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Los Nefilim #0.1

In Midnight's Silence

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A lyrical tale in a world of music and magic, T. Frohock's In Midnight's Silence --the first novella in the Los Nefilim series--shows the lengths a man will go to save the people he loves, and the sides he'll choose when the sidelines are no longer an option.

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind…

Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can't get to him directly, they do the one thing he's always feared.

They go after Miquel.

Now, in order to save his lover's life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world's next war. The mission is fraught with danger, the time he has to accomplish it is limited…and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed.


128 pages, ebook

First published June 23, 2015

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About the author

T. Frohock

17 books308 followers
Check out my newsletter for Los Nefilim epilogues and more.

T. Frohock has turned a love of history and dark fantasy into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. A real-life cyborg, T has a cochlear implant, meaning she can turn you on or off with the flick of a switch. Make of that what you will. She currently lives in North Carolina, where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 77 reviews
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 74 books50.5k followers
December 6, 2021
This was a joy to read. Teresa Frohock's début, Miserere, came out in 2011 and it's a crime we've had to wait until 2015 to see more long fiction from her.

The best thing about this story is the writing. It's just excellent. Not overdone, not clunky, just fluid and assured. It puts you there, you believe it, you believe the setting, the people, everything. I can see why Voyager picked this up, the writing can stand and look any piece of literary fiction in the eye without blinking first.

The characters, setting, and plot are all very well done. I don't want to spoil anything - read the blurb if you must, or just jump in unaware like I did.

I spent 8 weeks reading my last book. This one I inhaled in a day. Admittedly it's a novella but that's 113 pages, which is a lot of reading for me to do in a day. I'm famously slow.

The story is very engaging, tension ratcheting up, the fantasy elements being revealed, and an exciting climax. After that a bit of regrouping and setting the stage for the next novella in the series. I would have happily read them all welded into one piece as a full-sized novel.

My only small issue - and it may be unreasonable to expect in 113 pages - was that things played out fairly straight forwardly with no real oh-no-she-didn't twists.

All in all, great work. Imaginatively done whilst playing with a world format / mystic beings that we're all familiar with in different guises from many other books and films - another helpful time-saver, as was choosing a real-world setting (albeit 1930's Spain), allowing so much story to be fit into a relatively small number of words. Some great descriptions of magic and monsters as well as the wholly authentic urban Spanish setting.

Wake up publishers! Make Frohock give us more books!

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Profile Image for carol..
1,501 reviews7,543 followers
December 31, 2019
Surprising, although probably what's most surprising is how much I liked it given genre. I think because it was first a nice little character study. It's a (sigh) half-breed non-human being, living among the humans. One of the concepts that makes this novella--and series--more interesting is that the setting is Barcelona, time period pre-WWII, neither of which is particularly common in the urban-fantasy/fantasy realm. The other, stronger hook is that the main character is partnered with a full-breed, and both are male, so instead of the usual PNR cis-romance plot, there's a solid male-male relationship. I thought the writing was above average as well.

All in all, enough elements to elevate it above the normal PNR, and once again proving a talented writer will transcend genre objections.

I happened to spot this one due to Mimi's review of the second . Like her, I'd call this a three and a half stars, rounding up because I intend to continue the trilogy of novellas.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,385 reviews810 followers
February 5, 2017
This was superb. Set in the civil war era in Barcelona before the Second World War, this is no modern urban fantasy take on angels, nefilim, demons and vampires. This is a much darker version. I love how song is interwoven into the magic. How Frohock manages to fit so much atmosphere, back story and world building into this short novella is beyond me, but I LOVED it. I am thoroughly impressed and can't wait to explore more of her work. Recommended.
Profile Image for Para (wanderer).
350 reviews191 followers
July 23, 2019
I didn't expect to like this as much as I did.

As a rule, I don't like urban fantasy. Anything set in the modern world, and I balk. Getting me to read this took a lot of convincing, but boy do I not regret it. First point it its favour, it's set in Barcelona, just before WWII (for me? Less modern + non-American setting = yesplease). Second point in its favour, the main characters are an established couple, which is something that's seen in fantasy far too rarely. The story is not a romance, the relationship just...is. And I appreciate that. Third point in its favour, the characters and the worldbuilding are super solid. Fourth point in its favour, it's just a good, fast read.

The only issue I had that made it a 4 instead of a 5 is that it left me wanting...more. Perhaps it's just the novella length. Luckily, there are sequels. So I will read them. Right now.
Profile Image for T. Frohock.
Author 17 books308 followers
February 26, 2019
I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for all of the reviews and ratings for the novellas!

For those of you who enjoyed IN MIDNIGHT'S SILENCE, you might like the sequels: WITHOUT LIGHT OR GUIDE, which continues Diago's story, as well as the conclusion of the novellas, THE SECOND DEATH.

