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ARCHANGEL [Kindle Edition]

Michael Vorhis

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Product Description

Product Description

There is a man who has long since lost faith in himself. A dim past that played out wrong overpowered his spirit, and he came to believe he was not good for this world. For some years he has been in hiding, subduing the malevolent nature he feels he owns in a cloak of powerless anonymity. He has been saving the world from himself, an unlikely clergyman engaged in hidden, quiet servitude to humanity. He doesn't see the heroism in that choice.

But coincidence, perhaps Fate, causes Mick Calahan to become entangled in the equally mysterious saga of strangers. And circumstances bring him unwillingly into the open, where looms his greatest fear-that his decisions might affect and destroy real lives.

And so even as he hesitantly peels back a remote western town's uneasy past, he finds that again he must choose-between retreat into a martyr's insignificance or overt protection of a broken family that desperately needs his help. Dare he stand, pretend he's not a lightning rod for calamity, and shield a woman and child he has grown to love? Dare he stand, and sink back to the terrible place his soul once knew, forfeiting what's left of his own humanity?

As in the ancient, timeless biblical fable from which the saga's title derives, the fate of paradise rests in this lone defender's hands. And the chance for redemption from old demons can be a powerful lure. But Destiny is never fair, and the classic heroic warrior must this time walk an inglorious path. If not for a dignity he denies he has...and the subtly tantalizing motive of forbidden love....

There is a man who has long since lost faith in himself. He is a man whom every woman needs on her darkest day, whom every man becomes in his finest hour.

About the Author

Michael Vorhis was born to a large farm family in Midwestern USA. He has resided in or extensively traveled Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany and other parts of Europe, the New England states, and Colorado, Wyoming, and other stretches of the Great American West. Most recently he makes his home in Northern California with his wife and daughter. His passions include high alpine mountaineering, the paddling of free-flowing rivers, soaring flight, fly fishing, string instruments, cartooning, baseball, volleyball, the martial arts, photography, the open road...and writing. He has developed and published fiction and nonfiction, including novels, short stories and screenplays, for more than three decades.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 506 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983898502
  • Publisher: FreeFlight Publishing (Jan. 20 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LGTP8C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #445,672 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Tradition of the Great American Novel Aug. 28 2011
By Robert DeCoteau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
OVERVIEW-
I was unsure if I would enjoy this book for the first few chapters. The characters are crisp and original, but I couldn't figure out where exactly the story was heading and it seemed to meander along for a bit. It turns out that was just the calm before the storm, a storm that I would rate a class five hurricane. There was a point when I realized that the tension of the book had been building all along; it builds and builds until finally you get the gratifying eruption of sheer storytelling genius. I realized that the few placid chapters near the beginning are crucial and most likely intentionally orchestrated by the author to increase the intensity of the dramatic outcome of the story.
My advice, no matter how the first hundred pages rubs you, press on it is well worth in the end.

IN DEPTH-
I am a big fan of scifi/fantasy and the horror genres and this book in no way fits into any of those categories. The title Archangel had me expecting some form of supernatural event, whether it be divine intervention, demon possession,or what have you. That was not the case; this book is firmly rooted in reality and Mr. Vorhis writes it in the style of the great American classic novel.

