As a teenager, I was introduced to the vampire novels by Anne Rice. Her storytelling was excellent, and I found myself drawn into them, readily identifying with the characters. I got away from reading Gothic, dark, and horror (I used to be a Stephen King fan, too) stories, and so never read any of her other works, but always remembered the Vampire Chronicles with fondness, and connected to memories of my life at the time.
Several years ago, in 1998, Anne returned to the Catholic Church she grew up in, and in 2002, consecrated her writing entirely to Christ. This made me intensely curious about her new books and what it meant in relation to her older books. However, because I didn't immediately run out and get any of the new books, I ended up forgetting about them. Until last Christmas, that is.
One of the Christmas gifts I received was a copy of the novel Angel Time. Curious as I was to dive into this, I also found myself a little reluctant. I think on some level I feared that it would somehow tarnish the memories I had both of the books and my life. Yes, I do realize that's a bit silly, but there you have it. I finally got over this when I picked up the book on Tuesday and began to read. I was finished the next day.
Mrs. Rice is still an excellent story teller, and I greatly enjoyed this story of hit-man-turned-agent-for-God. I found there to be a sense of joy in this book, which I hadn't noticed in any others, and even found that her dealing with faith wasn't the in-your-face preachy-ness that can sometimes be found in "Christian" novels. There is still plenty of the supernatural to be found, but from a lighter perspective; forgiveness, redemption, and the deep love of God for His people being the main theme, as opposed to the search for meaning in earlier books. I also found myself wondering how much of it was autobiographical, as there are some similarities between the author and the hit man. I liked that she doesn't shy away from the ugliness or beauty of the Church's past.
Bottom line? I recommend it.