I wrote the novellas like the old radio serials from the 1940s with each story having a beginning, a middle, and an end. However, when you read the novellas back-to-back, they read very much like a novel.

A brand new Los Nefilim novel is OUT NOW: Where Oblivion Lives. The novel was great fun to write, because I could go more in more depth about Los Nefilim and their history. I hope you'll check it out.
Profile Image for Lukasz.
1,224 reviews194 followers
February 21, 2019
Set in 1931 Spain, Im Midnight’s Silence focuses on Diago, a half-daimon, half-angel being working for Los Nefilim - an organisation bringing together and employing the offspring of angels and daimons. Consider them the soldiers of higher angels. Each Los Nefilim member has a special power that comes with a price. The music-based magic / power felt fresh and unique. 

Frohock’s angels are a bunch of scheming bastards who will stop at nothing to reach their goals. Diago and his partner Miquel are a queer couple. They, mostly, trust each other but have to face a lot of challenges when Diago Discovers he has a son, Rafael, with an angel who had seduced him using her magic.

I try to keep my novella’s reviews short, so let’s get straight to the business. Frohock’s writing is lyrical and has a nice flow. Her characters feel realised and nicely fleshed out. Plus, you have angels, daimons, their trysts and an interesting mythos. If you’re into romance and (immortal) family drama, go for it. I’m not and I didn’t care about Diago and Miquel’s arcs. Rafael did little to warm my heart, but again, I’ll be in minority.

I think it’s a good book, but read by a wrong reader (me). 
Profile Image for T.O. Munro.
Author 6 books74 followers
August 23, 2015
Back in January of this year Goodreads tempted me to set a target for books read this year. In the spirit of continuous incremental "improvement" which has dominated my working life in education in the UK, and in homage to Hitch Hiker's Guide to the galaxy, I promised myself I would read 42 books in 2015, one more than the 41 I clocked up in 2014. It is now late August in a year dominated by exceptional work and life pressures, we are nearly two thirds of the way through the year and I am barely one third of the way to my target with 15 books read. Other targets are also creaking under the strain.

So, in the midst of these pressures "In Midnight's Silence" - the third work of Teresa Frohock's which I have read - is most welcome. As a very readable and self-professed novella, it is a book precisely aligned with my target driven needs. (Next up maybe "The Slow Regard of Silent Things" and after that I'll start re-reading and reviewing the children's books I used to read to my daughters. No kidding, "Amy Said" is a classic work of fiction - while venturing an opinion on the Mr Men books might significantly lower the average star count of the ratings I have given.)

But, let us hasten to the world of Diago and Miguel lurking on the fringes of the Spanish Civil War. Like Frohock's other works it mixes the familiar and the supernatural. A perilous maelstrom of angels and daimons hovers beyond human perception making jagged intrusions into (and extrusions from) a world we would recognise as totally normal.

I have recently watched Insidious and Insidious 2 - horror films where it is people not houses who are haunted by beings from beyond their world. In 1930s Barcelona, Frohock paints a similar picture of a dark other world swirling beneath the thin ice on which our own existence rests. However, with its detailed historical reference the atmosphere is more akin to those glimpses I have seen of Pan's Labyrinth than to contemporary American based horror films.

In Miserere and The Broken Road, Frohock kept the worlds more separate than "In Midnight's Silence" Here the dark and the normal are intertwined like strands in a braid and walking with Diago on the foggy streets of Barcelona every dimly perceived street corner is approached with the utmost caution.

It is beautifully written, though it's length gives little time for elaborate world building. That makes the experience of reading it more visceral, we ride in Diago's head - for the most part - and we see only what he would notice, watch what he does, hear what he thinks, but all without tedious exposition. Those who hanker after spell systems and education might better attend Kovthe's alma mater, but others will savour the experience of experiencing Frohock's dark flickering world.

There are other themes in this book, of love and fidelity. Diago and Miguel are a couple, their love for each other described with the same simple tenderness afforded to hetrosexual couples in fantasy literature. Frohock has written her heroes as heroes who happen to be gay, rather than heroes either because or in spite of their sexuality. It is an absorbingly believable description, though it might deny her a place on any future sad puppies' slate - but then - who would want to be on such a slate anyway?

As in the Broken Road, Frohock imbues song with a power more deep than mere entertainment. It is a means through which spells are cast, power revealed and evil can be conquered and it is an interesting development of the usual finger twirling with which incantations are delivered. There is also a train and a train station, though this is no Hogwart's express puffing away at platform 9 and three quarters. And its destination is no magically enhanced Enid Blyton boarding school experience.

I recently read a short story in the Fantasy Faction Anthology called "The Dealer" by Miah Sonnel. Sonnel's work shares with "In Midnight's Silence" a notion that Angels and Demons are both terrible beings. They are after all involved in a war and humans are exposed to collateral damage, our world is the battlefield not the place they seek to protect.

