Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim 1, by Anne Rice

garlandpubliclibrary's review against another edition

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Interesting plot, but the first half was on the slow side. Overall, it was a decent story.

calistareads's review against another edition

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This is my 2nd novel to read of 2019. I start this in December in my car and had to stop in the middle for holiday. It didn't bother me a bit to put this down. It was difficult to keep going and there were several times I almost stopped and gave it up.

I have read 20 novels by Anne Rice and she is an author I appreciate. I have always enjoyed her stories (accept for Violin which is probably the worst story I have ever read). I read the second one in this series first and I thought it was ok. So, I got around to reading the first one.

I can't explain how much I loathe this book and I hate it. I still think Violin is worse than this, but this is Anne's second worst book in my reading opinion.

This is a religious dirge that plods and ponders on. Our main character loves beauty, yet he kills people for a living. After listening to his inner dialogue, I can't see him being a killer, it didn't make sense to me and the dots weren't there.

Then we have to hear his back story. I was enjoying the story until we went into the never ending back story - please save us. It was all self-loathing and I could hardly find an interest. Finally, the story goes back to the present where he meets an angel that helps him and gives him purpose.

So the angel takes him back in time, because of course, there isn't anyone in the present to help and the angel couldn't possibly find someone from that time to help someone in that time. Now we are set down in the middle of a christian and Jewish debate over the death of a girl, a twin.

The big ending set-piece is a legal battle to prove the twin is the dead girl so the Jews won't be punished. It could not be more boring. This whole setting was pure agony to listen to. The characters go on and on about their feelings and how much they loathe themselves and religion and spirit and on and on and on. It plodded and we had to listen to people say the same things over and over again.

Well, I did finish this book and I should have put it down. It was not worth finishing. I still love most of Anne's work and her catalog, but this was not a novel for me. I'm sure people will love this, but she was not playing my tune here. I hope the next one I try of hers is back to form.

pandora8655's review against another edition

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This book was good but does not compare to the vampire books at all. Its about a man who has been hired as professional hit man for the last 10 years. Then a seraph comes down to him to offer him a new life doing good instead of evil. It was very strange to me that his first mission in his new good life would bring him way back to medieval times.But the story was interesting and it ended with you wanting to know what is going to happen in the next book.

angiehoer7's review against another edition

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I did finish the book and liked it enough that the hint of a sequel intrigued me. I would have loved a little more metaphysical and a slightly more interesting main character but it was good.

I was struck by the following line
"After all, if one man is your entire life, your vocation, your quest, well, the, you're going to be afraid of losing him."

And this description which holds such melancholy and beauty for me

"I looked down at the spectacle of the trees. I wondered what it was like for a tree to lose its blossoms to the wind, when its blossoms were all that it had."

slackermodenation's review against another edition

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I don't know if it's because it's not the Anne Rice i'm use to but i really wasn't feeling this one. For one it was too short, so i feel as if the book was kind of rushed. I don't know i just wasn't really feeling it, i felt like it had potential to be better. The story was interesting, but the delievry...

serendipity_viv's review

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I am known for having a fondness for angel books and that had a lot to do with my decision to buy this book. I have never read any other Anne Rice books, so I don't have anything to compare this book with. All I can say is, that this book didn't impress me at all and I had hoped for so much more from it.

The book is centred around a character called Lucky the Fox, who is a contract killer, but one with a conscience. The first two chapters are there to basically to show you this character's soul exists. Personally, I had worked that out in the first couple of pages and didn't need the in depth religious chapters to repeat it to me over and over again.

As Lucky carries out his final contract killing, his guardian angel Malchiah reveals himself. Malchiah wants Lucky to work for him now and help him solve situations rather than killing people. Lucky agrees and then suddenly the book veers off into the 13th Century and Lucky becomes a monk on a mission! I bet you didn't see that one coming. Mmm, neither did I!

This book felt like it was two different books sewn together in the middle. It was like watching an episode of Quantam Leap, where the lead character jumps into different time periods. I had to keep turning back to make sure I had not been sold a dud book that had been rebuilt from spare parts.

To be honest, I actually enjoyed the part of the book set in the 13th century more than I did the modern day part, which worries me a little, as the 13th Century has never appealed to me before. However the story seemed to flow so much better and appeared to be more believable than the first part of the book. In the second half of the book I began to relate to the characters and feel their pain and almost got lost in the story.

