On Midnight Wings: Book Five of The Maker's Song
  • On Midnight Wings: Book Five of The Maker's Song
  • On Midnight Wings: Book Five of The Maker's Song

On Midnight Wings: Book Five of The Maker's Song

3.9 10
by Adrian Phoenix
     
 

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TORN BETWEEN THREE WORLDS— A DANGER TO THEM ALL.

Even as Dante Baptiste’s identity as both True Blood and Fallen ripples throughout New Orleans, his powers are expanding in surprising, devastating directions. Kidnapped, drugged, and lost to his brutal past, the vampire wavers between sanity and breakdown at the hands of his torturers.
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Overview

TORN BETWEEN THREE WORLDS— A DANGER TO THEM ALL.

Even as Dante Baptiste’s identity as both True Blood and Fallen ripples throughout New Orleans, his powers are expanding in surprising, devastating directions. Kidnapped, drugged, and lost to his brutal past, the vampire wavers between sanity and breakdown at the hands of his torturers.

Forsaking the FBI she once loved, Heather Wallace has likewise fallen into malevolent hands. As she struggles to reunite with Dante, men of hate and government evil will try to keep them apart. Even as their teammates frantically search for the pair, dark forces continue to gather against the young vampire—and the fates of mortals, nightkind, and the Fallen rest on him regaining control of his shattered psyche before he becomes the terrible, omnipotent Great Destroyer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/19/2013
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.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451645361
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
09/24/2013
Series:
Maker's Song Series , #5
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
130,993
File size:
3 MB

Read an Excerpt

On Midnight Wings


  • SLIDELL, LOUISIANA

    JACK CHERAMIE’S HOUSE

    MARCH 30

    LUCIEN DE NOIR SAT beside the unconscious girl curled on the bed, box springs creaking beneath him. Mid-afternoon sunlight filtered through the golden, gauzy curtains covering the window, bathing the room in a tranquil glow. An illusion—no, worse, a lie—given the day’s dark, violent, and unimaginable events.

    My son has been shot and stolen and the mortal woman he loves, the woman who keeps his slipping sanity balanced, is missing.

    Lucien’s deltoid muscles flexed, restless, but he suppressed the urge to unfurl his wings and take to the sky in search of Dante and Heather; he feared that they had been spirited off in two very different directions. And he had no idea where to look, which path to follow, or even who was responsible.

    Not yet, anyway.

    Lucien focused his attention on Heather Wallace’s drugged sister. A light sheen of sweat glistened on Annie’s forehead. Tears wet the ends of her lashes. And her blood-speckled face looked light-years away from peaceful.

    Guessing why wasn’t difficult.

    The blood freckling her face and throat was Dante’s. Lucien knew by the scent alone—copper, a hint of adrenaline, a moonlight-silver tang—and had known from the moment he’d scooped her unconscious body up from the sidewalk in front of the club.

    She must’ve been standing beside Dante when he’d been shot. Or damned close, anyway. A muscle flexed in Lucien’s jaw. Shot repeatedly and without mercy. Dante’s blood had saturated the Oriental carpet in front of the bedroom he shared with Heather.

    So much blood when Dante should’ve healed. Too much blood. And the odd scent clinging to the shell casings Lucien had picked up from the hallway carpet had left him wondering. A troubling scent. Familiar.

    Lucien studied Annie’s pale face, pushed sweat-damp tendrils of her punk-style blue/purple/black hair back from her face. She shivered inside her fuzzy purple bathrobe as though it was woven from ice, instead of plush terry cloth.

    With a soft chirp, Heather’s orange tabby jumped up onto the bed and sniffed Annie for several moments before curling up beside her. Eerie blinked golden eyes at Lucien, then began licking the undersides of his paws, his tongue scraping delicately across the scorched pads.

    Like the cat, Lucien also smelled the drugs on Annie’s skin, in her sweat—a cold, chemical taint. He had no idea what drugs flowed through her veins, or how long she’d remain unconscious, but he had no intention of waiting for her to wake up. Not when answers rested like pearls in her mind. Not when he could play thief.

    Too much time had passed already. Hours lost to the police and their investigation of the shoot-out outside the club and the fire inside; a loss he’d finally cut short with a touch of a blue-sparked finger to the lead detective’s forehead and a whispered suggestion: You’ve already spoken to Dante. He saw nothing. Heard nothing. Knows nothing about the incident here or the fire that claimed his home four nights ago. You will write that down in your notebook.

