Ariel: A Book of the Change

Ariel: A Book of the Change

by Steven R Boyett

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441017942
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/25/2009
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 532,101
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.88(h) x 1.16(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

STEVEN R. BOYETT sold his first novel at 21 and went on to publish novels, short stories, feature screenplays, and comic books. In 1999 he took some time off from writing, and during this period he learned to play the didgeridoo, a unique Australian wind instrument. This led him to learn about digital recording, which led to composing electronica, which led to DJing. He produces three of the world's most popular music podcasts: the groundbreaking Podrunner and Podrunner: Intervals (workout music mixes), and Groovelectric (dance music mixes of what he calls New Old Funk).

Steve has played clubs in Hollywood, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Reno, as well as Burning Man. He has been a martial arts instructor, professional paper marbler, advertising copywriter, legal proofreader, writing teacher, website editor, chapbook publisher, and composer. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two frighteningly intelligent parrots.

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Ariel: A Book of the Change 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Like everyone else who was there when the machines stopped working and the mythological creatures appeared, Pete Garey can tell you what he was doing at the precise moment, 4:30 to be exact when the lights went out as the Change occurred. A high school student at the time of the Change, he survived by scavenging what was taken for granted before the Change. Pete was washing himself in waters that before the Change would go on fire when he sees the unicorn with her broken leg. He sets the leg with splints and they become traveling companions with Pete scavenging for food especially the impossible to find peppermints that Ariel loves. They meet Russ Chafney in the library in Atlanta and he takes them to Malachi Lee who teaches Pete to use a sword in a dangerous world in which guns being machines fail to work. However, a dangerous necromancer has learned of the unicorn and sent his minion led by the Griffin rider to either capture the beast or steal the horn. Malachi insists he will fight the necromancer alone in the evil one's stronghold in Manhattan. However, Pete and Ariel follow him to New York City as he is their brother in arms. This reprint of a strong post-apocalyptic fantasy is an engaging tale as good and evil center on a struggle to either befriend and protect; or incarcerate or kill the unicorn. The story is fast-paced especially once the lead couple reaches Atlanta, DC and NYC. Pete is a terrific as he must stay virgin pure to remain Ariel's companion while the unicorn brings a coming of age (some not realistic) feel to the plot. Although the audience needs to ignore the reasons why the Change occurred as they are not forthcoming, ARIEL is a super tale with wry humor that asks whether a return to nature is the only way to save the planet from humanity. Harriet Klausner
crazybatcow on LibraryThing 7 months ago
One scene about 1/3 of the way in sorta sums up the "angst" of the novel. At this point Pete is crying and Ariel is comforting him and he blurts out that he wishes she were a woman. Err... Okay... he can't travel with someone without wanting to have sex with her? What if she were male? He would wish he were gay? Or they'd just be best buds? Exactly. So, either the author is sexist (i.e. a guy can't travel with a female character without wanting to have sex with her), or has some notion that it's necessary to have sexual angst, even if the characters aren't the same species. This whole foolishness (who wants to have sex with a unicorn?) surrounding Pete's overwhelming urge to have sex (with apparently anyone human and female) took a big chunk out of the story for me.And the ending... well... I guess the point is that a 21 year old man would rather have sex with a woman he barely knows than stay with a magical creature. Or maybe the magical creature left him so he could get on with his ordinary human life. Choice between living in the muck or galavanting with a unicorn and he chooses the muck. Sex is powerful, huh?I was expecting something along the lines of a post-apocalyptic novel, this is not that... it's really just a "boy finding himself" fantasy novel, that just happens to be set in a world that is post-apocalyptic rather than in a straight up fantasy world.
cissa on LibraryThing 7 months ago
OK coming-of-age (male) novel in a fantasy context. Most of the interesting questions raised in the book were not addressed, unfortunately; as I understand it, the author was very young when he wrote it, which explains some part of this. The ending was telegraphed very early, but was OK. I liked the notion of the Change, but wish it had been thought through more thoroughly, and the results at least explained better- like- why was the world suddenly so deserted of people? and all the pollution gone? etc.
chibighatta on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Not a perfect book by any means, but the combat scenes in this book are some of the best I've ever read. This book was written very early in the author's career (the publication date is misleading, this is a re-release with some previously deleted content). I will definitely be reading other books by this author, I look forward to seeing how he's grown over the years.
