A Rush Of Wings
Published 2008 404 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
His name is Dante - Dark. Talented. Beautiful. Star of the rock band Inferno. Rumoured owner of the hot New Orleans nightspot called Club Hell. Born of the Blood, then broken by an evil beyond imagination.
His past is a mystery. FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace has been tracking a sadistic serial murderer known as the Cross Country Killer, and the trail has led her to New Orleans, Club Hell, and Dante. But the dangerously attractive musician not only resists her investigation, he claims to be “nightkind”: in other words, a vampire. Digging into his past for answers reveals little. A juvenile record a mile long. No social security number. No known birth date. In and out of foster homes for most of his life before being taken in by a man named Lucien De Noir, who appears to guard mysteries of his own.
His future is chaos. What Heather does know about Dante is that something links him to the killer - and she's pretty sure that link makes him the CCK's next target. Heather must unravel the truth behind this sensual, complicated, vulnerable young man - who, she begins to believe, may indeed be a vampire - in order to bring a killer to justice. But Dante's past holds a shocking secret, and once it is revealed not even Heather will be able to protect him from his destiny....
A Rush Of Wings is Adrian Phoenix’s debut full length novel, although she has previously written several short stories published in magazines and anthologies. A Rush Of Wings is an impressive first novel – it effectively delivers a deliciously dark, gothic tale set against a classic New Orleans/vampire background.
I have to admit that originally I had misgivings about whether I even wanted to read this book. I think that the cover of the novel – featuring a picture of a woman that we (the reader) can only assume is Special Agent Heather Wallace, dressed like a cheap hooker complete with tattoo and hand gun – perhaps put me off.
The old adage “never judge a book by its cover” springs to mind however, as at no point in the novel did Heather deviate from her standard issue FBI clothing and I don’t remember reading that she had a tattoo either - although she did get her gun out a lot as she chased suspected serial killers and vampires around New Orleans….
The press release that came with the book enthused that A Rush Of Wings was “Laurell K. Hamilton meets Kim Harrison” - again, not necessarily a good recommendation depending on your reading preferences. While I am a fan of Kim Harrison and enjoy reading the Rachel Morgan supernatural mysteries she writes, I haven’t enjoyed reading LKH since Anita Blake 7. The thought that this story might be from the LKH school of writing (i.e. overflowing with weird sex while completely lacking a plot and meaningful character development) isn’t exactly a recommendation! It is also a disservice to Adrian Phoenix because this novel has little in common with the work of Kim Harrison and LKH apart from that they are all in the fantasy genre.
A Rush Of Wings is closer to the work of Poppy Z. Brite and Anne Rice. The novel has a strong gothic influence and the New Orleans setting whispers of an Anne Rice influence. While Dante’s character and the Club Hell setting is more reminiscent of the young sexually-ambiguous musicians and goths that Poppy Z. Brite likes to populate her novels with.
A Rush Of Wings is written in third person, allowing the reader to explore the story from all the different perspectives of the diverse characters populating the story. The fantasy elements in this story aren’t limited to just vampires, the author has also given the reader Lucien De Noir, who is best described as a fallen angel, along with the Fallen come some interesting ideas about god and religion.
With A Rush Of Wings Adrian Phoenix has given the reader a real gothic treat. Dante’s complex character and Heather’s battle to save him from the evil which surrounds him should keep readers entertained as the story sweeps from the New Orleans world of vampires to secret government experiments in Washington D.C.
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