    Blinking, the detective promptly put her pen to paper.

    Lucien sighed. A temporary solution at best; the suggestion would eventually fade. But a problem for another time. Closing his eyes, he drew in a long, deep breath—in through his nose, out through his mouth—then another, as he worked on centering himself before delving into Annie’s unshielded mind.

    “How she doing?” a Cajun-spiced voice asked from the doorway. “Looks like she ain’t moved an inch since I carried her in from the van.”

    Lucien’s calming breath morphed into a low, frustrated exhalation. He opened his eyes. Glanced over his shoulder.

    Dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt announcing LAFAYETTE MARQUIS, the interruption—better known as Black Bayou Jack Cheramie, Dante’s band mate in Inferno—leaned one muscled, tribal-inked shoulder against the doorjamb, arms crossed over his chest, a bloodstained washcloth balled-up in one hand. The drummer’s mane of cherry-red braids framed his face, his expression a tight-jawed mix of worried and angry.

    “She hasn’t,” Lucien confirmed. He nodded at the washcloth in Jack’s hand. “How are Von and Silver doing? Has the bleeding stopped? Are they healing?”

    “Oui, it’s stopped and they’re healing, for true, them. But given that they’re nightkind and all, it took longer than I expected. Thibodaux agrees with me,” Jack added, with a tilt of his head toward the kitchen where the fugitive SB agent sat at the table cleaning his Colt .45. “Said his partner always heals up beaucoup fast. But he also admitted that she ain’t never taken a bullet to the head before neither.”

    Lucien thought of the odd scent on the shell casings he’d found in the blood-spattered hall, wondering again just what they had contained. “I don’t think normal rounds were used.”

    “Dunno, padnat. They sure as hell look like normal rounds to me. Course there ain’t no telling what kind of load they-all contained.” Jack uncrossed his arms and held out his hand, revealing two skull-dented and compressed bullets cupped in his callused palm. “They just kinda worked their way outta the wounds. Ain’t never seen nightkind heal from bullets before. Weirdest goddamned sight.”

    “Let me have the bullets.”

    Jack stepped over to the bed and dumped them into Lucien’s waiting palm. A faint tree-sap, amber-like odor wafted from the small bits of mangled brass. Whatever the substance had been, it seemed to be capable of slowing, perhaps even halting, a vampire’s natural ability to heal. Even a True Blood’s.

    Remembering what he’d felt when he’d reached for Dante’s mind back at the club—a psionic flatline that had sheeted Lucien’s soul in black ice until he’d finally detected a low, ebbing life force absent of any healing spark—he once again felt the urgent desire to unsheathe his wings and vault into the sky.

    He needed to find Dante before it was too late. Before destiny twisted in on itself and became fate.

    “Tee-Tee? Heather?” Jack asked. “You think they were in the back of that van those assholes were trying to put Annie into?”

    Tee-Tee. Jack and the other mortal members of Inferno had tagged their nightkind frontman with the affectionate nickname because, at five-nine, Dante was shorter than the rest of the band. Petit. Little one. Tee-Tee. And with Dante also the youngest, at nearly twenty-four, the name pulled double duty.

    Young in years, perhaps, but not in hard and brutal experience. Dante was the last surviving member of a secret, decades-long project co-run by the FBI and the Shadow Branch—a government black ops division that answered to no one and didn’t officially exist. Project Bad Seed had been devoted to the development and study of sociopaths. But in truth the goal had been to create, then control them.

    And being the only nonhuman subject in the project, Dante had garnered special attention. Had been shoved with cool deliberation beyond boundaries no human subject would’ve survived. Just to see if he could.

    Dante had been placed in the worst foster homes available, shuffled around constantly; everything and everyone he’d ever cared about or loved had been systematically stripped from him. Human monsters had fragmented and buried his memories, implanted deadly programming.

    The muscle ticked in Lucien’s jaw again. He’d flown away from New Orleans on a sultry July night unaware that he wouldn’t return for eighteen years, unaware that Genevieve, his dark-haired belle femme, was pregnant, unaware that she would soon fall into cold and curious hands, or that their son—born vampire and Fallen—would be birthed into an experiment of unthinkable design.