Los Nefilim are a secretive group that Miguel works for. Diago knows them as any lover might know his partner's workmates but, for himself, he finds that being immortal does not exclude you from the tedious business of earning a living. For one who loves music in all its powers there are moments of torture in delivering lessons to the tempestuous young and moments of amusement - for the reader at least - in watching him deal with parental pressures.

I found Frohock's use of the sub-title los nefilim a linguistic tease. Having been foiled in my assumption it was latin, google translate turned the Spanish into English (nephilim) and Wikipedia gave me this

The nature of the nephilim is complicated by the ambiguity of Genesis 6:4, which leaves it unclear whether they are the "sons of God" or their offspring who are the "mighty men of old, men of renown".

Well that ambiguity fits the protagonists of Frohock's book who are certainly men of power and antiquity embroiled in a hidden war. This is the first book in a series, a story complete in itself which nonetheless introduces us to characters and conflicts we can follow onwards and upwards (or downwards). I look forward to watching the work of Diago, Miguel and Los Nefilim as their own shadowy world shadows arguably the darkest period in the twentieth century.

Profile Image for Wendy.
598 reviews132 followers
June 22, 2015
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.

With thanks to the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Courtney Schafer.
Author 5 books282 followers
August 7, 2015
In Midnight's Silence may be a novella, but it packs a ton of character and story into its pages. Half-angel, half-daimon protagonist Diago is drawn with such deft strokes in the opening scenes that when he soon faces some terrible choices, I was biting my nails and praying for him to find a solution that wouldn't come with an equally terrible price. In Midnight's Silence is dark and beautiful and evocative; it's a great introduction to Frohock's work if you've never read her before, and a long-awaited treat for anyone like me who's loved her previous books (Miserere, The Broken Road, Hisses and Wings). Best of all, it's only the first in a forthcoming series of Los Nefilim novellas; I'm already salivating for the next to come out.
Profile Image for Mieneke.
782 reviews84 followers
July 11, 2015
In Midnight's Silence is the first entry in a new series of novella's by T. Frohock. After having read and enjoyed her previous novella The Broken Road last year, I couldn't wait to read the first on the Los Nefilim sequence, because how could I not want to read about fallen angels, daimons and Civil War-era Spain? It turns out, I can't resist at all, since I tore through the book in an afternoon, only coming up for air once I finished it.

The main story is told over the course of only a couple of days at most, with some flashbacks to develop characters and history, and focusses tightly on Frohock's main characters Diago and Miquel, which is a joy, as they are fabulous. They start off as an established couple and the conflict in their relationship, which is loving and stable, is provided through the appearance of Diago's son. A child he didn't know existed from an affair Miquel never knew he had. In a way these are very grown-up relationship problems, ones that usually crop up after other stories have written their 'the end'. I really liked the fact the maturity of the relationship and the partners and I appreciated the fact that the fact that they love each other was never in doubt.

Diago is a complicated character, someone who is always in-between; he's neither angel or daimon, he's neither immortal or mortal, and neither Nefilim or innocent. He belongs nowhere and everywhere, but finds his home and his anchor in Miquel. Since the book is mostly written from Diago's point of view we don't get to see how Miquel views this bond, whether Diago is as much his anchor and he is Diago's. Hopefully, we'll be able to explore this further in the next books. One of the things Diago and Miquel had clearly agreed about is that they didn't want children and Rafael's appearance puts paid to all of that. I loved the way that Diago snaps into parent-mode even if he hadn’t wanted a child before, yet acknowledges that Miquel isn’t bound to make the same choice. His reaction to Rafael is influenced by his own abandonment by his father and he is determined not to let history repeat itself, even if it means giving up what is most precious to him.

Frohock doesn’t shy away from dealing with tough subjects and questions. For example, her examination of Rafael’s conception and whether Candela raped Diago or not, with her angelic powers essentially serving as a roofie. The reactions this elicits from Miquel and Diago were interesting. Miquel grasps at this to staunch his feelings of being betrayed, while at the same time being furious that someone did this to Diago. Diago, on the other hand, has a hard time coming to grips with the truth of the situation, preferring to believe he betrayed the love of his life to knowing he was violated. Thanks to the circumstances the men don’t get to discuss what happened in depth, so it’ll be interesting to see whether this will come up again in the next book.

