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A Plague of Angels Paperback – November 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553568736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553568738
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tepper ( Sideshow ) cleverly adopts elements of both fantasy and science fiction in this portrait of a world on the verge of chaos. Looking to space for a better world, most of Artemesia's inhabitants have deserted their land for the stars, leaving behind crumbling gang-infested cities, fortified suburbs protected by dwindling technology and a half-wild, half-rural land where renascent mythical beasts and fairy tale "archetypes" now live. There Abasio, a farmboy who is being pursued by vengeful gang members, meets Orphan, who is herself being pursued by the minions of Witch. Witch is convinced that in accordance with a delphic prophecy, Orphan can provide the "guidance system" for her space shuttle and thus allow her to settle the moon. Abasio, Orphan and their few allies are called to fulfill their destiny and defend the battered Earth from Witch's mad scheme for world domination. If the fantasy and SF elements don't always merge seamlessly, the setting is well-realized and Witch's psychosis is lurid and frightening. Tepper's prose is colorful and, while occasionally strident, tempered with wry wit and astute observations about human nature.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-A thought-provoking story with lots of action. "Orphan" has a destiny, as does Abasio Cermit. Somehow, these two destinies are intertwined. Abasio leaves his farm for the gang-filled, drug-infested city of a far-off future. Orphan leaves home also. The story of how these two come together to save a crime-ridden, overpopulated, plague-filled world is the basis of Tepper's novel. It is a mixture of myth, science fiction, and apocalyptic prophecy. A Plague of Angels has the same themes as those found in Tepper's previous novels, but it is a little easier to understand. The ending is not very effective (a series of deus ex machinas come in and, with the help of Orphan and Abasio and numerous other human and mythical characters, save humanity from itself), but the story is well worth reading.
Susan McFaden, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Started off slow and wasn't sure I was going to like it, but then it just got better snd better.
dandysmom
The early part of the book has an overly slow pace, and since the characters are less than compelling, they do little to help this problem.
Rachel Thern
Since this didn't happen, the present tense at the end of the novel had a really jarring effect on me.
Keeva Cox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve Benner VINE VOICE on August 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Sheri S. Tepper's "A Plague of Angels" dates from 1993 and it continues the theme that first emerged in this author's writings in 1984, with "The True Game", and developed through that book's second set of prequels, "The Jinian Chronicles", and that has continued in recent years with books such as "The Visitor (Gollancz)". All of these feature an imagined distant future in which mankind (or what is left of it) leads an unsettling, often strange existence, manipulated or controlled by some alien/planetary über-power. The interventions of these agents of some higher authority have usually been precipitated or enabled by the actions (usually misdeeds) of long-dead previous generations of Man (the race) and whilst we are usually led towards a recognition of our own times, many of the sins, particularly of men (the gender) are equally recognisable as pertaining in almost all ages. As a result, Tepper's writings are often branded (one might almost say dismissed) as falling within the genre of feminist science fiction. Which sadly is often to miss the point.

"A Plague of Angels" is set in a land which is clearly the remains of south-west/central North America many years after some global catastrophe has rearranged continental coast-lines, altered climates, and thrown the remnants of civilisation back into some Dark Age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Netbrian on February 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book has many excellent qualities, including interesting characters, a well-developed universe, and a good handling of a grandiose storyline. Unfortunately, the author tends to get incredibly preachy, and has a truly vexing tendency to divide different parts of the world into "things I like" and "things I don't like". While this sort of writing may well be par for course for this author, the book would have been much better off without it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Milli Thornton on December 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book, but I wish I could have felt more for the characters. The story had all the elements of danger, intrigue and romance you could hope for, but there was something about the storytelling itself that seemed rather mechanical.

The logistical errors in the manuscript drove me crazy . . . doesn't this publishing house (Bantam) proofread anything? Still, it was worth hanging in for the climax. The book is rather long and if you don't read it consistently (ideally, every day) you might lose sight, like I did, of certain details the author brushed over -- seemingly minor points that become important at the end of the book.

I can't say I'm now a Sheri S. Tepper fan, but I'm glad I tried at least one of her books. The ending was gripping, I just found the path to get there rather tedious at times. The book didn't take me by the heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keeva Cox on May 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book seemed fairly promising, but unfortunately, it failed to deliver on most of the promises. I loved the basic premise and the idea behind the book, but that's pretty much it.
The book started off incredibly slow. The first 80 or so pages are mainly background information, and could have easily been worked in elsewhere in the novel.
Sheri S. Tepper went into incredible detail on things that weren't very important to the story, but left it mainly to the reader's imagination on the bigger elements. Such as Orphan's guardian angel. You can surmise fairly early on what it is, but you don't actually find out what it looks like until at least midway through the book.
The whole book is done in past tense, however, for whatever reason, Sheri S. Tepper decided to switch to present tense for the last chapter. This made absolutely no sense to me. It would have worked had she started off the novel in present tense, then went through the middle of the book like a flashback, finally switching back to present tense at the end. Since this didn't happen, the present tense at the end of the novel had a really jarring effect on me.
I could go on about the other problems I had while reading this book, but suffice it to say, it's pretty bad when you keep reading a novel in the hopes that it gets better to only be disappointed at the end that it didn't. My only real regret is that I purchased this novel new at bookstore. Had I bought it used, it wouldn't seem like such a waste of money.
All in all, the book had the potential to be an awesome mix of sci-fi and fantasy. It's just sad that it didn't happen that way.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Arjen on August 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
With every Sheri S. Tepper book I read, I wonder "why didn't I read this before?!". Her imagination, skilful writing and her social and environmental engagement in her stories makes you look around in the world we live in and raise an eyebrow... "A plague of Angels" is one more of her page-turners, which made me want to keep reading to understand the meaning of it all. Longing for that last page, where everything would become clear, yet sad when that last page, and thus the book, is finished and the dream ended. I could say that about every book of her I read so far. Besides terrific stories, her stories makes a person THINK. Well, *me* anyway ;-)
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