    Dante had escaped, his heart and mind scarred and damaged, haunted by things he couldn’t even remember. Yet he led his household and Inferno with skill and focus, with quiet strength, fierce devotion, and stubborn will.

    And I have failed at every turn to keep him safe.

    “Lucien?” Jack’s concerned voice scattered Lucien’s dark thoughts, returning him to the bedroom and the unconscious girl he sat beside. “You okay, you?”

    Lucien frowned. “Fine. Why do you ask?”

    “No reason, really—other than the fact that you’re getting blood all over the floor,” Jack replied, tapping a finger against the back of his own hand, and pointedly arching one dark blond eyebrow.

    Lucien’s frown deepened when he looked down and saw drops of blood speckling the oak planks. He became aware of a distant, prickling pain. Exhaling in exasperation, he unclenched his hands, pulling his thick black talons free of his blood-slicked palms.

    “Well. Perhaps fine isn’t completely accurate,” Lucien amended.

    “King of the understatement. Here, you. Catch.”

    Glancing up, Lucien snagged the bloodstained washcloth Jack tossed at him, then busied himself wiping his palms and talons semiclean. The punctures were already healing, the pain nearly gone. His unbound waist-length hair brushed against his back and sides with the movement, soft as silk against his bare skin. He’d left his shirt behind on the club’s roof when he’d taken to the sky—not caring in the slightest that it had still been daylight or that he might be seen.

    Tossing the washcloth back to Jack, Lucien curved his lips into what he hoped was a reassuring smile, but when Jack’s dubious expression remained stubbornly in place, he decided to shift the drummer’s attention elsewhere. “You were asking if I thought Heather and Dante might’ve been inside the van, correct?”

    Jack nodded.

    “Heather might’ve been, yes,” Lucien said, “but Dante . . . ?” He shook his head. “I saw a few things at the club that lead me to believe that whoever took him wrapped him up to protect him from the sun, then carried him out through the courtyard.”

    “Shit. You thinking two different vehicles heading off in two different directions?”

    “That I am.”

    “Shit,” Jack repeated. He skimmed a hand along the buzz-cut dark blond hair beneath his mane of braids, his hazel eyes fixed on his scuffed brown Durangos. “I shoulda been there,” he said, voice bleak.

    “And done what? Die?” Lucien’s flat voice brought Jack’s gaze up and lit a fire behind it. “If you had been at the club, you’d be dead now, a bullet buried deep in your brain—your mortal, unhealing brain.”

    “Me, I don’t think you’re giving me enough credit here,” Jack replied, his Cajun accent thickening. “It mighta gone down a whole ’nother way, for true.”

    Lucien arched one dubious eyebrow. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re a drummer, one who learned to shoot growing up in the bayou, and not some trained-to-kill Navy SEAL who can turn even pocket lint into a lethal weapon. You’re not a bodyguard, not a soldier, not even a rent-a-cop. Just a drummer with a gun.” At Jack’s less than enthusiastic grunt of agreement, he added, “And if you’d been inside the club, a dead drummer with a gun.”

    “No need to be an asshole, you,” Jack growled. “But point taken. So what’s next? Do we wait until sunset to see if Dante contacts you or Von”—he tapped a finger against his temple to indicate how he expected the contact to be made—“and see if he knows where he is? Or who took him?”

    “I’d prefer not to wait that long,” Lucien rumbled. He shifted his attention back to Annie. “With the help of Heather’s sister, we might not have to. Perhaps she heard something—a destination, a name—that could put us on the right path.”

    “But Annie ain’t awake yet.”

    “She doesn’t need to be. Like most mortals, her mind is unshielded and open. All I need do is to go inside.” As Jack’s brows drew down in a worried V, Lucien added soothingly, “She won’t feel a thing.” Which was true, but even if it hadn’t been, he still wouldn’t have hesitated, not with Dante’s life on the line.

    No risk, no sacrifice would ever be too great.

    Not just because Dante was his son—even though that was more than reason enough—but because Dante was also a creawdwr. The only one in existence and the first to walk the world since Yahweh’s death more than two thousand years ago, not to mention his being the first mixed-blood Maker ever. Capable of creating—Making—places, beings, life itself. And equally capable of Unmaking it all, as well.

