I finally finished reading Ariel, by Steven R Boyett. It took me about two months because I only read during my lunch hour, but it was worth it. As I mentioned in my last post about Ariel, I had read it before, but it was probably about 25 years ago, near when it first came out. It turned out that I really didn’t remember any of the details, which was a good thing since it was like reading it for the first time.
It’s a novel of The Change, similar to the “apocalypse” in S.M. Stirling’s The Sunrise Lands, though it goes a bit further. Not only do electricity and gunpowder and such stop working, but magic returns to the world, complete with magical creatures like gryphons and the unicorn, Ariel.
The story follows Ariel, and her companion, Pete, from Atlanta to New York City, and an assault on the Empire State Building. It’s got the elements of a great near-future post-apocalypse story, but throws in just enough swords and sorcery to keep it interesting.
The ebook version I read seems to be the 1999 reprint, which included an author’s afterword. In it, he states emphatically and repeatedly that there will never be a sequel to Ariel. I found that interesting since I had already read that there is a sequel, Elegy Beach, that’s scheduled to come out in November. It takes place 30 years after the events of Ariel, in California, so I’m not sure how closely related it is. The site for the book has a countdown timer on it saying it will go live in mid-September, and is supposed to include downloads, maps, audio, forums and more.
Ariel is going to be re-released in paperback on August 25th. I give a hearty recommendation, and am really looking forward to getting back into that universe with the next book.