April 21, 2011

Ghostlands by Marc Zicree & Robert Wilson

Title:  Ghostlands
Author:  Marc Zicree & Robert Wilson
Format:  PB
Pages:  476
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Harper, 2005
ISBN-13:  978-0061059605
Series:  Magic Time, Book 3

Favorite Quote:  With her hair like flowing black mercury and sparkling green eyes, she looked a whole hell of a lot like the Evil Queen he'd first seen in that feature-length cartoon, the one that had virtually single-handedly propelled him into puberty.  I mean, after all, she was the real babe in that movie, not that priss of a title character who hung out with the seven vertically challenged nonunion mine workers.

Synopsis (Amazon):  In an altered America where machines no longer work and magic holds sway, former lawyer-turned-visionary leader Cal Griffin guides his small band on a quest toward the Source of the Change -- following a trail he hopes will reunite him with his abducted sister, Christina, transformed into one of the powerful, enigmatic beings called "flares." Armed with little more than compassion and a determination to heal the world, Cal, the warrior Colleen Brooks, Russian physician Doc Lysenko, and bipolar street wizard Herman "Goldie" Goldman encounter old foes and new friends in a landscape of unimaginable beauties and magnificent horrors -- forced to confront the frightful secrets of an emissary from a dread region and to trust in a brilliant triumvirate of grad students who could get things running again ... at a terrible cost—as the final moves in humankind's ultimate nightmare are played out in the depths of the Ghostlands.

Review:  This is the best of this trilogy.  A great story with great characters, plenty of action and just loads of humor all mixed together to form a tale I won't forget soon.  Out in the Badlands, The Source sits like an evil spider.  The companions have made it there but the worst is yet to come.  Goldie is nearly lost, which would have been a real shame, and Cal's sister, Christina, is found.

There is a mostly-successful ending to the quest.  The Source turns out to be just a new type of energy, a new field of science, which was being bent to the malign will of one man.  Humanity, including the changed humans, will learn to live in the changed world with this new power because, really, there's no other good options.  Destroying it would destroy too much else.  The real bad guy is still out there, but he's weakened, and maybe he won't be back (although I wouldn't count on it).

I wish there were more of these stories, but it looks like this road ends here.  I'm satisfied with the ending, but I'll miss the fun.

Rating:  9.5 / 10

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