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.)
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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