Second in a trilogy begun with Magic Time (2001), co-written with Barbara Hambly. Zicree, a TV fantasy scripter with vast credits, co-authors this time with Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (the actual writer). Magic Time opened with a mechanical round-robin of shallow characters involved in post-apocalypse Manhattan after a Department of Defense experiment has gone haywire and released a huge blue whirling force that now shorts out the nation’s power, drawing it out of planes in flight, out of lamps down in mines, even from flashlight batteries. It is, of course, some kind of magic force, though just what kind even Angelfire doesn’t tell. The Change’s effect on humans is to expand their leading personality characteristics, turning some into monsters. Cal Griffin, 27, a lawyer, sets out to save his sister, Tina, 12, a ballet student whose DNA has been rearranged, making her almost transparent and giving her the power to levitate—and now the Storm has swept her off west. Returning for a dangerous cross-country trek from West Virginia to Chicago in quest of Tina are Cal’s earlier companions, humane Doc Lysenko, Goldie (a visionary bipolar manic-depressive epileptic who knows the way) and stable, tough Colleen. Riding in a gutted horse-drawn truck, they avoid the dark violent cities, pass by trees like blown glass. At Grave Creek they meet up with the magic guitarist Bluesman, a Pied Piper (protected by a forcefield) whose music projects a sonic field the Source can’t get through (he’s protecting Magritte, a Tina-like flare of Angelfire). Can they get Bluesman to help them in Chicago, where the Storm has gathered? Only if Cal can help Bluesman break his weird contract with milky-eyed manager, Howard, now a troll. But in Chicago, Howard tells them that Primal Records holds the contract. Then in the Black Tower they meet Primal, roaring like the Great Oz.
Strictly for adolescents.