Another tough question Frock puts to her protagonist and the reader is that of sacrificing the one for the greater good. In this case. Diago is told that sacrificing his son to Moloch will save millions of lives. The angels obviously believe that sacrificing one child to save many is the moral choice, but Diago questions this. Given our hindsight – we know that the angels are working to prevent WWII and the Holocaust – this dilemma is harrowing in the eyes of the reader. How many time travel stories aren’t based on the premise of going back and killing Hitler, thereby stopping the war? Yet in those cases, as in this case, the question is, would it work? Given the fact that the angels have some form of precognition it makes the choice even harder, as obviously they know it will. But has this knowledge blinded them to alternative scenarios? Diago’s answer to the question whether the good of the many justifies the sacrifice of the one is instant and absolute—he’ll find another way.

The organisation known as Los Nefilim is a fantastic concept. I have a weak spot for these kinds of secret, supernatural societies and Frohock chose her angle well. The Los Nefilim leader Guillermo is an interesting character, whose brief appearance was too little of a good thing. I sincerely hope to see more of him. His daughter Ysabel was lovely and added a bit of a lighter note to the end of the book, which I enjoyed. The way she took Rafael under her wing felt very natural and true to how children operate amongst themselves and her somewhat impudent attitude to the adults around her was quite amusing. Frohock didn’t just include wonderful characters on the side of the angels, there were several on the side that opposes Los Nefilim and Diago and Miquel as well. The scenes with Moloch and his servants were tense and fascinating – Moloch is everything you’d expect him to be and more – and the sacrifice of one of Moloch’s servants was actually quite touching.

Frohock’s world-building in the book is wonderful. The magic in the story was music-based, reminiscent of the magic depicted in The Broken Road. I liked the idea that the magic could be carried through song, through instrumental music and in some cases through dance. The 1930s Barcelona setting was wonderful as well and served as a great showcase for Frohock’s beautiful writing, which is quite descriptive and very atmospheric. The scenes where Diago moves across Barcelona from his house to the district where Miquel worked are gorgeous.

In Midnight’s Silence is a great story, which I absolutely loved. Frohock’s writing is lush and her story instantly captivating. I can’t wait to read the next entry in the series and I can’t recommend In Midnight’s Silence highly enough.

This book was provided for review by the publisher.
Profile Image for Beth.
855 reviews94 followers
February 29, 2016
This is the third story of T. Frohock's that I've read--the first being the novel she wrote as Teresa Frohock, Miserere, and the second being "The Broken Road." In all of these, I've most enjoyed the unsettling otherworlds Frohock has built, and characters I can really sympathize with.

I felt the world-building was done especially well in this one. I got a good idea of the tensions in Barcelona, and of the various factions and interbreeding of daimon, angel, and human, with little or no info-dump to slow things down.

There's also a nice balance between action/violence, interpersonal conflict, and quiet moments. I loved the relationship between Diago and Miquel. They're well past the infatuation stage: a long-lasting, true partnership. If a doesn't cause a huge dramatic rift between them, the new, much more permanent change we see in this story won't, either.

The cover has a train tunnel on it, and the story involves both trains and tunnels, so it gets bonus points from me.

Frohock is getting better and better as a writer, and I look forward to reading more of Los Nefilim.
Profile Image for Kenny Soward.
Author 48 books133 followers
December 21, 2015
I'm a big fan of Teresa's and really enjoyed Miserere: An Autumn Tale. I think, as other reviewers have pointed out, Teresa has a direct and stripped-down style which lends itself to an overall elegance of storytelling.

In Midnight's Silence stops just shy of being truly "weird fiction" and is not quite urban fantasy either. I'm reminded of some of Anne Rice's earlier vampire novels where characters of great depth, dramatic flair, and history are thrust onto a stage furnished with antiquated and beautiful things yet covered in a fine layer of dust. In this case, old Spain before (or during) WWII.

It is a very warm and interesting head space.

However, the real fun of IMS is in the monsters and mythology (which play very well with the setting) all breathed to life by an intriguing premise especially how it relates to the history of that time period.

Really good fun here. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kristen.
322 reviews258 followers
October 22, 2015
In Midnight's Silence, a dark fantasy novella set in Barcelona, Spain in the 1930s, is an intriguing beginning to a new series. It's very much about the choices of the main character, who is complex and multi-dimensional. The world is also compelling, particularly the angels who are not at all angelic! While I did find parts of the beginning slow, I enjoyed it overall and am looking forward to finding out what happens next in Without Light or Guide (coming November 3)!

3 1/2 stars (liked it)

Full Review: http://www.fantasybookcafe.com/2015/1...
Profile Image for Lisa.
346 reviews531 followers
July 11, 2015
Review from TenaciousReader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2015/0...

A Midnight’s Silence is another solid story by T. Frohock. Real characters are placed in dark and distressing situations, using a combination of music, magic, love and trust to survive. It introduces the reader to a world of angels and daimons in 1930s Spain, with our protagonist Diago being half angel, half daimon. This puts him in a unique position because the two worlds generally don’t play all that nice with each other (as one might expect).

