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3.2 out of 5 stars
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3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 23 January 2011
Although I agree that this might not be everyone's cup of tea, I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would so it just goes to show! I found both the protagonist and the Seraph to be very likeable characters. The whole idea of a "bad childhood" might seem clichéd but I didn't feel that way whilst reading it at all. I find her depiction of Angels as attractive as her Vampires. There is a sense of longing, attraction and despair in both cases. I disagree with the comment that because the protagonist is a human, he cannot be as alluring and divided as her ethereal beings. Wasn't David Talbot a fascinating man, as well as vampire? Both beautiful and frustrating? I felt that Toby was a very solid character, he wasn't pathetic and I'm sure that some of the vampires would have loved to have met him. As I've never had an encounter with an Angel, my expectations could only be conjured from my own imagination so I think Anne gives it a damn good shot, attempting to make Malchiah believable. He is frustratingly beautiful and detached. Yes, it has deeply religious connotations but if you've read any of Anne's other books, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Generally, I am neither a religious person, nor have a particular interest in religion but I didn't feel suffocated by the constant religious themes, in fact, I feel Anne writes about it very knowledgeably and I'm sure I will continue to devour the rest of the series!
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on 16 August 2013
Anne Rice writes this in her typical style of a narrative of the character telling the story. The problem with this is rather than sticking to one character it chops backwards and forwards between characters. This can make things very confusing and lose track. It also makes it seem like a number of shorter stories rather than one and there is a definitive split in the book when this happens. The first half grabs your interest about the main character as you learn about his background and his personality. Then he becomes very much a secondary character and it loses it drive and appeal. The second half interested me due to it being based in Norwich, the city i come from and has some interesting histroical stories that i went on to research myself. This is why i have given it 4 stars rather than 3 due to it raising my personnel interest in Norwich that not all may find appealing. Overall this story starts off with an interesting start but loose's it drive and focus in the middle.
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on 25 January 2010
Put simply, this was honestly one of the most boring books I have ever read.

I have read many of Anne Rice's Vampire Series books, and while some can be hit and miss, most were very enjoyable. Not so for this book, alas, which seemed like she just couldn't be bothered to make an effort with the unimaginative plot she expects us to swallow. The entire premise of a "redeemed hit-man" and his time travelling angel guide is not so much unrealistic as it is unconvincing and lack lustre. The story goes something like this:- hired hit-man with "bad childhood" meets an angel, the angel casts him back in time to medieval England to help others and redeem himself. The rest of the book is essentially dull page filling and pedantic rambling, neither of which really adds anything to the story, or my attention span for that matter. What makes it even less bearable is the way that Anne Rice spends pages ranting about religious themes, saints, god, and Christian salvation (Catholic, mostly)... thanks Anne, but I can get that kind of patronising stuff with any religious channel on satellite, cheers. On top of that, I can only assume she got paid handsomely for the many ingratiating pages she wrote on the real life hotel mentioned at the start of the book, which reads more like a obsequious travel brochure.

