanding questions, and our heroes preparing to deal with more stuff. It never answers the fundamental question of what the heck is really going on... and what might happen if our heroes did manage to "deal" with it all.
At this point, I recommend you wait for the paperback, or even take it out of the library to see if it's to your taste. I don't know Zicree's work, but Hambly fans should look at it only for completeness' sake. There's not much of her 'voice' in here.
The pace of the book is choppy and lacks the detailed scenes and backdrops that are the hallmark of Hambly's work.
Read any of Hambly's fantasy novels or any of the awesome Benjamin January series for a true representation of what Barbara Hambly is all about.
Hopefully she will avoid any further work with her writing partner for "Magic Time".