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Magic Time (Magic Time #1)
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Magic Time

(Magic Time #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  387 ratings  ·  43 reviews
For rising young lawyer Cal Griffin, it's just another day in the Big City--until the lights go off...for good. Suddenly packs of pale crouched figures are stalking the darkened subways, monsters prowl Times Square, and the people all around Cal are...changing. Similar weirdness is happening everywhere, from the dank, cold heart of a West Virginia coal mine to a remote lab ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 5th 2002 by Harper Voyager (first published 2001)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  387 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Oct 07, 2009 rated it liked it
While this is not a bad book, it is very much a "beginning" one; the first 100 pages are entirely devoted to introducing numerous characters, most of whom have no interaction with one another so far. When the Ginormous Disaster occurs we go through each characters reaction and struggle, which is realistic but not that exciting to read, especially as the nature of the disaster is clear to the reader sooner than it is to the characters.
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
This will be a rather short review as this is a very disappointing book. While it should have (I believe) a good read. It takes place over a good spread of areas and characters...

That said while as I said "it takes place" over a good spread of places and characters, very little actually does "take place". The first quarter or so of the book simply intros people and wanders around in the world we live if, sort of.

When the big Event comes down we basically go no where. This is like one very long v
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another end of the world as we know it fantasy. The book is slow to start due to introducing quite a number of characters and it really drags along much of this. It takes some time to really make a lot of sense out of what is going on. By the end of the book, the reader is made very aware of what is going on and the story has come together very well.

Not a bad read (listen for me), but not anything 'standoutish' either. The slow start makes it difficult to stick with and this is what makes it a
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Barbara Hambly collaborated on only this of the total 3 Magic Time novels, much to the detriment of the series, which has the odd conceit of a different collaborator with M.S. Zicree for each book. #1 is clearly a 'beginning the trilogy' book with perhaps a bit too much telling & not enough showing. No matter: the dialog is crisp, the plot an interesting twist on the popular 'End Of The World As We Know It' theme, and Hambly's elegant writing clearly stands out where allowed, though not ne ...more
Jun 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the concept of this story, but it seemed that it was overly concerned with making sure all the many characters were introduced at the beginning. It begins with a ho-hum task by an agent, we later learn of the President of the United States, who is fleeting around looking for an unidentified something.

A good part of the rest of the story leads to finding her and her "something", but it meanders through a cast of characters as it details the breakdown of government and modern life in th
Myke Edwards
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This caught my interest enough, but the problem I have with books intended to be television shows is that there is way too much superfluous description. I understand why it happens, but it makes me feel like there's a lack of story, just visual stuff.
Anyway, it kept me wanting to know the full story, so I read on.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Found this book in an used book store around 10 years ago. I have read it so many times it will soon be a tape bound book. Took many years, and the purchase of a kindle, to finally read the rest of the series. None of the books have ever disappointed me. I go back and re-read them all the time.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
It starts off very slowly. There is a lot of set-up and background in this book.
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I got about a third of the way through, but couldn't get interested enough to continue. DNF.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a 'recommended by the library' book I didn't know what to expect and so looked up some reviews before diving in. It gets a lot of negative reviews, but most of these seem based on the opinions that a) this is not a true Barbara Hambly book (It's not. She's a collaborator with Zicree.), b) there are too many characters (People! This isn't The Wheel of Time series or Romance of the Three Kingdoms. You can keep track of ALL the characters on your fingers. Hardly a ...more
I love the concept of this book, and with recent world events, have been thinking about it a lot lately. What if the lights, batteries, and even guns went out permanently, but people had the power? It was conceived as a 2 hour TV pilot, co-written by a writer / producer of "Sliders" and "Star Trek". It could be a good TV series. BUT... Why can't a WRITER come up with more descriptive words than the all encompassing one that begins like "fudge"? Even if he's painting a scene with miners or white ...more
Fantasy Literature
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Magic Time is the first book of a fantasy trilogy helmed by Marc Scott Zicree. This book is co-written with Barbara Hambly. Each of the subsequent books in the series is written with a different writer. Magic Time was published in 2001, and it is not aging well.

I had a difficult time getting through Magic Time. It narrowly missed achieving Did Not Finish status. When I did finish it I realized that all this book did was set up Book Two.