Diago has managed to live outside of these two groups, committing to neither one. He is, however, fully committed to his lover, Miquel, who is a member of Los Nefilim. This is a group that polices the daimons. This doesn’t exactly make Diago, being unaligned and half daimon, very popular with Miquel’s co-workers. The book is dark, and despite there being angels and daimons, there is not really an overtly religious tone to this book. In fact, Diago even confesses to not knowing if there is a god or not. It is like they are two supernatural orders that function independent of the religion that people in our world usually associate with them. I enjoyed this ambiguity to a greater being, it was nice to see the angels and daimons just as on their own as regular people.

Diago is placed un an unthinkable situation of being asked to choose between his lover and his newly found son, as we are introduced to Rafael, Diago’s son that he never knew he had. Rafael has been cared for at an orphanage run by Sister Benita, a very unpleasant nun. Nun or not, she’s a horrible person with no empathy or compassion. So, taking this into account, I guess you could say that there is a portrayal of fallible religious people. Just because someone is religious doesn’t mean they are a good person. The actions people take, how they treat and respect others, that is what is important, and you see evidence of this in A Midnight’s Silence. Sister Benita did amuse me though, so she might not be anyone I’d like to take care of my kids, I was happy at her inclusion.

For anyone that looks for good examples of real relationships with LGBT characters, add this one to the list. Diago and his lover, Miquel, are human, and care for each other, and honestly, it’s just written the same as any relationship between two humans should be. There’s a good balance of suspense and characters in this and I look forward to seeing what is next.
Profile Image for Saphirablue.
922 reviews78 followers
October 23, 2016
I really, really, really like this one.

I like the way it's written - the story just flows along and grips you and you just have to read it.

I love the setting - Barcelona, Spain, in the 1930s, on the brink of WW2. There are angels and daimons and their children, the Nefilim, and their (never ending) fight. Also, the stakes of this story? Both personal and for the world? Wow. Nicely written and included.

Also, they sing their magic. Sing. *loves*

I freaking love Diago. He's the kind of character that just pushes my buttons - being the child of a daimon and an angel. Standing between the sides. Both sides trying to recruit him to their sides and, from what we see and what is hinted at, both sides not playing fair in this game for him. Being hurt and hurt and hurt again (I really want all his backstory). And, he learnt to love. Miquel showed him how to love and, I think, how to be loved (and, I really, really want that story too). And now, he's risking his live and soul to rescue the love he knows and the love he's just discovered existed. Yeah, Hook. Line. Sinker.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Joel.
617 reviews225 followers
August 8, 2015
I really love Teresa's writing - this is yet another wonderful story by her, with real-feeling and visceral characters, great dialogue, and real emotions. I really, really enjoyed this piece.
575 reviews25 followers
July 20, 2015
In Midnight’s Silence is a short story which brings to us a wonderfully strange world where Angels, Daimons and Los Nefilim roam amongst us.

The main characters of the story are Diago, Miguel and Raefael and the story starts in Seville during the 1930’s. At the start of the story Diago returns to his apartment to find evidence of a struggle and his partner Miguel missing.

I’m not really going to elaborate on the plot but will say this is incredibly easy to read. The writing flows well and appears effortless and Frohock manages to bring to us a strange tale of abduction and threat, filled with revelations and creatures of myth and lore with a number of new elements brought into the equation for good measure.

Hidden in plain sight are Angels, Daimons and Los Nefilim (characters born of a liaison between angel and human who act as a sort of police agency controlling the Daimon’s behaviour).

So, apart from the excellent writing which contains a wealth of imagination making it difficult to believe that this is only a short story (100/130 ish pages I think) what else did I love about this story. Well, firstly, having read Miserere and the Broken Road I can unequivocally state that the author is an expert at conjuring other worlds populated with creatures straight from hell! Speaking of which, her books always seem to have a religious theme and yet they never have a ‘preachy’ feel. She has a great ability to literally suck you into whatever situation she creates and she manages to write these deliciously creepy elements along the way that will have you looking over your shoulder as you read! I particularly love the scenes with the Golem.

In terms of characters we have this wonderful blurring of the lines between good and bad where the angels in the story come off a little less ‘angelic’ than you might expect. Okay, the Daimons are pretty much a bunch of nasty characters as you would expect but even so! The surprise element of the book is that Diago is neither Angel or Daimon but a combination of the two. Up to this point he’s refused to take sides but this is about to change.

On top of this the story brings up some really interesting and new (for me at least) ideas in terms of the immortality/rebirth of angels and the carrying over of scars from a previous life.

This is a book very much about choices – difficult and heart wrenching choices and impossible situations that you really can’t see a good ending to.

The only criticism that I can make is that I wanted more – luckily there is more to follow so that’s basically a win!

