The Angel Factory

by Terence Blacker

Simon and Schuster, September, 2002.
Hardcover, 224 pages.
ISBN: 0689851715
Ages 10 and up

The Angel Factory by Terence Blacker Thomas Wisdom seems to have a life that any boy would envy. He is popular, does well in school, and actually gets along with this parents and big sister, Amy. Eventually his life seems too perfect and Thomas decides to do some snooping in his father's computer, assisted by his geeky friend Gip. The information Thomas finds is explosive: he is adopted. And shortly thereafter, he finds out another secret: his parents aren't human. They are artificially created organic beings created by aliens who claim they wish to save humanity from its violent tendencies -- whether humanity wishes to be saved or not. The aliens (who refer to themselves as "angels") have infiltrated all levels of human society, including the American presidency. The aliens do offer a solution to the violence of this world, but the price humanity will have to pay to save itself may be much too high. The aliens still believe in free will, and eventually it all comes down to Thomas. Will he join the Project or will he reject the aliens' plans? What he decides will determine the fate of all of mankind.

Terence Blacker has created an imaginative and thought-provoking story with The Angel Factory. Thomas, the boy who is faced with a terrible choice, is a likeable narrator, and Blacker keeps the suspense level high throughout the story. Although some of the aliens' actions strain credibility, overall the plot is both well-executed and very entertaining. With skillfully drawn characters and a fascinating premise, The Angel Factory is a compelling fantasy adventure.

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This review was published in the October - November, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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