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Elegy Beach Hardcover – November 3, 2009

37 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Change Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ariel, a tough-talking unicorn, and her best friend, Peter Garey, reunite in this sporadically charming sequel to 1983's Ariel. Their colorful postapocalyptic world has experienced the Change, in which magic made science obsolete. Now young spellcaster Yanamandra Ramchandani wants to reverse the Change, and Ariel's unicorn mate, Joe, has been murdered. To stop Yan and find the killer, Ariel and Peter recruit Fred Garey, Peter's son and Yan's best friend, as well as Yan's father. Boyett enhances the adventure with tantalizing glimpses of forever-Changed sites like John Wayne Airport, the Goodyear Airship station and San Simeon, but it's marred by fuzzy details (why would magic users eat 30-year-old canned chili instead of conjuring food?) and lacks the original's sparkle. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This fine sequel to Boyett’s Ariel (1983) plays out in the same post-holocaust world, where years ago what is called the Change suddenly destroyed technology and reduced survivors of the ensuing catastrophe to scavenging in the rubble. Two of those folk have gone beyond scavenging. Fred and Yan have developed spellware, a scientific approach to generating magic. But Yan is fanatical about bringing back the old world, while Fred is more cautious, and unknown menaces are lurking in the shadows of history. Boyett’s Change saga (well, at any rate, trilogy, given that spellware still has a lot of bugs) has a good deal in common with S. M. Stirling’s best-selling saga of the same name, including the basic premise of a sudden, disastrous decivilization event. The resemblance continues with superior characterization and world-building, and literate, sometimes even lyrical, prose. Fortunately, probably more than enough readers are and will be pleased by both Change series to keep both Stirling and Boyett fat and happy. --Roland Green

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; First Edition edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441017959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441017959
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,543,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven R. Boyett wrote his first novel, ARIEL, when he was nineteen. Soon after ARIEL was published he moved from Florida to California, where he continued to write fiction and screenplays as well as teach college writing courses, seminars, and workshops. He has published stories in literary, science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies and magazines, as well as publishing articles and comic books.

His most recently published novel, MORTALITY BRIDGE, earned acclaim from Publisher's Weekly and popular authors John Scalzi and Cory Doctorow.

Steven is known for his dynamic readings and lectures. He has also been a martial arts instructor, professional paper marbler, advertising copywriter, proofreader, tyepsetter, writing teacher, and Website designer and editor.

As a DJ he produces three of the world's most popular music podcasts: Podrunner, Podrunner: Intervals, and Groovelectric. Steven has played clubs, conventions, parties, Burning Man, and sporting events.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Reed on November 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Ariel and so I was really excited to hear about a sequel in the works. Elegy Beach takes place in the same world as Ariel, but it seems as different from the setting of Ariel as Ariel's world seemed from the pre-Change world.

Learning about this new world was a lot of fun, as was meeting the characters along the way, thanks to Boyett's dry wit. He is not satisfied with using standard fantasy elements, which would be fine with many readers; he breathes life into what could have been clichés by giving plausible explanations for why things are the way they are. It makes for a very rich and robust story.

A rich read that's a page-turner at the same time - I know that any lover of fantastic journeys would love this book.

I think this book could stand on its own, but I am such a huge fan of Ariel that I have to suggest reading that one first. Both are special in their own way.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By KindlePad VINE VOICE on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Really enjoyable book, I thought it was a great follow up to Ariel. There was a talk about the author set of resetting the "tech" as to when the old world died, as Ariel was written in the 80's. Having only recently read Ariel, I honestly didn't find it dated at all. Maybe as due to growing up in the 80's?

The characters in this book are different from Ariel, but I think that's ok - its great to bring out new characters. They are the descendants from the first book and they are attempting to understand, control and I guess you would say... organize or bring structure to the new "magic" that inhabits the world now. Sort of like scientists have done with physics in our own past. Very clever. I don't want to say too much more or give spoilers. Suffice to say if you liked Ariel, you will enjoy this greatly.

The author's writing is fresh & enjoyable, a really great read!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Garcia on January 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Excellent follow-up to Ariel, a post-Apocalyptic novel where the Change has rendered modern devices obsolete and fantasy creatures roam the land. This takes place about 30 years later and the underlying Change has also changed. In Ariel the world Changed in the early 80s. Now the Change took place a few years in the future (there's a discussion of solar-powered iPods). But this ties up a lot of loose ends from Ariel and also has some fun with magic as a sort of software written on the operating system of the universe. The author admits this is what inspired him to write the book, but it's quickly lost as he catches up with the characters from Ariel. Still, a great follow-up from a much more mature author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MEGATØN on September 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In 1984, Steven R Boyett released his first novel, Ariel, and introduced us to his vision of a world after The Change, a world where, at 4:30 p.m. one day, magic returned to the land, and the laws of physics were simply rewritten. All technology - gunpowder, electricity, and even complicated machines - no longer functions, 90% of the people simply disappeared, and magical creatures like demons, dragons, and the unicorn, Ariel, appeared in their stead. The story followed Ariel, and her katana-wielding companion, Pete Garey, from Atlanta, to Washington DC, to New York City and an aerial assault on the Empire State Building. It had all the elements of a great post-apocalyptic road trip story, but threw in just enough swords and sorcery to make it even more interesting.

Ariel became a cult classic, and now, 25 years later, Boyett finally returns to the world of The Change with the long-awaited sequel, Elegy Beach.

Elegy Beach picks up about 20 years after the events of Ariel, and shifts to the West Coast, where Pete's son, Fred, is a young man growing up to be a talented caster. He and his best friend, Yan, try to apply scientific principles to the study of the magic that infuses their world, and for Yan, a taste of power only fuels his desire for even more.

The events that unfold next can be summed up in a scene where Fred thinks to himself, "In the air above the mountains in a battered gondola of a wounded airship on my way to confront my former best friend holed up in the ruin of a former castle while he perfects the casting that will reinstate the old world's order I am talking to a unicorn about whether the centaur following us is carrying my captured father. Um, ok...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Dyer on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Ariel" was and will always remain one of my all-time favorite works of fiction. As such, I had always hoped that the author would one day write a sequel and continue the adventures of the main protagonists in the Changed world, a world itself that deserved more study outside of the main and supporting characters. However given the terrible (albeit brilliantly heart wrenching) ending, a sequel would have been to say the least....problematic. The author seemed to agree back in the 90's IIRC from past musings snipped from the [then] early Internet. Ariel....done and finished.....time for new frontiers. I was moved enough to write the author many years later to tell him how much I loved and hated him for bringing such a wonderful tale to print only to then rip the still beating heart of the reader out at the very end of "Ariel." :-) Now 20 some years later, a sequel is announced. I should have been ecstatic. Yet instead I found myself feeling oddly skeptical. Old age I guess. Happens to the best of us. :-)

This all leads to the main point regarding "Elegy Beach." There are a number of problems with this book, most of which have been touched on by other reviewers so I will concentrate on the two biggest issues from my viewpoint:

(warning: partial spoilers)

1) Unlikeable Characters

In "Ariel", the characters were likable and sympathetic. You felt for the protagonists, Pete and Ariel as they fought to preserve what they had while striving to etch out a living in a post-apocalyptic world. You rooted for them during their battles, you shared their frustration when the bad guys scored a point. One had to admire Pete's strength of character and optimism in a Dog-Eat-Dog world. Ariel, the displaced mythical creature....
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