I received a copy of this from the author. The above is my own opinion.
Profile Image for Mimi.
689 reviews187 followers
November 7, 2019
First read: November 2018

3.5 stars

Not really sure what's going on with the politics (between humanity and the angelic) or how the nature of the Nefilim fits into all of this, but I like the main characters, Diago and Miquel, and I'm looking forward to read more about them.

* * * * *

Reread: November 2019

Bumping up the rating because I'm enjoying the read more this time around. Will try harder to complete the trilogy as it seems the main plot runs through all three books, and they're meant to be read together.

Will return for a full(er) report once I finish all three books.
Profile Image for B.
77 reviews4 followers
September 30, 2020
A historical fantasy set in 1930s Barcelona with horror elements and with a proud gay man as the main character? Yes, yes, and yes.

T. Frohock successfully combines multiple genres to create a tightly woven gem that I devoured within 24 hours. In Midnight's Silence is atmospheric and creepy and heartfelt, and I was immersed in the streets of Barcelona - in this world of angels and daimon, of Los Nefilim, and essentially, of people who will do anything they can to save the people they love. I'm so excited to continue with this trilogy and find out more about this world and this impending war because the details that Frohock includes are intriguing.

The one and only reason I didn't give this novella five stars is because I'm still not 100% sure what Los Nefilim are. Diago, the main character, is half angel-half daimon, but he's not a nefilim. But then there are separate angels and daimons, as well as angel-born nefilim...? Maybe I missed something as absorbed as I had been in the central narrative, but hopefully, this detail as well as the worldbuilding will clear up and expand, respectively, in the later installments. With that said, onward!

UPDATE: Okay, so I just searched up what "nephilim" are, and the novella makes so much more sense. I don't know why I didn't search it up sooner, LOL, but can you tell that I don't read many stories about angels? Even with that said, however, I still keep with my 4 stars because there's just a lot of information all at once, especially near the beginning, that could be clarified in the later novellas.
438 reviews25 followers
January 27, 2016
In Midnight’s Silence is the first in Teresa Frohock’s “Los Nefilim” novella sequence. It posits a world in which angels and demons are physically real, and inhabit the world alongside humanity – largely cloaked in shadows. Their children, the Nefilim of the title, are something else again – and the struggle and sacrifice of some of them is central to Frohock’s story.

The world of Los Nefilim is set in the Spain of the nineteen-thirties, several years before the civil war. In most respects, it resembles the world that we know. There’s the division between the rich and poor of the country, with subtle hints of the geo-political conflict to come. But this is an undercurrent in a richer sense of social and literal geography. This is a Spain where you can feel the turgid heat curling off the page, and where the vitality of the people is obvious in every word and gesture.

Frohock’s prose is almost lyrically descriptive, and really helps locales come to life. There’s broken down boarding houses, stultifying parlours of the rich, and some sewers which fairly crawl off the page with a stink of tortured misery hanging in every passage. Where this world differs from our own is the titular Nefilim – the children of Angels, caught in a hidden conflict between Angels and Daimons The mythology around the Nefilim and those above them in the celestial struggle is deftly inserted into the narrative, the reader picking up information alongside the characters, the world gaining a different texture as their understanding grows. There’s not much in the way of flashy magic here – but there is a sense of corruption, and a sense of a kind of divinity, lurking between the words on the page. I’d love to delve deeper into the world hidden behind our own – but also love that most of it remains unknown.

In part, this mystery is due to our protagonist, Diago. The offspring of an angel and a daimon, aligned to neither, he gives us a unique view on the world. But it’s one limited by status – he is deliberately kept out of the loop on all sides of the conflict, and his sense of discovery moves alongside that of the reader. But he’s not just – or perhaps not even – a special snowflake, despite being a hybrid. It’s to Frohock’s credit that Diago feels more human than supernatural – a man with a deep love for his partner, Miquel, a man with some tightly controlled rage issues, and a man trying to construct a version of himself. He feels flawed, but not broken, and as the reader sits inside his head, we can feel the emotional depth of his commitments, and the turmoil of his struggles. There’s a sense of the iceberg about Miquel – far more present than is currently exposed – but what we see here has the intensity of a lava bath. His relationship with Miquel is one of the core sections of the text, and it feels plausible, and carries a great deal of emotional honesty and heft. There’s a certain stark vulnerability present in their interactions which makes them a pleasure to read.

There’s other characters here of course. I was a particular fan of the clinically cold angel who kickstarts the plot, and the enjoyably vile demon Moloch. The supernatural creatures have a coiled darkness about them, on both sides, and seem somehow both more and less than human – like looking into a fun-house mirror. In contrast to Diago’s tortured near-humanity, they serve as stark warnings, or precursors of narrative dread – and keep things tense enough to have you turning every page.