Zicree’s book is a post-apocalyptic fantasy in the mode of T
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
The idea is good, but the execution is kind of... meh. I wasn't super fond of any of the characters, and I feel like there were one or two storylines too many. This is one of those books that jumps around between a few different groups of people, which I'm ok with when it's done well. But I don't think this was done very well. As far as I could tell there was zero reason for the group from New York to be included. All the other groups were connected in some way, but the New Yorkers weren't. Mayb ...more
Doc Opp
Aug 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
Magic time set in the present and chronicles the aftermath of a government experiment that goes awry and changes the rules of physics. This both disables a lot of modern technology, and allows new magical effects to be realize. Most of the book is excellent, but the author is clearly not completely comfortable with the style yet, and so there's chapter by chapter variability in quality. I have wanted to read the sequels for some time, but keep forgetting to look for them when I go to the booksto ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-horror
I picked up this audio book at the library, mainly because it was read by a man who had played a character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is a typical, "end of the world" novel, but I liked it. I always enjoy stories where characters from various parts of the country end up joining together to fight the "Big Bad". Once again, I was sucked into a story that I did not realize was the first of many parts. (I really have to start checking that before I start reading these stories.) It was not the b ...more
Ian Turkstra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to LucidStyle by: Eric
Barbara Hambly shows herself once again to be an amazing writer. The storyline is at once entertaining and gut-wrentching, with beautiful descriptions of setting and exceptional displays of character reactions and emotions. It grabbed me from the very first line, "Cal Griffin dreamed chaos." This book is a very good ride, meaningful, and complete (in the sense that the first of a trilogy can be complete!).
Nov 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: at-the-library
This is a reread. I kind of love it though. Storyline being that something has happened that has taken away electricity and is changing people into all sorts of supernatural creatures and giving them powers, etc. etc. Still it has good and interesting characters and a bit of a quest story going on. I think it was meant to be a tv show, but got turned into a book instead. Regardless, it's fun and part of a trilogy thus the reread.
Jul 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Good stuff! Technology no longer works, some people are changed so their external appearance matches their inner nature. A lawyer, the lawyer's changed sister, a man who teeters between genius and madness and a woman with mad survival skills start traveling cross-country trying to find out what caused the Magic Time.

Well written, kept my interest the whole time. All three books in the series were good, but this first was the best.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
One day the earth changes. Power machinery of all kinds fail. Planes fall from the sky, guns don't work. No one knows what is happening. And some people are changing. Assorted people come together and try and find the source of it.

A pretty good story with some really interesting characters and strong fight scenes.

But the book is obviously the start of a series and leaves so many unanswered questions....
Eric Franks
Nov 02, 2010 rated it liked it
I mentioned before in my review of On A Pale Horse how this book kind of showed me how you don't necessarily need a fantasy setting to introduce fantasy elements to a story. In this work the author describes what might be termed a magic apocalypse. The setting throughout the book changes from modern East coast to a more fantastical version as people slowly start to mutate and the quality of the land changes in response a science induced magical explosion. It's an interesting idea anyway.
Jul 30, 2009 rated it liked it

This book is almost a re-write of King's "The Stand" and I'm OK with that. Not that "The Stand" was bad...because surely it was NOT, but because it had the same "umph" in it that captured my interest and forced me to push on to the next chapter. There were a few moments that seemed hacked and others that were wonderful. Maybe this came from the collaboration? Still, it was a fun read and I look forward to giving the next in the series a try.
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what to expect when I started this book, and for a good many chapters in I still didn't know, but I was liking the characters, so I kept on until BAM! Apocalypse. Definitely a book worth picking up and checking out. I don't really like the title much, because it makes it sound a little cheesy, but the story is anything but cheesy. I can't wait to read the sequel!
Michael Reynolds
The book preview sounded great. It was actually quite entertaining. Lots of characters, all intertwined. Unique mix of science fiction and fantasy. I was hoping for a bit more raw survivalism. Luke-warm anticipation for book two. Hopefully, it won't have as much character introduction and it can dive into the action.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised... I was a bit hesitant due to the title & book cover (though I do know these are not necessarily good predictors, but still it does effect my choices at times). However, I really liked this book. I did think it had a somewhat flavor of King's The Stand... but very minor. Now I can't wait to read the sequels.
Mar 30, 2010 rated it liked it
It's a day of change brought about by secret military forces and ancient powers not fully understood. When the switch is thrown, the lights go out all over the world, leaving a new dark age to be repopulated with human survivors, including those who were once human. Follow a small group of these survivors on their journey for answers.
Eric Smith

This was a pretty good read that suffered mostly from the fact it's an introductory book and spends a good deal of time establishing characters. Not a bad thing really and it's necessary but while it introduces the characters it never really connects them to the reader. That just may be me then. Certainly not going to stop me from going to the next novel in the series.
Ruby Ridge
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is Barbara Hambly. Her writing brings it to life and connects us with the characters. I hope the second book in the series will match it but with Barbara Hambly not coauthoring there are some big shoes to follow
Mar 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fant-horr-sf
I liked the book fine. Doesn't really break out of the standard post-apo conventions--stayed engaging and entertaining. I thought the pay off for sticking with the very slow first 100 pages or so was a little weak. I'll probably read the other books in the series on a free weekend, though.
Anne Kaufhold
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
By the way the female characters revolved around and were defined by the male characters I would guess that this book had less of Hambly and more Zirkee. Yawn. Not terrible, but despite ending on a cliffhanger, I won't bother to read the second. Maybe enjoyable for young nerdy male readers.
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Magic Time (3 books)
  • Angelfire (Magic Time #2)
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