In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix

In the Blood
Adrian Phoenix
Pocket Books, 2009
390 pages

I was excited when I heard that this sequel to Rush of Wings was out. I’m pretty jaded about vampire novels these days, what with the utter glut of them on the market, but Phoenix’s work stands out like few others. Once again, I found myself immersed in a captivating alternate reality blending urban fantasy, murder mystery, and just a hint of erotica.

Phoenix picks up where the last novel left off, returning Heather Wallace to her home in Seattle, where Dante Baptiste–vampire and Heather’s love interest–is to be touring with his band. This is a plausible setup for the novel, and leads nicely into a story where loose ends from the previous book are brought into play. Since there’s only a space of a few weeks from one book to the next, it makes for a quick transition.

Dante’s health is worsening, Heather’s life has been complicated by family drama, and Lucien–well, Lucien seems to be dealing with the things that all fictitious angels seem to deal with, specifically warring in heavenly realms. These seemingly disparate experiences have more connection than what is immediately apparent, and within just a few chapters I was drawn irretrievably into wanting to know What Happens Next.

You would think that a vampire named Dante from New Orleans would be just another Lestat wannabe. Not so. Phoenix’s characterization of Dante continues to be rich and well-developed, and the same holds for all her characters. They’re believable, they have flaws (and it’s obvious she’s done her research on details), and yet carry the action of the plot with ease and grace. The character development from one novel to the next is also seamless, and this helped me to thoroughly and completely enjoy the ride.

If you’re sick of Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephenie Meyer, and other huge names, Adrian Phoenix is an excellent up-and-coming alternative. My suggestion would be to treat yourself to this pair of novels; my bet is that you’ll be waiting with bated breath for the next one, just like me.

Five pawprints out of five.

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1 Comment

  1. Louise said,

    February 28, 2009 at 12:37 am

    This is a wonderful review and so good to read!
    I agree with every word, Adrian has created a very real parallel world where the characters are indeed believable and not perfect which is so refreshing.
    There aren`t any supporting characters, each one of them plays an important part in the story and leave you yearning to know more about them.
    I know I am fortunate to say I can call Adrian a good friend, she deserves every bit of acclaim she gets and works very hard on entertaining us all with Dante`s world.
    I look forward to more!

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