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Archive for March, 2008

A Rush of Wings – Take an Urban Fantasy Ride

Have you ever read any books in the Urban Fantasy genre? Some mystery fans may be leery of reading paranormals or vampire books. However, there are some very intense mysteries published that are also paranormal/urban fantasy/vampire books as well. A Rush of Wings, by Adrian Phoenix is one of those hybrids, containing an intensely suspenseful mystery, vampires, as well as a touch of romance.

Unlike many urban fantasy novels, in A Rush of Wings, the world at large is not knowledgeable about vampires and other paranormal beings. With this one difference, the storyline’s very realistic feel becomes even more intense. FBI agent Heather Wallace is tracking the Cross Country Killer (CCK) when she arrives in New Orleans to see if a recent murder fits the CCK profile. Heather’s investigation brings her to the club next to where the body was dumped, Club Hell, owned by a mysterious young man named Dante. The elusive Dante is a member of the band Inferno, but doesn’t grant interviews or photographs, and mysteriously appears to have no last name, birth date, or social security number; the only links to his past are the 60 foster homes he lived in before reaching maturity. At first, Dante’s friends block Heather from meeting him, but soon she is conversing with the Cajun sweet-talker.

Heather quickly comes to the conclusion that Dante isn’t the CCK, but why are the most recent murders focused on his club, and why is the FBI trying to pull her away from New Orleans when that’s where she’s finding clues? Dante’s looks and personality pull people to him, his attachment to his friends and his compassion are just as close to the surface as his universal sex appeal. As A Rush of Wings continues we meet fallen angels, more of the Nightkind (aka vampires, who do not need to kill to feed, but can kill during feeding), and learn more about Dante and his headaches caused by his missing memories of the past. There are so many layers to each person, Heather is much more than an agent, Dante is much more than a vampire, and each layer is uncovered as the book takes flight.

While we are pulled into the lives of Heather and Dante, we also meet a mix of police officers, FBI agents, killers, and Nightkind. Adrian Phoenix has done a wonderful job with the characters. A Rush of Wings has a large cast, but it isn’t unwieldy, and the author’s talent for creating fleshed out characters makes it easier for the reader to remember everyone. There are also sub-plots mixed in with the murder mystery, everything is intertwined, and the suspense builds as we learn a tidbit here and a tidbit there.

At the beginning of A Rush of Wings, I was a little confused, as Adrian Phoenix drops us right into the lives of Heather and Dante, without much of an introduction to their worlds. However, I quickly started to piece things together, and I was learning about the characters, their worlds, and the mystery of the killings all at once. Many authors have used New Orleans as a setting for their vampire novels, so it has a familiar feel, but with a unique twist; the Cajun French interspersed with the English reinforces that connection. This is a book that keeps you anxious to turn the next page, and even when you know who the killer is, you are so fascinated learn why that you can’t put it down until the last words are read. Add in the growing relationship between Dante and Heather, and you really want to see what’s on the next page! A Rush of Wings is a book that is both plot and character driven, and with great characters and an incredibly intense plot, it’s a compelling read that deserves more attention!

If you enjoy murder mysteries, suspense, urban fantasy, and/or great vampire novels, you’ll really enjoy A Rush of Wings. Urban fantasy is rarely stocked on your library shelves, though, so if you want to try before you buy, you can read chapter one at the author’s website. Get ready to be carried away by the story, it will take you on quite an intense ride. After you’ve let A Rush of Wings fly you to another world, you’ll be eagerly anticipating the January ’09 sequel, In the Blood!

This book was received from the publisher for review