Review: Where Oblivion Lives (Los Nefilim #4) by T. Frohock

Rating: 9.0/10

Synopsis

“Frohock has intricately woven a unique reinterpretation of history. Eloquent prose accompanies a lyrical theme amid prewar tensions, enriching this imaginative historical fantasy.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

A lyrical historical fantasy adventure, set in 1932 Spain and Germany, that brings to life the world of 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.

Review

Thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of Where Oblivion Lives (Los Nefilim #4) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving a copy of the novel did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Where Oblivion Lives is a master stroke of historical fantasy; mesmerizing in its prose and alluring in its song, Frohock’s first full-length novel in the Los Nefilim series is a work of art.

This was my introduction to the author thanks to HarperVoyager. I have had the Los Nefilim novella collection on my Kindle for some time, but like many Daily Deals, it became a quick purchase and “I’ll get to it” type of read. Now that WOL is finished and I can gush about it, the novellas will be read sooner rather than later and the sequel, Carved from Stone and Dream (02/25/20) will be read post-haste.

The first chapter is absolutely captivating, introducing you to the main protagonist, Diago Alvarez, in what I can only describe as a rapid manner. You see, his stolen instrument is being used against him, and whoever is playing it is plaguing Diago with nightmares from his past.
But then, the story takes a less brisk approach, introducing secondary characters, a bit of backstory, and the events that must take place to allow for the crescendo at the end. A more in-depth look at the backstories, from what I can tell, are found in the earlier novellas; but what makes this book unique is that they are not required reading to enjoy the story that unfolds.

The entire arc of Diago is fascinating, and I can only imagine it becomes grander in the sequel. It is always interesting to have a character that is unique to his surroundings, being unlike anyone else in Los Nefilim and having to prove his worth on top of his allegiance. I also thought Frohock did a great job detailing the environments, giving a perfect feel for the time period. Not being a huge history or music buff, but thoroughly enjoying the subjects growing up and even now, it was neat (if you can call war times “neat”) seeing names of people/places/etc that you can recall from those days.

While I could spend much of the day recounting the story, I’ll just tell you not to sleep on this book. From the historical events to the characters, the lyrical magic system to the fantastic ending, Where Oblivion Lives was a smashing read and deserves way more attention that it has gotten.

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