The plot is fairly straightforward, wrapped around the strong core of characters and setting. It’s tightly plotted and tense; there are constraints on the characters which keep them moving, and their need, and the aforementioned emotional stakes, had me invested and turning pages as fast as possible. There’s a lot at risk here, and the characters are convincing enough, and I was interested in them enough, to feel that risk, and the sacrifices they were willing to make to attain it – the plot was intriguing in it’s own right, but worked wonderfully when meshed with the characters. In any even, it sprints along, merging a kind of slowly rising horror with adrenaline and a feeling of emotional investment to create an literary elixir, greater than the sum of its parts.

Is it worth reading? Well, I’d say so. The characters are top-flight, plausible and fascinating examples of humanity and…otherwise. The setting works, and feels vividly real. The plot acts as the glue between the other two pieces of the narrative, and can be both entertainingly terrifying and emotionally convincing – so yes, give it a go.
Profile Image for Heather.
252 reviews36 followers
September 17, 2015
This review originally appeared on Around the World in 80 Books!
This novella is about the sacrifices people will make on behalf of those they love or have the potential to love. The story takes place in late 1930’s Barcelona. Protagonist Diago finds out his boyfriend Miquel has been kidnapped by an angel, he goes to find him without a second thought. Miquel is a part of Los Nefilim, a group that “monitors daimonic activity for the angels.” I imagined it as a sort of CIA/FBI/secret agent sort of organization. Because of Diago’s birth, half daimon, half angel, he does not choose sides and is therefore left to follow Miquel around anywhere Los Nefilim need him.

Circumstances change when Diago finds out about his son, Rafael, who he made with an angel, Candela. She seduced him with a song and a child was born. (For the narrative, the boy is now 6-years-old.) The word rape is mentioned because an angel’s song can be very powerful, though Diago thinks that he had cheated on Miquel. I found this to be very thought provoking, because so rarely is male rape addressed. And to have two different ideas of what the act actually was, makes the sub-plot even more interesting.

When Diago finds Miquel, the angel has put a curse on Miquel that is slowly draining his life force. The angel tells Diago that he must sacrifice his child to the daimon Muloch in order to get a coin that can cause mass destruction (there’s a war coming between the angels and daimons). The coin is for the angel’s nefarious purposes. Of course, having just found out about his child and knowing he can’t sacrifice an innocent life, Miquel and Diago form a plan to offer a golem in the boy’s place and hope there is enough time to get away.

The time comes for the sacrifice of the golem, Muloch summons Diago’s long-lost father to verify that the child is his family. His father lies to Muloch, allowing Diago to escape, but the father sacrificed his life in order for him to do so. For this part in particular, I felt there was a lot of backstory that I wasn’t picking up on. His father disappears as soon as he appears and doesn’t seem to have any motivation for sacrificing himself. I’m not sure what happened in Diago’s past that caused him to not find love. I felt like there were parts missing, perhaps because of the novella format.

I won’t spoil the end, but things end on a high note and the family is together. I enjoyed the storytelling and the characters. I think that I’ll find out more information about what’s happening in Diago’s past, as well as their roll for future events, in the next two novellas in the series—the war with angels and daimon’s coincides with WWII—and should make for some interesting plotting. Also, for the next stories, I hope Diago and Miquel make out at least once! I realize tensions were high, but it would be nice to see some affection (aka PDA) between the two. I see a lot of potential world building and I look forward to the rest of the series to find out more about Los Nefilim, and the back stories for Diago and Miquel. I found myself comparing this novella to the TV show Supernatural—there’s a lot of action/adventure, combined with fantasy elements that makes it a fun read.
Profile Image for Brian.
26 reviews13 followers
August 18, 2016
When I was younger I read several series by an author and I was fascinated by the passion and love that the author had for their characters, especially the MC. The fourth series I saw a drastic change in that the love and passion. It was literally gone. The work wasn’t rubber stamped and still was a good series but not great like the previous three. I have read authors that have that passion for their characters or their stories or certain scenes above other scenes. In reading In Midnight’s Silence, Mrs. Frohock is hopelessly in love with Diago and Miquel. There is a crafting of the nuances of the characters that is unsurpassed in her previous writings and that is quite an accomplishment if you have read any of her other works. The movement, attention to pertinent but not extraneous details along with the psychological imprint you get from them in Mrs. Frohock’s writing leapt out of the story and easily imprinted itself onto my consciousness.

In reading a story, I will stop and envision the environment, smells, sounds, images and try to set myself into the scene. This was so easily done reading IMS that I reread several of the passages in the first couple of chapters to make sure I wasn't subconsciously filling in blanks from the setting given by the passage. Some authors are wonderful at scant details to set a scene but after reading IMS a second time I saw that Mrs. Frohock had whittled away at the settings as a master wood carver. Everything that needed to be in place was and anything not well, was not. I found myself shivering at the aspect of the dark becoming inclusive in the tunnels, the smell of Miquel that Diago could recall with an amorous thought or the feel of the etching under his touch.

