Feuding legions of vampires look for a way to defeat mysterious, powerful beings that live in the forests in Yates’ supernatural thriller, the second in a proposed trilogy (Music of the Winds, 2012).
Centuries ago, a trio of fabled Vikings traveled with three “baby dragons,” which aren’t dragons at all but the original vampires. Their inevitable onslaught against the Vikings leads to wild rumors in Middle Europe about the existence of fanged flying creatures. Via their bites, the originals create four more powerful vampires: Rowan, Massimo, Kara, and Kara’s trusty henchman, Toes. The vamps form a rickety truce, one prone to occasional bouts of discord, but an alliance is solidified in a war against the “tree beings,” which have long since kept the blood suckers out of the forests. But it’s a war that the vampires are losing, and Rowan seeks help in the U.S., where the tree beings communicate with humans. This event, known as Music of the Winds, where some participants display an ability to levitate, is celebrated by some and written off as an elaborate hoax by others. Rowan, though, has another purpose for his American visitation. He’s hoping that his long-lost love, Mierka, may have been reborn. The novel is a thinly disguised story about the adverse effects of global warming. The tree creatures teach everyone about maintaining a healthy planet, as opposed to villainous billionaire industrialist F.F. Barry, who’s bent on worldwide domination. Reading the previous book in the series is necessary to grasp all of the plot points of the second. For example, Emily, a fascinating character with the unique ability to speak to the tree beings, doesn’t herself make an appearance in this installment, but other characters refer to her. Other enigmatic elements—e.g., a hidden utopian city referenced in Emily’s “special notebook”—offer a less confusing element of mystery. Many characters have their moments to shine, most notably Toes, who earned his name from his giant talons and who attacks his victims by spinning like a top and drilling into the flesh. Yates leaves quite a bit up in the air by the end, but he’s undoubtedly (and effectively) amping up readers for the next and reputedly final book.
Unlikely to rally crusaders in the fight against global warming but an intriguing tale for vampire enthusiasts.