CBJames on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Sometimes I buy books because I like the cover art. I admit it. Months of summer vacation ahead*. A handsome young man holding a ninja sword ready for battle amid the ruins of a fallen New York City. Looks like fun to me. Just the sort of Bladerunner like thing I enjoyed back in the day when I might not have looked completely ridiculous holding a samurai sword myself. Just a little bit ridiculous. Okay, maybe more than a little bit.Had there been a unicorn on the cover I would not have bought Ariel. There's one in the book. It says so on the back cover, I know, but I didn't read the back cover--I wanted to be surprised. I certainly was. A post-apocalyptic story with a unicorn.Please.What exactly happened isn't explained, just that a change occurred. After the change when magical creatures started to appear, the rules of physics stopped working along with all of the machines those rules inspired. Instead, a new set of rules governed by magic appeared or returned depending on whom you ask. Somehow, 90% of the population vanished as well. This is also not explained. Instead of explanations, the novel begins with Pete Carey, a young loner and survivor, stumbling upon a unicorn one morning. Because the unicorn can speak only a few words--did I mention that the unicorn can talk?--and appears helpless due to a broken leg, Pete takes it under his wing, cares for it, teaches it to talk. The unicorn soon becomes Pete's familiar, a creature bonded to a human for life. The catch for Pete is that only virgins can touch unicorns. Not an easy realization for any young man.The adventure comes when the two discover that a necromancer who has taken control of New York City wants Ariel's horn for the magical properties it contains. Instead of running away, the two decide to travel to New York and confront their enemy in order to end all attempts to capture Ariel.Adventure ensues. There's a griffin, a dragon, a rebel army, and, of course, a beautiful girl. I enjoyed it. It was fun. I'm glad I gave in to the book's cover art and that I did not give up after finding a unicorn roaming about a perfectly good post-apocalyptic landscape. It's a perfect summer book. If I could only remember where I stashed my samurai sword.
krau0098 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This book looked really interesting and I have read good things about it so I decided to give it a go. It was an enjoyable read, although there are a few things in the book which irked me a bit. This book was originally released in the early 80's and this is a re-release of it.This story takes place in the post-Change world of the United States. The Change happened one day and suddenly all electricity/technology stopped working and magical creatures began roaming the earth. Humanity was left to survive in any manner possible in this post-apocalyptic type of world. Pete is living day to day when he stumbles upon a unicorn with a broken leg. He takes the time to fix her leg and dubs her Ariel. A year later Pete and Ariel are still traveling together; only someone is after Ariel's power and Pete and Ariel only have one choice...to destroy the necromancer that wants to hold Ariel captive.This book moves at a fairly brisk pace and kept my interest. The relationship Pete and Ariel have, as well as the relationship of other characters with their familiars, is very interesting and much of the story pays attention to this. I also found it interesting that there is so much focus on Pete struggling with keeping his virginity, if he loses it then him and Ariel can no longer be companions. Enter a young woman (Saughnessy) who tempts Pete more than she should.While Pete and Ariel are very well-developed characters, the characters surrounding them could use some work. The evil necromancer is fairly faceless and we never get to learn his thoughts on anything. Even the young woman that travels with Pete is rather 2-dimensional; you never get to understand her or hear why she wants to travel with Pete or Ariel.There is a lot of unfettered violence and a lot of action in this book. Those with a weak stomach might want to skip it; to be fair I don't think that the violence was made unreasonably gory...Boyett tries to stay true to what the resulting gore would actually be given that people's limbs are removed with swords quite often. I enjoyed the inclusion of the Japanese mentality to fighting with all the samurai sword action, those scenes were a lot of fun.The ending of the book left me disappointed. I thought the choices that Pete made were kind of sudden and un-called for; but I will not mention any more to prevent spoilers.There were a few things that bothered me about this book. The first was Pete's use of a blowgun to drop enemies immediately; it just isn't very realistic. In the Afterward Boyett says that he now realizes this. The second thing that bothered me was the lack of people. Pete travels through vast quantities of land without barely seeing anyone, which could happen. But then he goes through big cities without seeing many people. I realize if electricity/technology stopped some people would be killed in car accidents, plane crashes, etc...but a vast majority of humanity would probably be okay. I am wondering where they all went. Also since it has been six years since the Change, wouldn't you think humanity would be re-forming organizations and communities? There is a small community (300 people) talked about in New York, but other than that there doesn't seem to be much organization at all. I just found these aspects to very unbelievable and this lowered my opinion of the story, because it was so fundamental to the story.Overall I enjoyed the story. It is a bit long and some parts are hard to find believable, but it is well written with some awesome action scenes. Boyett's idea of a post-apocalyptic world forced by a fundamental change in the laws of physics is interesting, but flawed at points. Will I be reading "Elergy Beach", the sequel to Ariel? Probably not. I just didn't love the world enough to continue reading about it.
