Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Oct.)
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
Cyberpunk, science fiction, fantasy, mythology, feminism, and ecological warning commingle comfortably in the latest complex tale by the author of the very different "Gate to Women's Country" (1988), "Grass" (1989), and "Beauty" (1991). In the far future, humans live in gang-controlled cities in which drugs and AIDS are rampant, healthy babies are at a premium, and women are bought and sold; or in scattered rural areas, where life is simple; or in the Dome of the Founding Families, where intrigue reigns; or in the mysterious Edges, the only source of technology; or in an Archetypical Village, each of which is filled with archetypical characters--Orphan, Bastard, Oracle, Hero, etc. It's said that most of humankind has long fled the battered Earth in search of a better world; now the power-hungry leader of one of the Founding Families plots to gain control of orbiting weaponry--and of the Earth. However, there's a prophecy that pushes not only a young woman and a young man, whose destinies seem inextricably linked, but also a host of others, including talking animals and mythological creatures, toward the battle to save Earth. The coarseness and horror that are essential to the plot are tempered by flashes of humor and a touch of romance. The pastiche of elements works well in this page turner, and the setting is created realistically enough to be foreboding. Another winner from a skillful genre writer.
From the Publisher
"[Teppler's books are] the kind that wrap you in their embrace, that take over your life, that make the world disappear."Voice Literary Supplement.
"Rich and compellingly readable. . .this may become a classic in the field. . .Like [C.S. Lewis, Ursula K Le Guin, and J.R.R Tolkein], Teppler takes the traditional icons of a fantasy, restores their resonance, and makes them her own."Star Tribune, Minneapolis