CHARACTERS- Mr. Vorhis takes the time to develop original unique characters. Each is deep and well thought out. The protagonists are suitably flawed, not being the flat but shining heroes of some fairy tale as many writers have a tendency to create. The antagonists are a perfect counterpart. Each villain, from the boss to the lowest henchman, is appropriately evil, intelligent, and self serving. As the reader, it is easy to identify and accept each of their motivations and their actions are consistent with natural (if a bit cruel) human responses. Too often, I find bad guys are just bad guys because an author need a bad guy. Too often, I find myself wondering what would motivate the antagonist to act or react in such ways. The believability of the character motivation is what pushed this novel from good to great.
PLOT- The plot of Archangel is well developed and realistic. Michael Vorhis creates an amazing piece of fiction that is well rooted in this world. The details of physics, geology, geography, and history are not paramount to this story, but the author's mastery of each accentuates the plot and forces the reader to suspend disbelief. Whether it's describing how to control of a gliding aircraft, the finer points of American mining, or the civil unrest between aboriginal peoples and the new Americans, Michael Vorhis writes about each with authority and knowledge.
SIDE NOTE- On a more personal level, as a Native American who was raised on a reservation, I have to commend the author for his very accurate portrayal of the overall state of mind of the natives in general during the late sixties and early seventies. The inclusion of the natives in this novel was well done. Recently, in literature or cinema, natives are portrayed as all knowing, deeply spiritual near mythical beings. This I believe, is an over compensation for the unfavorable light in which they were portrayed for generations or maybe because of the collective guilt of the American populace for the wrong doings of their fore fathers. Mr. Vorhis is able to capture the truth about the Indians. They are all just individual people. Some of the elders are show wisdom, but that's true of every race. Some of the youth are reckless, again true of all human beings, and all are capable of being cruel, greedy, angry, scared, vindictive, and even wise.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Archangel a most worthy read March 5 2015
By Mary Lynn Woebkenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When reading my comments, please know that I am a scientist and have never been known for being a stellar literature student. I tend to be far more literal. It will be interesting to see how closely my interpretation matches Michael Vorhis’s intentions.
Here are some thoughts on “Archangel”:
I found Michael Vorhis to be quite the storyteller with a rather noir telling style. His style is both engaging and riveting resulting in the proverbial page-turner. His style is neither for the illiterate nor for those looking for “dumbed-down” reading. If you failed to pay attention when studying English grammar, you will not stand the test of his command of the English language and he will send you to the dictionary to decipher “alluvial plain”, “ignoble”, and “Northern Goshawk”. He uses quite clever oxymoronic visuals like “bouquet of horrors” (my personal favorite). The book is smartly written and is compelling and gripping from the outset. I enjoyed it very much.
The book is rich in themes and metaphors. Thematically, good versus evil is present on many levels. What makes the author’s themes more compelling than the garden variety good versus evil is that his “good” is not pure good. It is flawed good….. it is good with flecks of imperfection. However, there is still a clear distinction between good and evil. For example, Mick is flawed good battling the far more evil Lucius. The townsfolk are flawed good battling the more evil mindless-minions of Lucius. There is a parallel, albeit not quite as clear, distinction between the townsfolk battling the tribe. Thematically, many characters wrestle with, and some defeat, past demons. The most notable of these is Mick, but this struggle also befalls Gabriella, and the town. I believe I will address this more when I talk about the characters. There is a loss of faith theme in the story. Certainly Mick loses faith in himself because of his perceived failure in a “previous life”. The town has lost faith in itself and cannot seem to do anything but watch itself die a slow death. There appears to be little hope on Mick’s part and virtually none on the town’s part. There does seem to be an unstated rebound from the loss of hope by story’s end.
Religious metaphors loom large in this work. Some of the religious themes and representations are more obvious than others. The more obscure ones may exist only in this reader’s mind. The very title of the book, “Archangel”, starts us off. Michael (Mick) is one of Roman Catholicism’s named archangels…..but Gabriel (Gabriella) in also a named archangel. So that brings us to who is the “Archangel”? Is there only one? Is Mick, through the hand of God, sent to be the guardian archangel of the town? Of Gabriella and Angelo? Is he sent there to find and to save himself? Is Gabriella the guardian archangel of Mick? Is it she who watches over Mick and leads him to “salvation”?
Perhaps Mick, Gabriella, and Angelo (angel) are a metaphor for the Holy Family with Mick being Joseph and a “step-father” to Angelo who, with his mother, are a wonderful modern day Madonna and child. And we cannot forget that Joseph was warned in a dream by the angel of the Lord to protect the Holy Family by fleeing into Egypt so that the Child might be spared the sword of Herod’s soldiers.
Further, we must mention that Lucifer (Lucius) was once an archangel. There is no guarantee that being an archangel results in eternal happiness or goodness.
Also along religious lines, it is interesting to note that at no point does Mick seem to turn overtly to God for help or redemption. Mick never seems to go heavenward for assistance when he is in seemingly hopeless situations for which no mortal could provide help. Perhaps Mick has lost faith not only in himself. The good news is that God doesn’t always send us into situations for which we are prepared, but, as He did with Mick, He equips us for situations into which He sends us.
The characters in Archangel are very human and very raw. Mick Calahan is truly a tortured soul on more than one level. The most stunning is that incident which is the deepest source of Mick’s lifelong despair. We watch him work through scenario after scenario wherein he is presented with situations and circumstances that test the man Mick really is, the man he has really become. He ran from his first life, seems ill-suited for his second life, the priesthood, and the third/future life?
Recalling that Lucifer (Lucius) was once an angel, we look at another very troubled soul who is haunted by vial demons. He has gathered his evil followers. He is demonic and disturbed, but not without his wily charm.
Gabriella, like Mary, carries many sorrows in her heart. She worries much about her son. She is troubled by the disappearance and loss of her husband.
Vorhis’s writing style keeps the dialogue true to each character. Each character is consistent and credible.
The only place in the novel where I found any imbalance was in the description of Mick enjoying his hobby. Hang gliding for Mick is a complete joy and escape. The deep, detailed description of the process and experience come from the author’s parallel love affair with, and shared experiences with, the hobby. This allows the author to provide a deep, deep description of the emotional, physical, and spiritual experience this hobby provides him. Nothing else in the book in afforded this personal depth – hence the imbalance.
Since I have written this, I will now allow myself to read Vorhis’s second novel, and hope that I get equally caught up in it. Continue to write, Mr. Vorhis, it is clearly your calling as well as your passion. How fortunate you are to be able to live your dream.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story Will Haunt You for a Long Time Sept. 11 2014
By Caleb Pirtle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The concept of Archangel grabbed me early. I was intrigued when I read how author Michael Vorhis came up with his idea for one of the most original novels I have read in a long time. He said: “I realized the tale I was writing paralleled an ancient biblical fable, told for centuries, about a Captain of Heaven's army who had been shouldered with the task of casting Evil out of Paradise. Such a plot is timeless, and of compelling universal appeal. I saw it could be grounded in contemporary mortal struggles; it needn't be precisely about angels, per se. And such a plot can fall out in many different ways, and I saw that a hero could potentially play a triumphant, or ineffective, or even sacrificial role, on many levels.”