This book was a herculean struggle to get to the end:- its dull, boring, unconvincing, unimaginative, and the overbearing (not to mention endless) religious nonsense made it less of a story than it did sanctimonious preaching. Anne Rice has lost her flair, and I certainly won't be buying the promised sequels... watching paint dry in a catholic church will have the same effect, and for less money.
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on 12 July 2014
When this book was first released, I read the blurb and thought, despite my adoration for Anne Rice; this was not a book for me. As someone who would identify as predominately secular, a book centralising around Christianity and Judaism would not often make my ‘to read’ list. The novel tells the story of a Jewish family in medieval times and the problems they encounter, something I must admit I was not familiar with.
‘Angel Time’ for me is not about religion at all, or God for that matter; the book showcases the human condition inclusive of faults and triumphs. Love can so often feel romanticised and knows no real life limitations. Yet, Anne Rice, as always, has provided the reader with a range of characters who are each as imperfect and flawed as the next; regardless of who they love. This ensures that the reader is invested in the story arc of each character irrespective of their own religious affiliation. The possibility of alienation from the events of the narrative is always heightened when motivations are religious in origin; this possible pitfall has irrevocably been avoided.
Though I personally believe the acceptance of certain instances within the narrative were unbelievable, and quick; I would believe others perhaps ‘of faith’ would disagree. I certainly will concede had ‘angel’ been replaced with ‘vampire’ or ‘fairy’ I would have been internally screaming for Toby; the protagonist, to accept the fact, so the narrative could progress.
I genuinely am so glad I decided to read this book; it has affected me in a way only a truly great book can. I closed ‘Angel Time’ with an inner peace wholly disconnected with religion; I felt at peace with humanity as a whole. Which surprised me as the protagonist is a former assassin atoning for his sins, and the treatment of Jewish characters within the narrative was horrendous. An unwavering presence of pure love remained despite the darkest of turns in the novel.
I may not be planning on joining a religious sect any time some, but I do have a restored faith; a faith in my fellow man. The world of today is not so different that that of the version of the 15th century which Anne Rice is portraying; it is often so full of darkness that light cannot be seen.
I wholeheartedly thank Anne Rice for providing another superb work of fiction, which has certainly sparked my curiosity, as all good books should, and has me researching the plight of Medieval Jewish people. I urge people to read this novel; you may initially feel as though you are trying to be converted, but stick with it, it really is not about that at all.
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on 30 October 2013
I felt compelled to warn people about this book. It is an absolute snooze fest. She rambles on for pages and pages describing the mission. OMG, you get to the end of the first chapter, and the second chapter it continues with the same monotonous drivel. Re read Interview with the Vampire.
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on 21 April 2012
Anne Rice's novels have slipped off the boil over the last few years and whilst this wasn't as bad as I expected, it was poorly executed. Her style seems to have changed to be less verbose and brief, which at least makes the book shorter.

I liked Toby's character but he was still a pale imitation of Lestat. The end section of slipping into Jewish medieval England was dire and drawn out. Couldn't Anne have picked a meatier dilemma for Toby's first mission than a young girl's unmysterious death?

That said, the book clearly has succession and I can see Toby developing in future books. This doesn't read like Anne Rice and I would never have known it was written by her if I was reading it blind.

This book had great potential but sadly, like Rice's other latter novels, it simply didn't deliver. I fear we will never see her best again.
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on 27 September 2013
I heard the author being interviewed on the radio - never having come across her before - and she sounded interesting. However, I soon found the book wasn't my thing. However, this was probably my fault for not researching it fully before purchasing.
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on 23 November 2009
Truly a departure from Rice's previous work, if we discount her Christ tetralogy. But it's all part of her "return" to Catholicism: she did promise to write only redemptive, religiously warming books with a moral, divine baseline...
So, here 'tis! A mixture of Judeo-Christian time-travel adventure, with angelic apparitions and a heartwarming redemption.
I liked it.
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on 6 September 2011
I've been stuck half-way through this for awhile now. I'm really finding it hard to finish it. I miss the old Anne Rice - she of "The Witching Hour", "The Vampire Chronicles", etc. This new Anne Rice is not sitting well with me at all. I mean, it IS beauitfully written and the characterisation is wonderful - but there's just something missing, something I can't put my finger on. Finding it really hard to finish it, a struggle. I hope I do, and if I do, and it gets better I'll come back and edit this review. But overall I want to warn people this is middle-of-the-road Rice. 3 stars is being generous because the writing is beautiful. Shame about the story....
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on 18 January 2010
I cannot agree with the other reviewers-sorry! I snatched this book in a hurry at the airport to add to my case of beach side reads. I did try and get into the book, but I just couldn't empathise with the main character, in fact with any of the characters. I also found the overly reglious connotations a little bit too much. It simply bored me. I have a very wide reading range and have loved Anne Rice's previous vampire chronicles but this just did not do it for me. So today it has gone in to the charity collection bag.
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