Adrian Phoenix, In the Blood

Posted August 19, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

In the Blood (The Maker's Song, #2)In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix
Series: The Maker’s Song, 2
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Second in The Maker’s Song, a dark urban fantasy series revolving around a young Maker/Unmaker whom his father is desperate to keep from the attention of the Elohim. The action in this story takes place mostly in Seattle, Washington.

The Story
Dante is on tour with his band, Inferno, with a planned stop in Seattle. He needs to see Heather. Be sure she’s okay. Heather certainly isn’t sure. The briefings she is called in for certainly don’t reassure Heather; she feels as though she’s teetering on the brink. With the examples of how thorough the Shadow Bureau is in cleaning up loose ends with the cooperation of the FBI, Heather doesn’t think much of her chances for survival.

She’s also suspicious of her father’s actions, claiming that he’s there in support of her. Hah. He never has been supportive of his family and the more she uncovers about her parents, the less trust she has in his word.

The FBI is “curious” about Heather’s rather rapid healing when she was shot in A Rush of Wings; the changes wrought onto her by Dante when he saved her. And hitmen are assigned and reassigned with their targets varying by the day, by the hour switching between disavowal, kidnapping, and death.

The FBI isn’t their only concern as Alex and Athena Lyons will do anything to Dante to make the three of them a trinity as well as giving him their father, Dr. Robert Wells. Then there’s Annie, Heather’s sister, a mess and a half twisted by their father into betrayals.

Lucien is betrayed by Lilith and captured by his fellow Elohim. Chained, Lucien is unable to protect his son and must put his faith in a dubious other. A faith that is tested as Dante resorts more and more to creating a song of making drawing the Elohim to him.

The Characters
Dante Baptiste Prejean is a vampire-Elohim with a special twist that makes him a Maker as well as an Unmaker. The Elohim have not seen a Maker since Yahweh, 2,000 years ago. His childhood was a nightmare of torturous conditioning in the Bad Seed program, yet, as an adult, Dante seeks only to protect even as the seizures and headaches grow worse. Von is a nomad turned 40 years earlier; he has chosen to follow Dante and his particular road while both caring for Dante and doubling as a roadie for the band.

Heather Wallace is an agent with the FBI and a devoted seeker of truth and justice with lots of personal baggage. She loves Dante but is concerned about his psychopathic possibilities. Then there’s Annie Wallace, Heather’s sister. In a home recovering from a failed suicide attempt, Annie is too much like Athena and will do anything to hurt Heather while Heather gets suckered in everytime.

Dr. Robert Wells is the other half of the evil pairing involved in Bad Seed, a black ops experiment funded by the government creating and testing psychopaths. Letting them go and watching how they act and react within an innocent populace. Alexander and Athena Lyons are the twin children of Robert and Gloria Wells…and I’m not sure which parent is worse. Their genes certainly were passed on to their children. There’s a similarity between the twins and Dante as well. Oh, did I mention, Alexander is a Special Agent for the FBI…

I don’t think there’s anyone in the FBI Office who actually cares about law, order, or justice; they’re mostly in CYA-mode. Caterina Cortini is everyone’s nightmare—if you see her, you’re dead. A specialist in wetwork, Caterina is also the daughter of a vampire who raised her on stories of Pure Bloods. An influence that will change how she reacts to her orders.

The Elohim: Lucien, Dante’s father; Lilith, a former lover of Lucien’s disillusioned when Lucien took Yahweh out from under the control of the Elohim; and, Morningstar and Gabriel who appear to share the throne of Gehenna with equal suspicion. For some reason, there is a need to bind a Maker (Dante) before he goes insane and whoever holds the binding leash of that Maker rules.

My Take
All I can say is…try and gather up all five of the current books because you will hate having to wait for the next in the series. Phoenix’s characters are compelling—I certainly never thought I would fall for a goth rocker. Yet it proves the old saying about not judging a book by its cover. Whenever Phoenix mentions Dante’s dress and piercings, I get a “whoa” with a step-back in my brain and, so what? It’s Dante’s character that is important—and I do love how Phoenix portrays Dante’s everyday interactions. It’s refreshing even as it’s rudely unexpected. Yup, I’m in love with Dante and am rooting for both of them!

The Cover
The cover’s background reminds me of the club in Seattle where Heather heard Dante’s band for the first time. But I still don’t buy the cover model as Heather. Her sister, Annie, maybe because the closest Heather comes to wearing the model’s apparel is for the concert—purple fishnet top over a purple bra and black jeans. The tattoos are never mentioned. As for the title, In the Blood…um…does it refer to Alexander and Athena’s relationship to their father, the evil Dr. Robert Wells? And their mother…she sure seems to be a piece of work! It seems too great a stretch that it refers to Dante’s mixed heritage of vampire and Elohim.

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