Trying to write this review without spoilers is becoming increasingly difficult as it is a wonderful telling and immersion into Diago and Miquel’s love/relationship/complexity but one must. I wanted to touch on the psychology of Diago and Miquel. There is several essences that you will experience in reading IMS. You will see several sides of both Diago and Miquel and how the complexity flows effortlessly to and fro as the characters experience the crescendo and falls of the story. Pay particular attention to this as you read and by the end you will feel as you have made a new acquaintance that you want to drink in more and more of because you just have to know, more and more. The interactions of love to stark terror to controlled ambivalence is a wondrous joy to behold and a seamlessness that unless one is looking directly at it will sift by as chaff floats on the wind.

I highly recommend reading IMS for a great story, excellent writing and storytelling and for those who might have forgotten how love in an instant can turn your day around with such ease or commotion as to forever change you and your outlook on the world forever. :P)
Profile Image for Galleywampus -.
93 reviews28 followers
December 18, 2015
Really excellent work here. A review of the first two installments is forthcoming, likely in January.
Profile Image for Rubi.
1,449 reviews63 followers
September 29, 2018
Llena de amor y música, dos de mi ingredientes favoritos.
Full of love and music, two of my favorite ingredients.
10 reviews
June 16, 2019
Quick and entertaining read.

Hygienists beginning of a series and I can't wait to read the next book. Her character development is superb. The storyline entrancing. Read this in one sitting and when it came to an end I was wanting more.
Profile Image for Liz.
78 reviews4 followers
February 22, 2016

Something awful has happened. Diago Alvarez had thought all he had to worry about were the amorous advances of his sullen piano pupil’s mother, but something has come back from his past, not just to haunt him but to destroy him. In a fast-paced start to her three-part series Los Nefilim, Frohock takes her readers to the mouth of hell and back in In Midnight’s Silence.

Frohock is no stranger to the strange, and In Midnight’s Silence is delightfully eerie while also being poignant and soulful. It’s no wonder, really, as her characters are the children of angels and masters of music and song. This is Diago’s story, hinted at in her short Hisses and Wings, brought to life in vivid color and motion. The characters practically step off the page, and Frohock’s narrative style will have readers gasping and delighting right along with them at every turn.

The world of Los Nefilim is ours… with a twist. Throughout history, humanity has thought it was in control of events, while in fact everything has been carefully shaped by the angels and daimons who have been alive, reborn again and again, since time immemorial. Encompassing many aspects of ancient religion and culture, In Midnight’s Silence hints that perhaps the first rebellion of the angels is not over—that perhaps our human conceptions of gods and angels is but a fragment of the whole picture.

Anyone interested in Spanish history particularly the early 20th century, will appreciate the authenticity of the narrative, while those who enjoy an alternate take on ideas of Judeo-Christian divinity and history will likewise like the hints of a deeper past that crop up throughout the novella. Concepts of family, of hidden pasts, and the notion of redemption drive this story; while the action is well-narrated, it is the connections between characters that will pull the reader in and keep them there.

I write about books at iambooking.

Profile Image for Mia.
290 reviews39 followers
June 27, 2015
***NOTE: Related story: Hisses and Wings, a short story co-written by T. Frohock and Alex Bledsoe

It is 1930s Barcelona, a city with undercurrents of conflict and a populace almost frantic in the pursuit of distraction. Diago is a half angel, half daimon who has lived difficult lives. His partner, Miquel, is a member of the Los Nefilim, marshals of the angels in keeping watch on the daimons. Their talent and magic lies in their music.

Being a half-breed, Diago's allegiance is sought by both sides but he has deliberately refused to choose a side. Instead, Diago is trying to live a quiet, low-key life with Miquel. But Diago's carefully carved out peace is shattered when Miquel is taken. Add to this the discovery of a son Diago never knew he fathered. The boy is transparent in his loneliness and need for love and tugs at Diago's heartstrings, having grown up without a father himself. He now has another tether by which others can pull him this or that way to persuade him to serve their nefarious purposes. Eventually, Diago is forced to make an impossible choice.

Doom is a jarring overture and an underlying beat in this novella, with stanzas filled with stirring emotions, a bridge highlighting the perils and consequences of one's choices, and a chorus celebrating all manner of love.

Siguiente, por favor.
Profile Image for Denise.
6,303 reviews102 followers
June 16, 2022
Set in 1930s Barcelona, this Urban Fantasy novella drew me right into its fascinating world of angels and daimons - if only it weren't so short. (On the upside, there's plenty more where this one came from!) The world building is intriguing and very well done, I absolutely loved the setting, and I'd definitely like to spend more time with these characters.
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