    Untrained, unbound, except for his bond to Heather, Dante strode the same edge of madness that each creawdwr before him had walked—a precipice crumbling beneath his boots—fighting the damage done to him by Bad Seed, fighting for his sanity, for the right to claim his life as his own, to piece together his shattered past.

    If Dante fell into darkness and chaos, all worlds—mortal, vampire, and Fallen—would fall with him. And if Dante died . . .

    Lucien shoved the thought aside, refusing it.

    Centering himself with another deep breath, he rested his fingertips against Annie’s temple, then closed his eyes. He slipped inside her mind. Absently, he shielded himself from the raw emotions swirling through her subconscious, a whirlpool of self-loathing, grief, guilt, and fury. He eased past her nonsensical narcotic dreams and delved into her memories. Looked through her eyes.

    Images flashed and twirled, a mirror-bright disco ball of out-of-sequence fragments and splinters, a glittering puzzle-play of light, shadow, and betrayal.

    Fragment: Desperate relief pours through Annie. Dante is somehow awake. He leans drunkenly against the threshold to his and Heather’s room, naked except for the bondage collar strapped around his throat, his pale hands clutching either side of the doorjamb for balance. It seems as though he’s already slipping back into Sleep, but beneath his milk-white skin, his muscles are taut, corded, rippling . . .

    Splinter: “It’s not Dante I want. I’ve come for you, pumpkin.”

    Fragment: Two members of the black-uniformed posse carry Heather out from behind the bar on a stretcher. Flex-cuffs bind her wrists and tendrils of red hair trail across her face. Out cold. Tranked . . .

    Splinter: “Shoot the others. Burn it down.”

    Splinter: “He won’t be getting up again, not with those bullets inside of him.”

    Fragment: He presses the muzzle of his gun against Dante’s blood-slicked chest, above his heart, and squeezes off two more rounds. Then he places the gun against Dante’s temple.

    Once Lucien had prized each dark and bitter pearl of knowledge about that morning’s events from Annie’s mind—including a secret that made him glance at her robe-covered belly—he withdrew. A cold and furious anger thrummed through his veins. An acrid taste burned at the back of his throat. Words he’d once said to Dante came back to mock him.

    The truth is never what you hope it will be.

    Raking a hand through his hair, Lucien looked up and alarm flickered across Jack’s face at whatever he saw in his eyes.

    “What?” Jack asked, straightening out of his slouch, his voice knotted with dread.

    “It was Heather and Annie’s father—FBI agent James Wallace—and he didn’t take Dante. He shot him”—Lucien’s voice roughened as he visualized the trench-coated man standing over his son’s motionless and bloodied form, gun in hand, an image acid etched into his mind—“then left him to burn with the others.”

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  • Meet the Author

    Adrian Phoenix lives in Oregon with her three cats and travels to New Orleans whenever possible.

