Published By: Del Rey
Book Category: Fiction, Science Fiction
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Reviewed by Sharon Broom
Baldwin Hills is a middle-class Los Angeles neighborhood inhabited by African-Americans, including Dr. Byron Williams. On his way home from work one day, and not understanding why, meticulous Byron picks up a homeless man he calls "bagman" and brings him to his neighborhood. After Byron drops the "bagman" off he goes home to find his wife giving birth to a male child. The frightening part of this situation is that Byron's wife wasn't pregnant when he left for work that morning. Following the child's birth, "bagman" calmly walks into the Williams house, takes the infant and leaves with it in a bag. Byron's wife immediately forgets what has happened but Byron does not.
Cecil "Ceese" Tucker is resisting the lure of the streets but is not always successful. While going to smoke "weed" with his friend Raymo, he finds the baby in the bag and brings the baby to his neighbor Ura Lee Smitcher, who is a nurse. She ultimately takes in the child.
The baby, now called Mack Street, grows into a loner who is loved by everyone in the neighborhood. He realizes that he is different and interesting things happen when the desires of others seep into his own dreams. Mack is the only one that can see, through a tiny slice of space, a house—the entrance to an extraordinary world of magic. A battle between good and evil ensues in the real world and the world of fairies, and Mack, if he is successful, will ultimately have his own questions answered.
I've enjoyed reading Orson Scott Card's novels in the past and was excited to delve into Magic Street. It wasn't however, one of my favorites. I found the black dialogue stilted and occasionally distracting. I think part of my problem was that the story was a modern-day, urban fantasy and I'm not as fond of that.
Armchair Interviews says it was a slow-building story but we would suggest that people keep reading as the characters are well-developed and the plot is ultimately intriguing.