Wings in the Night by Maggie Shayne

Posted on December 6, 2001 in 2 Oogies, Book Reviews, Genre: Fantasy & Sci-fi / 0 Comments

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Wings in the Night by Maggie Shayne
Wings in the Night by Maggie Shayne

Silhouette, $6.99, ISBN 0-373-48437-2
Fantasy Romance, 2001 (Reissue)

The world of Wings in the Night features a different kind of vampires. The vampires here drink blood, as far as I can tell, only for two reasons: convert the heroine or convert the Chosen. Sometimes both overlap. The Chosen are special mortals who are descendants of great vampires or something like that. So here we have tall strapping vampire dudes stalking around little boys and girls’ cribs at night, hoping for a chance to latch their lips on those kiddie necks and start sucking. I doubt even the term “protecting the Chosen” will hold much water in court. If the cops knock on my door, look, I didn’t write this stuff, okay? I’m just here for the story.

In Twilight Phantasies, Eric Marquand, who suffers this “cruel fate”, oh the pain, to wander alone, blah blah blah, unaware that he is being stalked by human psycho vampire killers from the imaginatively titled Department of Paranormal Investigations or DPI for short. Add a STICK and we get DIPSTICK, heh heh. Oh, I’m so ten years old.

Anyway, since this is a vampire romance, we have lots of italicized sentences passed off as psychic bond. I have no idea why romance folks think that vampires use all this My soulmate! My vampire! My whiny vampire! claptrap as some sort of bad foreplay. Our heroine Tamara is a sister of a dude at the Dipstick Department, but she sees Eric and she trusts him! She loves him!

He loves her! He trusts her! But look, he’s a vampire, so he will first whine-whine-whine about the pain, loneliness, the nastiness of sucking blood, et cetera – oh go suck a carrot, you.

Anyway, all the italicized yammering will satisfy readers into pseudo-vampiro claptrap that only punishes the vampires by making them a whiny twit instead of romanticizing them.

Twilight Memories features our kickass heroine Rhiannon, who is oh-so-amazing (see me go wow as she just. kicks. ass) but alas, all that strength and fire channeled just because (a) she is pissed about her daddy rejecting her and (b) she wants old vampiro dude Roland to love her. Roland is more concerned with a young Chosen boy. He just can’t wait to smack his lips on that boy’s neck – I hope it’s only the neck – and S-U-C-K all that yummy fluids out of that boy. Only, of course, since we are all genteel romance readers, we call it care and concern or something.

The Dipstick Department are back, and Rhiannon screeches the immortal version of The Sound of Music as she moms Roland’s future boyfriend while winning over Roland with her enthusiasm. Oh, she is just asking for trouble – going between a whiny vampiro-dude and his boylove will only lead to heartbreak.

Still, there is decent enough sexual chemistry between Roland and Rhiannon, and the nasty guys create a decent external conflict that has me reading. This one is a bit heavy on the grim hero tortured-mortured whinefest stuff, but the kickass chick of a heroine saves the day.

Finally, an even older vampire in Twilight Illusions. And get this – Damien the Eternal, a magician, has some close, close ties (actually, to reveal more is to spoil the story) with Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Oh, Shannon, girlfriend. I mean, oh man, Gilgamesh and Enkidu of all people! This is just like Alexander the Great and Hephaestion, Achilles and Patroclus, and other famous heroes that just love their chocolate alleys.

For those uninitiated into hoyay legends, Gilgamesh is an Assyrian king in the past who raped, looted, pillaged, and generally made all his people’s lives so miserable that the people prayed to the gods to do something. So the gods brought down Enkidu, a very strong mortal who, upon meeting Gilgamesh, soon becomes Gil’s devoted follower. Gil gives up whoring, raping, and only a little looting and pillaging and these two become joined at the hip as they embark on many adventures together.

So Shannon, that silly girl, why is she even wasting her time with Damien? He doesn’t love her. He loves Roland and Eric – see the electricity between the three vampires! Girls are just wasting  their time with these men.

Anyway, there’s also a murder spree and the Dipstick are at it again. This story is better than the other two because there is suspense and tension – the fear kind, not the sexual kind – to make up for the lack of credible romance.

In Wings in the Night, there’s not much love, more like some brand of hero worship from the women, wrapped up in mumbo jumbo about soulmates, destiny, fate, and other nonsense. The vampire dudes, no matter how loud they whine and how much bat their eyelids at fellow vampire dudes, are always right. Humans are all dipsticks, we all want to be vampires! Take us, Lord Vampyre! Use us as your therapy couch! Sit on us and suck us dry!

Oh, and the author’s “Hello, readers!” note is pretty amusing too. She calls her fans “children” and her own books “tomes”. As she thanks her children for buying her tomes and making these tomes classics (hey, they are sold for $60.00 in some auction, you know – it’s like, why, like an autographed version of Finnegan’s Wake or something), I wonder if Andrew Lloyd Webber would ever make a musical out of one of those silly vampire-wannabe cults out there.

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Cantankerous muffin who loves boys that sparkle, unicorns, money, chocolates, and fantastical stories.