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    On Midnight Wings 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
    RBtWBC More than 1 year ago
    Dark, twisting and chaotic; On Midnight Wings picks up where Etched in Bone left off. Dante is missing and Heather has been kidnapped by her father. Can Lucien, Von, Silver and Annie find them before it's too late and Dante finally looses his slippery hold on his sanity? Past and present collide inside his mind, battling with the SB (Shadow Branch) programming implanted in him as a child and outside forces determined to turn him into The Great Destroyer. Heather is his only anchor but when she is taken away will he be able to stand against impossible odds to remain true to himself and the promises that he has made those he loves, or will he turn into what they all fear? I have mixed feelings about this book, on one hand I loved it and couldn't put it down turning the pages as fast as I could to find out what was going to happen next. Who was going to betray whom. What sadistic player would appear next. What ensuing barbaric game they would put Dante through. The emotions where intense and punched you right in the chest, in classic Adrian Phoenix style. Dante and Heather can't seem to catch a break and to be honest, I felt just as exhausted as them while reading! This is definitely a series that will put you through all aspects of an emotional ringer.  On the other hand, I was disappointed that the series arc did not progress. Especially after the dragged out story line in the last book. I feel that the 300+ pages could have been summarized in just a few chapters and more progress made in the over all story. I actually found myself skimming in areas because there were so many explanations but not enough forward motion. It was also so long since I read the last book in the series, since this one's release was pushed back a few times, that I had a bit of a time catching back up to the going-on's in the series as your dumped right back into the action within the first sentence.  Each and every character that you have come to love in this series is featured through out On Midnight Wings. Each with their own dire situation to fight through, and each determined to get to Dante before it's too late. I am hoping for more of a coming together and answers of some sort in the next book. I feel that the series has reached the point where some resolution is needed instead of being dragged down by more doomsday flash. The The Maker's Song series has always had a very dark feel to it but was balanced well with humor and sexiness, this installment is missing that balance. On Midnight Wings is my least favorite of the series but I have faith in the series still and it is still a series that I would recommend wholeheartedly to urban fantasy fans everywhere. 
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    VampressSJ More than 1 year ago
    This Maker's Song series by Adrian Phoenix is great! I am always waiting impatiently for the next book. The characters are well developed and the plot amazing! The combination of a vampire book that also has Fallen Angels in it is very creative and certainly unique. Of the MANY, MANY vampire books I have read and collected this is definitely one of my favorite series. Keep the books coming, Adrian!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Freaking cliffhanger! I enjoyed the book until I got to the last page and realized this book's cliffhanger is at least as bad as the previous book's. I wouldn't mind the cliffhanger as much if it wasn't so long between books. It's about time Dante, Heather, and the rest of the good guys caught a break. I'd haven given the book 4 stars if I wasn't so irritated with the ending. 
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love Adrian Phoenix's Maker's Song Series and I think it's a great read. There is non-stop action (sometimes too much non-stop), twist and turns. Heather and Dante are on my list of favorite characters. I just wish Adrian Phoenix would allow them to breath for just a moment. Since the 1st book it's been a up hill battle of double crossing, deaths, being chased, near deaths, etc., etc. And while it's exciting, it's exhausting as well. Still a good read and I'm looking forward to reading the next book.
    ELF-thereadingaddict More than 1 year ago
    A haunting and intense story 4 1/2 stars “On Midnight Wings” is Book Five of the ‘Maker’s Song’ series by Adrian Phoenix. This thrilling but dark urban fantasy continues to follow Dante Baptiste as events conspire to force him closer to madness and threaten to tip the balance so that he becomes the Unmaker. The betrayal and capture of both Heather and Dante stuns their allies who are handicapped by their inability to track either. The multitude of warring factions, each of which has its own plans for Dante, cause an odd game of tug of war which complicates the disposition of Heather. Sadly, the allies have their own obstacles to overcome before they can help the beleaguered couple who, as usual, may have to rely solely on themselves for rescue but it may be too late for Dante as he spirals downward into despair. This complex and alluring urban fantasy is filled with an almost overwhelming cast of characters who are disturbing yet mesmerizing. There is a sometimes dismaying amount of death and destruction yet one cannot help but feel empathy for the dichotomy personified in the main character, Dante. The adamantine bond which has been formed between him and his mortal lover Heather is delicious to observe yet its existence can still be threatened and this only adds to the escalating tension that is a perpetual aspect of this enthralling series. It is definitely recommended that the series be read from the beginning and in order and even then it is somewhat difficult to keep track of the shifting alliances and multitude of goals being pursued. The harsh torments suffered throughout Dante’s life are constantly alluded to in his flashbacks and it is easy to see why his grasp of reality is so tenuous but one cannot help but empathize with him, despite his ofttimes horrific actions...which is why this author is so impressive. The ability to turn situations on end and make one sympathetic to actions that would not be otherwise condoned is an impressive talent and I always anxiously await the next installment in the series so that I can be amazed yet again by the machinations of the various factions. This was an excellent addition to the series although one should be warned that there are just as many questions, if not more, that still need to be answered. I look forward to unravelling more of the mysteries. © Night Owl Reviews I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Been waiting a long time for book five of The Maker's Song. Once again we are taken on a wild ride with Dante and Heather. This book kept me on he edge of my seat the whole time. I could not put it down; I just had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. I don't want to give anything away but for those that have read the previous books in the series I will just say that Adrian doesn't disappoint with this book. As Dante is falling deeper and deeper into "S", Heather will do whatever she has to in order to reach him. At the same time Von has his own problems to deal with that keep him from helping anyone, and Lucien looks for help from the last people he wants to.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Read book today 9/24 couldnt put down hate that you are left wanting more an left hangin like.... what just happened. Book is a rollarcoaster an keeps u on edge of seat, action packed thrill ride u wont forget. leaves ya waitin on edge now for whats to come next.
    SashaRF More than 1 year ago
    Can't wait for the next one!