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Archangel Paperback – August 25, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: FreeFlight Publishing; First Edition edition (August 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983898502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983898504
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,692,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Vorhis has the presence and skill to stir in the most three-dimensional characters any novelist has a right to claim."

- Author/Publisher Emily Hill, A.V. Harrison Publishing

"One of the most original novels I have read in a long time...told with grace and power and stunning literary prose...this is the way novels are meant to be written....rivals all of the..epics known to mankind....will haunt you long after it ends."

- Author/pro reviewer Caleb Pirtle III, Venture Galleries

"In the tradition of the Great American Novel...a class five hurricane...takes fiction from good to great."

- Professional Author Robert DeCoteau

From the Author

From concept, through three suspense thriller screenplay versions, to finished manuscript, this ambitious fiction novel took a total of eleven years to complete! It began when a tense, pivotal scene played itself in my head; I thought, "This would make a cataclysmic ending to a Best Picture film!" Then began the long process of getting to know the characters, and listening to them, to understand what series of emotions and events had brought them to that brink. Their motivations, doubts, strengths, mysterious backgrounds...everything began to be revealed as they slowly peeled back the veil for me to see. I felt the suspense, saw the emphasis on honor and moral courage, saw the solidity of the heroic few. Although I'm no bible salesman or Catholic theology spiritual growth proselytizer or Christian fiction poetry pusher, at some point I still realized that the tale I was writing paralleled an ancient biblical fable, told for centuries, about a Captain of Heaven's army who had been shouldered with the task of casting Evil out of Paradise. Such a plot is timeless, and of compelling universal appeal.  I saw it could be grounded in contempoorary mortal struggles; it needn't be precisely about angels, per se.  And such a plot can fall out in many different ways, and I saw that a hero could potentially play a triumphant, or ineffective, or even sacrificial role, on many levels.

After the better part of a decade developing the story and trying to figure out the snarled world of Hollyood marketing, an experienced and wise film producer (Max Freedman, whose knowledge of contemporary fiction and movie projects I found invaluable) liked my book and its art/creativity, saw its best-seller mainstream potential, and encouraged me to re-write it in "long form"--a full length novel. He challenged me to make it as polished as a fine piece of literary fiction.  Three years more of arduous research and careful crafting saw ARCHANGEL ready for the world.

Be aware that this story parallels the classic biblical tale by design, not by accident; names and roles are purposefully recognizable, and I don't for a second think that the obvious familiarity catches any reader by surprise. I intend it that way (it's part of the psychology of the work), so that those similarities are instantly evident and therefore non-topical, and one can focus on the far more interesting differences. Not every reader does well with that literary device, but it has been used at least sparsely in classic literature for centuries...and a story like this one is in fact where the device shines. ARCHANGEL relies on the contrast between such similarity and difference.  Like the classics, it doesn't lean on a legion of quadruple twists or gimmicks, and (although bad people must behave badly) it doesn't paint scenes that are gratuitously over-violent or artificially sensual (that is, no cheap tricks).  Nor does it push trite, unidimensional characters on a kindle book reader or paperback reader, or inject action adventure that doesn't fit the theme--nothing over-sensationalized beyond the plausible. It does keep readers who can let a story be itself on the edge of their seats. Why? Because they come to care for the characters...as did I.

The protagonist is principled, albeit far from weak. "Solid" is the word some readers have used. His leadership stems from those principles, evident to the others, and from the fact that he cares about more than himself. He's no caricature superhero, no supernatural wannabe. The series of events are precisely what he fears...and what he needs.

The story's era and western setting lend a simplicity, a peace akin to natural beauty...verbal photography...and at the same time set up a tense contrast between those serene qualities and the darker forces that reside in the town.  The tension is almost audible--almost ominously musical. There is a healthy blend of mystery and suspense, action thriller, romantic suspense thriller, crime drama, and murder mystery here...even contemporary romance and western romance are in the mix--and even occasional flashes of comedy (moments of subtle humor, anyway) punctuate the more sinister elements of conspiracy, concern for survival, horror of wanton murder (the Native American family victims who are now just fading twilight memories and ghosts), the aftermath of a financially influential serial killer...the war between Good and Evil. There's the uplifting, too--the simple happiness of innocence, the magic of friendship evolving into selfless love.  Again, I'm not a soap-box prophet of spirituality/religion, not a faith-healing over-dropper of the name Jesus, but I do realiize Christianity is of immense motivational value to so many people, and this story does justice to such higher ethics without in the least sacrificing the sense of raw realism everyone in the mainstream loves.

