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I Belong


Review: On Midnight Wings by Adrian Phoenix

On Midnight WingsTitleOn Midnight Wings

AuthorAdrian Phoenix

Genre: Urban Fantasy

SeriesThe Maker’s Song Series (Book #5)

Publication Date: September 24, 2013

Format: Paperback, 400 Pages

ISBN-101451645341 (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13978-1451645347 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Kelly

Synopsis:

A desperate search. A dark and dangerous journey. And each step could destroy everyone Dante loves. Only one mortal woman can save him…

As Dante Baptiste’s true identity as both True Blood and Fallen ripples throughout New Orleans, he and Heather struggle for their lives against different foes, fighting their way back to each other. To free herself from her father’s treachery, Heather accepts help from an ally–and steps into even greater danger. Dante, lost to his brutal past, wavers between his own sense of self and the Bad Seed-programmed S that lurks within, between the never-ending Road and the Great Destroyer. And the danger of becoming both.

…unless the Fallen reach him first.

Lucien searches frantically for the lovers, all too aware that time is running out. Dark forces continue to gather, eager to possess and manipulate the young vampire for their own ends. The fate of mortals, nightkind, and the Fallen pivots around Dante as he struggles to piece together his shattered psyche and gain control of his power before he rips all three worlds asunder.

Quick & Dirty: I could not read more than five pages at a time without becoming frustrated and confused with On Midnight Wings. Some of this was due to the multiple points-of-view and awkwardly delivered flashbacks, but most of my issue was due to the fact that some stories are just too involved to jump into mid-series. Despite picking the book up several times in the past two months, I unfortunately found it impossible to finish and therefore don’t feel I can provide an adequate or fair review.

Opening Sentence: Lucien De Noir sat beside the unconscious girl curled on the bed, box springs creaking beneath him.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

As I stated in the “Quick & Dirty” above, I wasn’t able to finish On Midnight Wings. However, I’m not sure I would have found this story enjoyable given my issue with the writing style even if I had read the previous books in the series. Multiple character point-of-view, internal dialogue, flashbacks (delivered in present tense) and a tremendous reliance on a backstory without reference made it difficult to stay engaged – or even interested – in what’s supposed to be happening now.

The story opens immediately after the shooting and apparent kidnapping of Dante Baptiste and Heather Wallace. Dante has a lot of titles to his name – “creawdwr,” True Blood, Nightkind, Fallen, “Tee-Tee” … and frontman of a band called Inferno. He’s both powerful and mentally unstable thanks to this mixed heritage, capable of large scale destruction of the mortal, Vampire and Fallen worlds at only twenty-four years of age. He’s also the last survivor of Project Bad Seed – a black ops program which aimed to create sociopaths that could be used as weapons against the country’s enemies. Though he escaped from the program years before, the various groups who run the program want him back. There are several hidden agendas among the many players involved but the ultimate goal seems to be to use Dante’s own memories against him in order to finally – and completely – break him.

Lucien, Dante’s father, can’t let that happen. He knows that Heather is the only person who can prevent Dante from going over the edge to become the Great Destroyer (yet another title). Which is a double whammy since Lucien also can’t find Dante without Heather. The problem? Heather was kidnapped by her own father and placed in a psychiatric hospital in an unknown location. As Lucien and the other Nightkind members of Infernal try to track them both down, another issue arises with Heather’s younger sister. Could there be another half-breed in the making?

Obviously I don’t know how this book ends. I’m all for complicated plots with unique characters and creative world-building – all of which Phoenix seems to be more than capable of producing. However, like an avalanche gaining speed and collecting everything in its path, the story’s momentum makes it difficult to catch up and the writing style didn’t create any desire to make that happen. Still, I hope that my inability to finish On Midnight Wings won’t deter anyone interested in the series from picking it up! My only suggestion is to definitely start with A Rush of Wings (Book 1).

Notable Scene:

Bad-guy handcuffs for the angel who’d reeled her in like a lost kite from among the blazing stars when she’d floated away from her body.

Mommy turns on the TV in the motel in Oregon – the motel with the picture of a winking beaver chewing on a twig, outlined in glowing color – and is searching for the Cartoon Network when Violet hears the firecrackers pop-pop-popping outside in the parking lot. Hears the sound of breaking glass. Then her mommy’s scream, jagged and raw.

“My baby!”

Violet tries to tell Mommy that she’s okay, but she can’t. She just drifts up and away, leaving her body, with its wide, staring eyes and the new dark and bleeding hole above them; leaving behind her wailing mother, and wishing she could stay.

Then Dante catches her.

“Don’t kick him!” Violet raced across the room, her paper wings rustling at her back. Crouching beside Dante, she glared up at the orderlies. “Stop being so mean! Mr. Purcell and the doctors promised that they’d make him happy, promised that they’d take care –“

“Hush, sweetie, don’t you worry none,” one orderly, a man with curly brown hair and a name tag reading Joe, said. “He’s tough. He can take it, trust me.”

The Maker’s Song Series:

1. A Rush of Wings

2. In The Blood

3. Beneath The Skin

4. Etched In Bone

5. On Midnight Wings

FTC Advisory: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of On Midnight Wings. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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