Thursday, October 25, 2012

Black Easter and The Day After Judgment, by James Blish

(hb; 1968, 1971: combined, these two books are considered the second part in the theme-linked After Such Knowledge trilogy.  Theme-linked sequel to Doctor Mirabilis; theme-linked prequel to A Case of Conscience)


Review:

The plot - Black Easter: Theron Ware, a black magick practitioner-for-hire, has been contracted by a mega-wealthy weapons dealer/CEO (Baines) to a series of magickal actions, not the least of which is the unrestrained, mass unleashing of demons.

The "Grand Covenant," which maintains a tetchy détente between white and black magicians, demands that a white magic practitioner ( in this case, Father Domenico) be there to witness - and, if need be, help the black magician (Ware) - rein in the demons at the agreed-upon time.

Of course things go wrong. . .

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The plot - The Day After Judgment:  The survivors of Black Easter, as well as select military personnel, deal with the global, hellish conflict and chaos set into motion by Ware, Baines, Domenico and others in Black.

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These two novels are entertaining, sly-humored, character- and idea-interesting novels, works that take surprising, often quirky turns - filmed as one theatrical release, they would make a fun Seventies-esque b-movie.

Black and Day are worth checking out.

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