cover image Burning Dawn

Burning Dawn

Gena Showalter. HQN, $7.99 mass market (448p) ISBN 978-0-373-77844-7

Showalter’s clunky third Angels of the Dark paranormal (after Beauty Awakened) centers on Thane, one of the thousand-year-old winged, immortal demon hunters called Sent Ones, and Elin, a young woman descended from the Phoenix immortals. Thane nurses emotional wounds from time spent in brutal captivity decades ago, while Elin has suffered panic attacks at the sight of blood and violence—of which the book has plenty—ever since witnessing the deaths of her family. They meet as prisoners of the Phoenix and begin to build a relationship in spite of themselves, as the figurative and literal heat between them cannot be denied. Uneven pacing, clumsy language (“Life would be over the moon crazmazing”), and sketchy worldbuilding distract from magnetic characters and numerous conflicts, and readers might question the priorities of beings who pay more attention to a petty lovers’ quarrel than to the pursuit of a demonic prince. Fans of the preceding installments will likely enjoy this outing, but others will be put off by the discomfiting juxtaposition of frivolity and gruesome gore. (May)