Published by Pocket Books on September 24, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: References to child abuse, rape, and sex.
Reviewed by: Julia
A DESPERATE SEARCH. A DARK AND DANGEROUS JOURNEY. AND EVERY 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.
With this fifth book in the series, The Maker's Song has firmly changed focus from shadowy organizations to the boundless magic of vampire and Fallen kind. The last, sick machinations of the Shadow Bureau scramble to destroy Dante and Heather, but while past books were mired with too many agents and agencies, this time around the balance falls towards mystery and myth. Phoenix has written ON MIDNIGHT WINGS so that even those new to the series can jump in and get swept away in the action.
Despite the abundance of drama in this series, very little of it engenders real emotion for the characters. Five books of betrayal, flash after flash of the rape, torture, and abuse Dante suffered as a child, and always some shadowy organization plotting his death, activation, or downfall... a constant onslaught of doom is the norm for these characters. Drama to the point of melodrama, the comedic weight of opposition stacked against poor, damaged Dante finally crashes in this book. The endless repetition of child abuse and death that beats in Dante's head coalesces from fragments into a whole, and while the last few chapters had me racing to finish, my biggest emotional reaction was hope that the images of rape and abuse that haunt Dante could finally rest in peace. No such luck, however. ON MIDNIGHT WINGS was my favorite of the series, but it is a transitional book, not a finale. Phoenix is turning Dante's gaze from the real world to a celestial battle, and from here on out it looks like the violence will switch to a much larger scale.
Phoenix's world is thick with betrayal and intrigue, and fans of the dark drama of Lilith Saintcrow's Dante Valentine or J. R. Ward's LOVER AWAKENED will have lots of pain and angst to enjoy. For myself, however, Dante Baptiste has so many characteristics it's hard to see him as a character. Vampire, angel, sociopath, maker... in early books his myth smothered the story; he existed only as a reflection of others' reactions. In this story, at long last, as the long foreshadowed secrets and events come to a crescendo, all I hoped for was an end. An end to Dante's pain, and end to the government's plots, and one last magical super nova to make all of this noise and angst worth it. ON MIDNIGHT WINGS certainly takes the story to a precipice, but I don't think I'll be following this series over the edge to completion.Series Titles:
- A Rush of Wings
- In the Blood
- Beneath the Skin
- Etched in Bone - 4/5