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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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08/13/2006 Archived Entry: "Book Review:The Archangels of Dreamland"

The Archangels of Dreamland
By Steven L. Fawcette
Published by The Trophy Group

Review by Kathryn Ramage

The story begins like an old-fashioned sci-fi B-movie: two teenagers are parked and making out in the local Lover's Lane--in this case, in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947--when a spaceship crash-lands nearby. The teens investigate, only to find all but one alien dead in the crash. A jeep-load of soldiers soon arrives to "clean up" the crash site and kill the one survivor. But before he dies, the surviving alien touches the girl, Mary Jane, on the navel...

Cut to the not-too distant future; the date isn't specific, but 2007 is said to have passed a few years ago. The new President of the U.S., Susan Webber, has just been sworn in after the unexpected death of her predecessor. As part of her briefing, she is introduced to a dark, X-Files-like conspiracy of earth-shaking proportions concerning the Roswell aliens and coerced into cooperating with their agenda, until she learns about the danger this conspiracy represents to Mary Jane and her children.

For Mary Jane, who is now an elderly nun in a secluded convent in Mexico, has been living a most unusual life for a woman under a vow of celibacy: since her contact with the alien in 1947, she has given birth at regular intervals to children of various races. There are now 10 children in all, each given up for adoption, and living scattered around the U.S. with no idea of their mother's identity or the bizarre circumstances behind their births. When Mary Jane's location is made public, the government conspiracy begins a hunt for her and her children. And Mary Jane begins to call them all together to defend themselves. From there, it's a race between the forces of good and evil.

While this story uses a lot of alien conspiracy tropes, there is also a strong religious angle to the tale, and a new and unusual take on what the Roswell aliens really were. In his preface to the novel, the author says that he based his story on a dream he'd had, and its most unusual aspects--the 10 virgin-birth babies, for example--reflect that odd dreamlike quality, and give this Roswell aliens/government conspiracy story a few new twists. It's these elements that make the story interesting. And when was the last time you read a story in which the President was one of the good guys? I find that more remarkable than it being a woman.

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