Tuesday, December 30, 2008

IN THE BLOOD by Adrian Phoenix

My pal Adrian Phoenix and I have something special planned for y'all over the next four months. The hero (hmm, maybe word that should be in quotes) of her vampire series, Dante Baptiste, and the heroine (that word should definitely be in quotes) of mine, Ciara Griffin, found a wormhole and met for a few drinks at the Bar Between Universes. (Not to be confused with the Restaurant at the End of the Universe--that's much more crowded.)

So we'll be presenting Dante and Ciara's mutual interview/drinking game in four rounds, beginning tomorrow and continuing the first week of every month between now and April. Each round will give you a chance to win one of our books, so stay tuned.

But first! I have to tell you about Adrian's latest, In the Blood, the second in her urban fantasy thriller series that began last year with A Rush of Wings. As you might remember, I loved Rush (click that link for my review, in case it's not obvious).

Full disclosure: over the last year, Adrian and I have gotten to be good friends, but that's honestly not why I'm telling you about In the Blood. I have a lot of writer friends, and unfortunately I read very few of their books. Most of them are too prolific to keep up with, or they write in a genre or subgenre that just isn't my bag. If I read nothing but friends' books (at my usual pace of 50 books a year, that would barely scratch the surface), I'd feel like I was reading out of obligation instead of choice. What fun is that?

In the Blood was different. In fact, I would've loved this book even if Adrian were my sworn enemy. Everything I said about A Rush of Wings is twice as true for the new installment. Phoenix's prose is breathtaking and, for a fellow writer, envy-inducing. Certain descriptions and gestures were perfect--and so deft they seemed effortless.

But it wasn't long before I was too absorbed in the story to notice the words that created it. The plot shoots off like a rocket, with Dante and Heather in immediate danger, targeted by a nasty secret FBI project called Bad Seed. Heather finds herself betrayed by those closest to her, and Dante is spiraling ever closer to the truth and the madness that it holds.

The stakes rise to universe-shattering levels (no, really--we're talking near-apocalypse), involving fallen angels in Gehenna and scary batshit humans on earth. Some fascinating new characters are introduced, including Heather's sister Annie and a mysterious assassin named Caterina, whose motives and passions are obscure enough to keep us wondering about her until the last chapter.

The ending absolutely blew me away. One unforgettable image after another imprinted itself on my psyche. (There was this one really bad guy Dante needed to shut up, so he kind of took his face and--oh, never mind, just read it and shudder for yourself.) These are definitely on the thriller/horror end of the spectrum, so if you like your urban fantasies gritty and scary, this one's for you! I can't wait for the next installment, Beneath the Skin, to be released next January.

If you're intrigued, you should definitely read A Rush of Wings first, as the story picks up pretty much where that book left off. Rush is currently available in trade paperback and will be out in mass market paperback February 24. But with Amazon's discounts on trade paperbacks, you're only paying $3 more for the larger, better quality version, so really you should buy that now. I'm just sayin', as a helpful financial tip.

Dante and Ciara will see you back here tomorrow morning, bright and early. Well, bright and early for them. And you'll have a chance to win that book I just talked about up there. ^^^

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4 Comments:

yeah tis me the annoying little itch lol .... am back .... so yeah am dying to read her new book and as you can tell from my gmail addy erm am so in gawwwwww with dante but since talking to him and jack on myspace (which in turn i annoy adrian ciara and shane there too ) i have gotten very fond of jack ... he is awesome !! any ways cant wait to read it and ... itshould give me something to rant over till bad comes out lol hehe just saying

Posted by: Blogger lena at 12/30/2008 9:15 PM

I'm halfway through In The Blood right now...it is so hard to put down, but I must go to work! :(

I'll check in after work to hear what Dante and Ciara have to say...too cool! :)

Posted by: Blogger Kristin at 12/31/2008 10:12 AM

Sounds interesting. Will have to look for it. I really need to read faster :-)

Posted by: Blogger DavidH at 1/07/2009 3:29 PM

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