For Michael Vorhis, writing such novel must have been a formidable task. But his story is told with grace and power and stunning literary prose. This is the way novels are meant to be written.

His protagonist, Mick Calahan, is a man tormented by his own past, his own demons, his own fears. He is simply a clergyman. He never envisioned himself as a hero. Such a role is far beyond his imagination. He has simply tried to serve. Now he must stand and defend a world slowly being destroyed by darkness and evil.

His faith has deserted him. But fate intervenes. Destiny awaits him as he struggles on, fearful of his own decisions, afraid that his choices may destroy as many as he saves. And he wonders if he is he capable of saving anyone at all?

Michael Vorhis has crafted a mystery, a thriller, a fantasy, a fable that rivals all of the Biblical epics known to mankind. His is a story that will haunt you long after it ends. It’s far outside the realm of possibility. Then again, it may be happening all around you as you read. There is a world within our world that none of us understand.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating read March 25 2012
By brew2000 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I quite enjoyed Archangel - captivated my interest quickly and I found it hard to put down. It was enjoyable to get to know the protagonist and watch his character development throughout the course of the book. Who was this man? Would he manage to hang on to his new-found ideals and worldview or succumb to the inner demons of his mysterious past? Would he stay and face the challenge or run away? And even if he tried, could anything be done? Every chapter seemed to bring new hopes, but not fully realized - one step forward, one step to the side...
I also found the choice of setting (both place and time) really helped to create a creeping sense of isolation that was not immediately obvious - one felt that the wider world was just "a phone call away" and yet it wasn't so.

My only (minor) criticisms of the book were some character inconsistencies - it was hard to believe that villains who were capable of horrifically evil acts would allow seemingly minor obstacles to stand in their way; and that one of the underlying key motivations for their deeds basically fell apart when lightly challenged - the depth of conviction in what they were doing seemed shallow.

These aside I would definitely recommend the book and look forward to more writings from the author.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Archangel and Writing About Evil June 17 2013
By Peggy West - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Michael Vorhis has written a contemporary novel called "Archangel". The novel speaks mainly from the point of view of Mick Callahan, a Catholic priest who has been assigned a small town parish in Montana. The town is going through colossal upheaval.

The chapter that best represents Vorhis' style is one in which the protagonist meets with numerous members of a tribe. Vorhis handles the scene with skill and awareness to a point where a reader feels the complicated problem.

It takes courage and intelligence to write a story that includes an evil character. Vorhis' evil character is soulless and persistent. Writing that kind of character is painful and Michael Vorhis has done it well.

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