Release Date: February 22, 2011
More info: goodreads
Series: #4 in The Maker's Song series
SON OF A FALLEN ANGEL. FORGED IN VAMPIRE’S BLOOD. SWORN TO A MORTAL WOMAN. IF DANTE FALLS, THE WORLD FALLS WITH HIM. . . .
THREE LEGACIES ETCHED IN BONE
More beautiful and powerful than any creature the world has ever seen, Dante Baptiste has become the supreme target of the three worlds that spawned him. The mortal agents of the Shadow Branch have tried to control his mind through psychological torture. The vampire elders who guide nightkind society have plotted to use him in their bloodthirsty bid for power. And the Fallen have waited for millennia for Dante to claim his birthright as their Maker. But Dante belongs to no one—except the woman he loves. . . .
ONE PASSION SWORN IN BLOOD
Determined to face the Fallen and the world on his own terms, Dante hopes to piece together his shattered past and claim his future, with FBI agent Heather Wallace at his side. But in Heather’s human family awaits an unexpected enemy. One who could rip Heather from Dante’s heart and fill the holes with bullets. One who could force Dante to choose his darkest destiny—as the Great Destroyer. . . .
My Thoughts: First, I need to confess that I haven't read the first three books in this series. I remember when the first one came out I repeatedly picked it up, then book it back down at the store. Over the past few years I heard a lot of good buzz about the series so when the chance came to review this book, I took it. Despite my ignorance of the first three books, I was only mildly confused and only a few times. Phoenix did a skillful job of weaving in information about previous events that flowed naturally and was never an info dump. If you have not read the preceding books, you can start with this one but if you are able to get your hands on them, I would suggest doing that. There's a richness and a depth to the world building and a rather large cast that would be best appreciated in the right order.
Etched in Bone is jam packed; there's a lot going on and most of the story is told over a 4 day period. There are some flashbacks but none are lengthy, and they all add to the story and our understanding of what's going on. The story is told from multiple viewpoints and perspectives. I like that in a story, I find it adds depth but it bothers some readers. If it bothers you, this might not be the book or series for you as there is a lot of jumping around. Phoenix keeps the voices distinct, telling the characters apart is not a problem. As I said, I find that technique adds depth and interest to a story.
I found both Heather and Dante to be engaging and interesting though I was a bit surprised when I realized that the 4 books in the series only cover a month. I have doubts about the intensity of their relationship and everything that Heather has given up after only a month together. It may be that I would find it more believable had I read the first three books. Coming in cold, I found it ... odd. Despite that, the story works and their relationship is believable.
Although the book is intense, and full of action, it also has humor and Dante and Heather are fleshed. Some of the other characters are less fleshed out - James Wallace, Annie Wallace, Teodoro Dion, - but that's partly due to the large number of characters in the book and may be partly due to this being book four. There may have been character development in the other books that I missed.
Overall, it's an enjoyable, well told story, with an intriguing world, humor, action, twists and turns, and some steamy sex.
This book was received from the publisher for review.