This book is full to the brim with religion, which I found quite hard to digest. If you have a thorough knowledge of religious studies, then this book will suit you. Personally, it all went a little over my head. I can understand that Anne Rice is thorough in her research, yet it felt a bit like she had tried to absorb every bit of information she had discovered into this book.

I couldn't conjure up any feelings towards the main character in the book, which made it even more difficult to enjoy it. The main character had committed so many gruesome acts, I struggled to feel the sorrow he felt over the crimes he had committed.

I have always wanted to read an Anne Rice book, but I think I will listen to other book bloggers recommendations in future, as I obviously don't know which ones are the best to read. I really do want to love her books!

I am led to believe that this is the first book in a series, unfortunately, it won't be a series that I will continue with.

mochagirlalysia's review against another edition

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Angel Time is a story within a story. With the beginning of the book taking place in the present, the reader follows the methodical Toby O'Dare on another assassination of a powerful person. Anne Rice does a great description of the Mission Inn location and all the careful steps Toby takes. Once Toby meets (more like encounters) Malchiah, a Seraphim the story turns.
Malchiah, a beautiful angel, gives Toby the chance to change his life and make amends for all the killing he did in his past which Toby eagerly accepts.
I love that Anne Rice gives Toby a deeply religious conscience. Most TV shows and movies give hired assassins a cold soulless character with little to no remorse for their actions. Toby is the opposite in this book. He prays with earnest words and really wants to leave that world behind. It also makes it easy for Malchiah to recruit him.
Then the second part of the book starts when Malchiah sends Toby to 13th Century England "to be the answer to the prayers" of a condemned Jewish family. During this journey Toby finds himself in his childhood dream of being a priest and finds moments of love and enlightenment. I love when characters come to learn more about themselves and use it for good. Pure Good! How often does that happen in a book? Without supernatural powers?
I bet you are wondering why I gave it such a low rating then. Well, it was slow. The pace of the book was great until Toby is sent to the 13th century. That's were I found it hard to complete the book. It was so slow and I didn't understand why the chapters were divided if the chapter titles were the same and were just a continuation of the same story. It was like someone else wrote this part of the book. There were a few moments in the 13th century part that were interesting but overall it dragged on and on.

Audiobook: 8 hours and 55 minutes
Narrator: Paul Michael
Yep, another half read, half listen to the audiobook. Paul Michael did a great job as Toby O'Dare but I think I was pleasantly shocked at the very subtle changes in his voice for the other characters. Honestly, in the beginning I thought he was boring and emotionally void. But then as I was thinking about this review, I came to realize that is Toby O'Dare. He was emotionally void in the beginning and Paul's voie grew on me as Toby began to grow on me.
If the pace at the beginning of the book was constant though out the book then I would have given it a higher rating.
I am reading the second book now. Review coming soon!

onecrab's review against another edition

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I think Anne Rice either heard a lute for the first time and loved it, or she heard the Rite of Spring for the first time and loved it. Either way, my guess is the first half of the book is her love letter to one or both of them. The second half of the book is a tale of Jewish persecution in medieval England. If you are thinking, "what?"... Believe me, so am I.

kdoyle's review against another edition

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I haven't read an Anne Rice book since the whole Interview With A Vampire craziness but since I just received my nook I decided to have this be my first "nook experience"

This is the first book in a new series Rice is doing and it's starting out on a pretty good foot. My complaint has been my usual complaint lately which is that authors have been tending to get wordy and caught up in the over-explanation of things. The main character is given a second chance on the purpose of his life by a guardian angel and, in this book, goes back in time to help some Norwich Jews out of a pretty bad bind. This is how the subsequent books will be: off to his next "mission" to correct a wrong being done.

Again, this book was pretty good but if she had cut back on the descriptions of, well, pretty much everything, it may have been shorter but the story would have flowed a bit more easily.

idiotzone's review against another edition

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[3.5 stars] The low Goodreads rating made absolutely no sense to me based on the first half of Angel Time. I was convinced that this book was going to be a favorite I'll come back to over and over again, but there's a distinct chasm between the writing in the first half and the second one. I'm not opposed to the genre change midway, but everything else - including the main character - did a 180.

Nonetheless, Anne Rice was able to write one of my favorite chapters in any book, and a beautifully thought-provoking theological speculation in the form of stream of consciousness.