Homechicken on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I read this for the first time in 2010. I'd never heard of the book before I saw it on the shelf at Powell's Bookstore in Portland, but it was used and recommended, a good sign for me to give it a try. I was surprised how much I was drawn in to the story.That's not to say I liked it all, I found some parts boring or strange. The katana/blowgun wielding hero seems a bit sophomoric, but given that this was written by a (at the time) teenager, it's understandable.Still, it was done well, even though some people (like my wife) wouldn't like the ending. It did end quickly, and not entirely the way you might expect, but it was a good story.
nkjemisin on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I absolutely loved this book as a teenager. Read it to pieces, then could never find another copy. Fortunately it has been reissued, after far too long! It holds up incredibly well -- there are a few minor Handwavium (tm) moments in the plot that I never noticed before, and I can't help laughing now at all these geeky white guys playing samurai, but everything else is perfect. The characterization, the humor, the dreamy apocalyptic beauty of this Changed world... it's all as wonderful as I remember. I'm not fond of the new cover (where's the title character, huh? What, was she too girly or something?), and I'm annoyed that it's only available in mass market paperback, given its thickness -- because I've cracked the spine on this copy already, which means I'm likely to read it to pieces again. But I'm happy to recommend it again, and glad it stood the test of time.
elfgirl on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A gorgeously written post-apocolyptic, coming of age story. It's out of print, but worth finding a copy if you can.I picked this book up on a whim in a used bookstore when I was in high school. As I did with most books back then, I read it and then traded it back in for more books to read. Unlike others, though, this book stuck with me. In particular, a poignant scene at the end of the book stayed with me, even when I could no longer remember the book's name or author.
MichaelTravisJasper More than 1 year ago
This is a fun and unusual story. There is; however, a strange sense of dislocation in time as part of the novel takes place at The World Trade Center. The book was written when the author was nineteen years old, and I think that shows. Having said that, the story remains entertaining, and I intend to buy and read the much more recent sequel, Elegy Beach. A road trip set in a post-apocalyptic world that includes such things as unicorns and griffons. S.M Stirling (allegedly a fan) later told this kind of story much more successfully and with more skill. Michael Travis Jasper, Author of the Novel "To Be Chosen"
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FaardtheBard More than 1 year ago
As you would expect, a book about a unicorn in a world returned to sorcery from technology must have a virgin somewhere. This one happens to be a young man for a change. Although the switch from science to magic is never explained in the book, if you take it for granted that it happened, the rest of the tale of a team of talking unicorn and his boy forming a symbiosis and traveling to New York to fight an evil sorcerer of unknown power while meeting a host of interesting characters along the way falls into place as it does in this book. The characters are realistic with modern language and the characters have their strengths and weaknesses. All in all a good read for a week or two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
was kinda dark as well more for adults the kids I love my copy of the book
Xantu_Volo More than 1 year ago
Cant say too much without spoilers but lets just say the ending killed me and not in a happy way. Yet overall this book was so well writen it kept me past my bedtime for 3 nights. I read the whole thing in 3 nights by the way. Hard to put down book and the story is just great. Few bad things about this book you will wish there was more story. It reads almost like a short but yet it isnt. Also the way things move it is almost too quick. He could have spread the story out to 2 or 3 books. Boyett definately has the gift for telling of tales, you can just see it in his writing. I look forward to see what else he comes out with.
ChickenBoy More than 1 year ago
This book isn't bad, but neither is it very good. Ariel is an animal companion book set in a strange Earth; fire burns but internal combustion engines do not and lighting flashes across the sky but won't travel across a copper wire. The story follows a young man, and his unicorn, as he grows into adulthood. The pace of the book is good, and the story is entertaining yet doesn't have much depth; the book did not make me introspective of anything after reading it, nor excited for any sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In just a few words this reader would like to express that this novel is bad, just plain bad; awfully written and the characters are poorly done. Plus, the whole nonsense about unicorns only allowing virgins who are pure to ride them is tiresome and boring; not to mention that being pure should have nothing to do with whether or not a person has performed intercourse or lost their virginity; purity can also mean pure of the spirit, of the soul, and of the heart, which is far more profound than whether or not you have ever engaged in sex.