Last entry in Zicree’s post-apocalypse Magic Time trilogy (Angelfire, 2003, etc.) about world technology giving way to magic.
A government experiment called the Source goes wrong and sucks up all electrical energy on the planet. Worse happens to people: their leading characteristics inflate and take them over. Former lawyer Cal Griffen’s young sister Christina (“Tina”), a ballerina, transparent and as beautiful as a soap bubble, has disappeared. He knows she’s somewhere out west, where the Storm has swept her. Following the Call to go south, he leaves Manhattan to find and save Tina, but first he must take a weird team that has fallen in with him (including a Tina-like flare of Angelfire) to Chicago to face minions of the Source. Dark, violent cities pass by, with trees like blown glass, where Magic shakes the very earth. Character flaws in Cal’s band turn to strengths. In its westward quest after Chicago, the band enters Ghostlands. As was said in Angelfire, “We make our own ghosts, and then give them permission to haunt us.” Under Mount Rushmore, through charms, the group summons up visions of Manhattan, where Cal finds his sister Tina back in human form and brings her back with him. Meanwhile, each member of the band meets aspects of his character formed in childhood and faces ghosts of memory. The power of Tina’s aura becomes their safe place as storms strike. Massive herds of flayed and bleeding buffalo rise up threateningly. Ely Stern, Cal’s crusty old boss in Manhattan, turns into a monstrous but benevolent fire-breathing dragon whose sole impulse is to protect Tina. They’re joined by shadow warriors who ride ghost horses and fire arrows of vapor as they enter Rushmore itself to battle that abominable gash in existence, the Lovecraftian Source.
Not hugely original, but fantasy fans will eat it up.