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Where Oblivion Lives

Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

From acclaimed fantasy author T. Frohock comes a dark, lyrical historical thriller, set in 1930s Spain and Germany, that brings to life the world of angels and demons from the novellas collected in Los Nefilim: Spanish Nephilim battling daimons in a supernatural war to save humankind.

Born of daimon and angel, Diago Alvarez is a being unlike all others. The embodiment of dark and light, he has witnessed the good and the horror of this world and those beyond. In the supernatural war between angels and daimons that will determine humankind’s future, Diago has chosen Los Nefilim, the sons and daughters of angels who possess the power to harness music and light.

As the forces of evil gather, Diago must locate the Key, the special chord that will unite the nefilim’s voices, giving them the power to avert the coming civil war between the Republicans and Franco’s Nationalists. Finding the Key will save Spain from plunging into darkness. And for Diago, it will resurrect the anguish caused by a tragedy he experienced in a past life.

But someone - or something - is determined to stop Diago in his quest and will use his history to destroy him and the nefilim. Hearing his stolen Stradivarius played through the night, Diago is tormented by nightmares about his past life. Each incarnation strengthens the ties shared by the nefilim, whether those bonds are of love or hate...or even betrayal.

To retrieve the violin, Diago must journey into enemy territory...and face an old nemesis and a fallen angel bent on revenge.

©2019 T. Frohock (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • MC
  • 22-05-19

well-written, moving historical fantasy

WHERE OBLIVION LIVES is a well-written, historically grounded, evocative dark urban fantasy. While designated Los Nefilim #4, there being 3 previous novellas, reading the novellas is unnecessary for the full appreciation of this book, though it is likely to spur you to obtain the novellas post-haste.

It is a tale WHERE FAMILY LIVES and thrives—family forged by blood, and family that is hand-picked and formed by voluntary bonds. The central family consists of Diago (half-angel, half-demon), Miquel (a Nefil), and Rafael, Diago's recently discovered son with a prior tryst with an angel. The central family is embraced by another family, that of Guillermo, leader of the Nefilim. Beyond that lies all the Nefilim who have collectively accepted the central family, though not without suspicion, particularly of Diago and his split origin.

This book is WHERE MAGIC LIVES. First, there is the magic employed in the story in the form of music powering special sigils—magic heard, seen and felt. Voice, instruments, anything that produces musical tones can lend strength and force to magical symbols. Second, there is the magic of T. Frohock's lyrical prose, painting a canvas of emotions. There is a palpable sense of underlying danger. The language, tone and turn of phrase Frohock adopts lend themselves to instinctively feeling fear for Diago, Miquel, Guillermo—in the manner one fears for loved ones. Almost from the outset—especially if you've read the novellas—the reader feels connected, relates to, and sympathizes with, the characters, fears for them, hopes against hope for their survival.

The backdrop is WHERE HISTORY LIVES. We revisit history in this tale grounded in 1932 Spain and Germany during the rise of nationalism, where the seeds of World War II were sown. To this increasing political turmoil, Frohock adds a supernatural battle between nefilim—marshals of angels, near immortal, with the power of reincarnation—and daimons. The historical aspect is obviously well-researched, the fantasy addition is highly imaginative, and they are seamlessly interwoven.

The quest for The Key that unlocks the secret to unifying and harmonizing the Nefilim's collective voice is WHERE THE FUTURE LIVES. The world is in jeopardy and powerful as a nefil may be, no single voice alone is powerful enough to avert disaster. Diago has caught snippets of The Key but must unravel his past to unlock it in its entirety.

T. Frohock reminds us WHERE HOPE LIVES--ensconced in the unwavering resolve to do the ought. Attempts may fail; attempts will fail. But re-orienting all attempts to this most righteous and noble of intents is the rudder without which only failure is guaranteed. Loved ones are the constant-- always celebratory in success, reassuring in failure, comforting in despair, and forgiving before offense is even committed. Failure remains a possibility but a risk worth taking.

Where mistakes and failure may be found is also WHERE REDEMPTION LIVES. With the power of reincarnation comes past lives and the regrets that attend them. Diago, Guillermo, and the others are haunted by ghosts of their pasts and the reverberating consequences of prior choices and decisions throughout time. Old enemies join forces with new ones to create greater peril. To maneuver through all this, Diago & Co. must work through the imperfections of memory, the disconnect between actual events and one's hazy, tenuous, incomplete recall of them. In order to prevail, they must come to terms with their past and exorcise old demons. The most dangerous enemy each of the characters must face may just be themselves.

A world where people of seemingly disparate origins and backgrounds are able to get past differences and overcome bias and suspicion is WHERE LOVE LIVES. Some may talk of purity of race, define family in the most narrow of ways, appoint themselves protector of virtue but, ultimately, the only pure thing is love that is persistent, gratuitous, unconditional, enduring.

WHERE T. FROHOCK WALKS, this reader shall follow.