Novella Review: In Midnight’s Silence by T. Frohock
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Horror
Series: Los Nefilim #1
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (June 23, 2015)
Author Info: tfrohock.com
Wendy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
With thanks to the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review.
The magic of music, angels, and daimons. There is so much sinister elegance in these things that Frohock combines so beautifully in the first book of her Los Nefilim series.
Diago Alvarez is born of angel and daimon, and, despite the mundane life he seems to lead (teaching piano lessons to bratty kids, avoiding said bratty kid’s mom’s advances), there is obviously something more to him. A darkness that one might think leans more to his daimon side than the angels. But this too is a wonderful deception that Frohock weaves into her story. Angels are not the beautiful and beatific we most often see them as in literature. Frohock manages to make them as deliciously horrifying as the daimons and their minions that Diago must face.
But all of this is not really the heart and soul of this short story. That comes in the form of Miquel, Diago’s lover, and in Rafael, the young boy whom Diago discovers he has unknowingly fathered. The relationship between Diago and Miquel is harsh and realistic, and Diago’s desire to raise this boy as his father did not raise him is heartbreaking. Especially since, in order to save Miquel, Diago must sacrifice the child to a daimon in hopes of stopping a war that will decimate humanity.
This book takes place in 1930’s Spain, which initially seems a bit distant and unrelatable, but quickly becomes quite the opposite as it draws the reader into the world that lies beneath the veil of every day society. It also incorporates music as the source of magic, which, indeed it is. But, as I said in my review of Frohock’s Hisses and Wings, I wanted the music and magic connection to go deeper. I wanted it to really dig into the emotions it is meant to evoke and paint a picture, much like what occurs in Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind, which is pretty much the only thing I truly enjoyed about the latter.
Still, this was another fascinating entry in Frohock’s library. I especially love the way her fantasy and urban fantasy steps so far away from what we typically see in this genre in terms of characters and settings.
Be sure to check out T. Frohock’s guest post at BiblioSanctum, “It’s Not About Sex, It’s About Love!”