The back-story weaves through a few pivotal eras of American history (even military history, if the odd reference to Cavalry skirmishes counts), and subscribes in its action to a dual line of moral philosophy and martial arts ethic--a duality not easy to achieve.  The hint of romantic undercurrent, as a motivator for decision, tantalizes virtually everyone (from inspirational to historical fiction to Christian romance novel readers). It is a kind of love story, at its very core, but fraught with epic danger, death, and demons--with doubt, decision, and deeds of valour. 

Parts of the story make some people cry. I'm so sorry...and, ashamedly, pleased, because it means the characters have become real.

Our readers now span more than 23 countries (and all without translation!). By all metrics, 98.54% of readers thoroughly enjoy the novel, many referring their friends to it. Few satisfied readers tend to come back to voice their "highly recommended" book recommendations publicly; well-mannered people are busy, and private...I can easily relate. But If you love it I'd be delighted to hear from you personally--I love building strong relationships with people who appreciate this level of subtlety, complexity, and quality.

The story is complete; I won't "stretch" it by writing sequels...unless the characters tell me some day that they've fallen into yet another dire scenario, which is contrary to believable odds for real people.  (Instead I developed another--equally tense but still different--following act, in the adventure/emotional/sci-fi/thriller OPEN DISTANCE, which is a tale of high risk competitors driven beyond the edge by irrational emotion, and which, like ARCHANGEL, is based on much personal experience. OPEN DISTANCE turned out EXACTLY as I'd hoped, and it too will put you on the edge of your seat...so for that one, buckle in.)

Sometimes, with close friends, I share my own opinion about novels, that being that there is no such thing as "great fiction." There is terrible fiction, to be sure, and lacklustre fiction in horrific abundance. But if it's great, it isn't fiction; it is Truth about the human condition encapsulated in a story. The novel is just a delivery mechanism for real meaning. As such, it is more than entertainment--it is experience; it is Life.  This is the level of value I strove to achieve in ARCHANGEL.

I believe you'll enjoy it.

[Readers who seek cheap Kindle books will appreciate that this one started free, then 99 cents, and has gone up only a little since those days. And the Kindle book edition is far better value than a typical Kindle freebie (a Kindle free book being often priced free for first-novel indie author promo, by many Kindle authors anyway).  ARCHANGEL is a significant work--not a light novella, not short fiction, not a short story (for me short stories take far less time to develop).  It appeals to those who love gripping tales...even fans of fantastic fare such as Harry Potter and Stephen King's works. As an ebook, ARCHANGEL makes a great gift idea for those with an ebook reader or tablet or smart phone.]

More About the Author

Blending a rigorous classical education with countryside origins, Michael Vorhis has uniquely fused the influences of extensive global travel, exhilarating avocations, a romantic predilection and an innate story-telling talent into three decades of inspired fiction.

In ARCHANGEL he has crafted a debut novel of exceptional power--a deft marriage of suspense, complexity and compelling beauty through which honor, malevolence, and forbidden love collide. ARCHANGEL is a taut, thrilling, profoundly memorable experience--a masterful work.

In OPEN DISTANCE Vorhis delivers a gritty submersion into a world of off-the-chart risk and consuming emotion. Amplifying popular "extreme pursuit" obsessions to mind-numbing levels, literary thriller OPEN DISTANCE also prowls a deeper realm, exploring the jagged shards and resilient tenacity of human sentiment. Readers hail the story's unique technological concept and acclaim the riveting tension, complex passion, and multi-dimensional vividness for which Michael Vorhis has become known.

