cover image On Midnight Wings

On Midnight Wings

Adrian Phoenix. Pocket, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-1-4516-4534-7

The fifth in Phoenix’s Maker’s Song series (after Etched in Bone) feels less like a stand-alone novel than the middle section of a longer piece, but dedicated series readers will appreciate the nonstop action. Vampire/fallen-angel hybrid and goth rock star Dante De Noir has been shot and kidnapped, while his human lover, FBI agent Heather Wallace, has been kidnapped by her father, rogue FBI agent and vampire hater James. As they attempt separate escapes, both get tangled up in the machinations of the FBI’s Special Branch as well as in games being played by the newly revived Loki, while their companions work to track them down. Dante’s father, the fallen angel Lucien, enters Gehenna for help, while vampiric llygad (knowledge-keeper) Von works with assorted vamps and humans (including Heather’s pregnant sister, Annie) to investigate things on this plane. It’s a complicated plot with dozens of point-of-view characters, and Phoenix masterfully keeps things flowing and coherent, even successfully providing enough well-placed exposition to allow new readers to jump on board. A solid ending merely sets the stage for the next book. Agent: Matt Bialer, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.)