Monday, June 18, 2012

A Second Glance: Magic Time by Mark Scott Zicree

It could be sad to say the one thing I got out of High School Sociology is Magic Time by Mark Scott Zicree. But then, it probably says more about me than I should probably admit. I had just transferred schools, and was going through a rough time. My teacher knew I liked fantasy, so she had her husband loan me the book.

I was a drowning man and Magic Time was a lifeline (or it would probably be more accurate to say that I drowned myself in Magic time.) There are fewer things that get my literary motor running than pure fantasy and post/apocalyptic thrillers, and combining them is the mana to my eyes.

Magic Time is a book about a magical apocalypse, in the simplest of terms. But even that doesn't do it enough credit. And credit is well due. The story is told from the perspective of several different people, ranging from different parts of the country, creating a type of hodge-podge that I would normally frown upon if it didn't mix so well.

Basically, a military/scientific program in the mid-west has been doing SOMETHING, and it all culminates in a disaster that destroys all things scientific, even down to the basic molecular level. Planes fall out of the sky, their technology no longer working. Electricity no longer works. Cars stall on the roads and refuse to turn back on. Even fire loses its potency. And that's the least of it as people begin to change.

Peoples baser instincts begin to change them into otherworldly creatures, magic becomes a very real thing, and heroes are called. It's all the stuff of fantasy coming into the real world, and the disastrous nature of it mixes with the wonder of a real world of dragons and fairies so well.

Now, I know, I normally have a hard line against multiple perspectives, especially when they are in different states, but this is the difference. In Magic Times, the different perspectives (sometimes as brief as maybe two chapters altogether per person) gives a very distinct viewpoint to what is happening in this changing world. They are never given enough time to become sympathetic characters, but are merely there to give a better viewpoint to the main characters.

My favorite was the psychiatrist of the main antagonist who was so greedy and self-serving in the beginning, treating him while he contemplates a trip with his family, and later gets a view of his client after he begins to change.

I could talk about Magic Time forever, because the copy I have is yellow with age and worn with use, I read it so often. What could be more exciting than finding out that the world has changed and you are better for it? Or watching a man change into a draconian figure, complete with wings, right before your eyes.

I will go on a negative rant of my least favorite things in trilogies, because technically, that's what Magic Time is. I hate the formula most people have for a trilogy: The first one ends where it should, the second one pics up where the first one could have ended and ends with a blatant cliffhanger, and the third one ends with the possibility of a new one at some point. Magic Time does exactly that. It gets old, and writers aren't as clever as they might think they are for doing it that way.

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