- FreeFlight Publishing



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Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed.
R. Lee Holz
Michael Vorhis creates an amazing piece of fiction that is well rooted in this world.
Robert DeCoteau
It was a bit of a far fetched storyline with a very contrived ending.
Estherk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert DeCoteau on August 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
OVERVIEW-
I was unsure if I would enjoy this book for the first few chapters. The characters are crisp and original, but I couldn't figure out where exactly the story was heading and it seemed to meander along for a bit. It turns out that was just the calm before the storm, a storm that I would rate a class five hurricane. There was a point when I realized that the tension of the book had been building all along; it builds and builds until finally you get the gratifying eruption of sheer storytelling genius. I realized that the few placid chapters near the beginning are crucial and most likely intentionally orchestrated by the author to increase the intensity of the dramatic outcome of the story.
My advice, no matter how the first hundred pages rubs you, press on it is well worth in the end.

IN DEPTH-
I am a big fan of scifi/fantasy and the horror genres and this book in no way fits into any of those categories. The title Archangel had me expecting some form of supernatural event, whether it be divine intervention, demon possession,or what have you. That was not the case; this book is firmly rooted in reality and Mr. Vorhis writes it in the style of the great American classic novel.

CHARACTERS- Mr. Vorhis takes the time to develop original unique characters. Each is deep and well thought out. The protagonists are suitably flawed, not being the flat but shining heroes of some fairy tale as many writers have a tendency to create. The antagonists are a perfect counterpart. Each villain, from the boss to the lowest henchman, is appropriately evil, intelligent, and self serving. As the reader, it is easy to identify and accept each of their motivations and their actions are consistent with natural (if a bit cruel) human responses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caleb Pirtle on September 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The concept of Archangel grabbed me early. I was intrigued when I read how author Michael Vorhis came up with his idea for one of the most original novels I have read in a long time. He said: “I realized the tale I was writing paralleled an ancient biblical fable, told for centuries, about a Captain of Heaven's army who had been shouldered with the task of casting Evil out of Paradise. Such a plot is timeless, and of compelling universal appeal. I saw it could be grounded in contemporary mortal struggles; it needn't be precisely about angels, per se. And such a plot can fall out in many different ways, and I saw that a hero could potentially play a triumphant, or ineffective, or even sacrificial role, on many levels.”

For Michael Vorhis, writing such novel must have been a formidable task. But his story is told with grace and power and stunning literary prose. This is the way novels are meant to be written.

His protagonist, Mick Calahan, is a man tormented by his own past, his own demons, his own fears. He is simply a clergyman. He never envisioned himself as a hero. Such a role is far beyond his imagination. He has simply tried to serve. Now he must stand and defend a world slowly being destroyed by darkness and evil.

His faith has deserted him. But fate intervenes. Destiny awaits him as he struggles on, fearful of his own decisions, afraid that his choices may destroy as many as he saves. And he wonders if he is he capable of saving anyone at all?

Michael Vorhis has crafted a mystery, a thriller, a fantasy, a fable that rivals all of the Biblical epics known to mankind. His is a story that will haunt you long after it ends. It’s far outside the realm of possibility. Then again, it may be happening all around you as you read. There is a world within our world that none of us understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kris Schlenker on April 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
I seldom recommend books I read even when I like them, but this one is different. To me the author took some risks by not sticking to the formulaic good guy/bad guy and they paid off. It kept me reading without rolling my eyes. While rough at times, even brutal, I don't believe it's farfetched, quite the contrary. Archangel has good plot and character development. It was very easy to connect with the protagonist and his pain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PennyWise on March 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
I was given a copy of this book to read by a friend. I'm not a major book reader, nor a expert on writing style. But, I found it interesting and hard to put down. For me, I could identify with some of the life issues that the major character was dealing with. I'm now going to purchase his next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is short but does not disappoint. I forgot I had this and will go back and read it again, now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peggy West on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Michael Vorhis has written a contemporary novel called "Archangel". The novel speaks mainly from the point of view of Mick Callahan, a Catholic priest who has been assigned a small town parish in Montana. The town is going through colossal upheaval.

The chapter that best represents Vorhis' style is one in which the protagonist meets with numerous members of a tribe. Vorhis handles the scene with skill and awareness to a point where a reader feels the complicated problem.

It takes courage and intelligence to write a story that includes an evil character. Vorhis' evil character is soulless and persistent. Writing that kind of character is painful and Michael Vorhis has done it well.
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