ARC Review: Black Lament by Christina Henry

Posted October 26, 2012 by Carmel in / 3 Comments

Black Lament by Christina Henry

Title: Black Lament
Series: Black Wings #4
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: Ace
Format: eBook, 288 pages
Published: October 30, 2012
ISBN #: 9780425256572 / 042525657X
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: NetGalley
Rating:Paw RatingPaw Rating
Buy:Amazon.comTBDChapters Indigo Icon

As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black deals with loss every day. But when tragedy touches her own life, Maddy will have to find the strength within to carry on…

Devastated and grieving, Maddy unexpectedly finds hope with the discovery that she is pregnant. But Maddy’s joy is short lived when Lucifer informs her that he wants the baby, hoping to draw on the combined power of two of his bloodlines. Maddy is determined that her grandfather will never have her child, but she’s not sure what she can do to stop him.

Being pregnant is stressful enough, but Maddy suddenly finds herself at odds with the Agency—forbidden from meddling in the affairs of the supernatural courts. When a few of her soul collections go awry, Maddy begins to suspect that the Agency wants to terminate her employment. They should know by now that she isn’t the sort to give up without a fight…

The Black Wings series started out relatively strong with the first installment. In fact, I gave book one 4 stars out of 5. The two follow-up novels, Black Night and Black Howl, were only so-so, but Black Lament was absolutely atrocious. The main plot is trivial at best, the protagonist is a childish, arrogant, crazy person and the action is over-the-top ridiculous. This series went from good, to ok, to really bad and, as a result, I’m giving up on Madeline Black. There’s just no coming back from this. I gave Christina Henry 4 chances to win me over and she failed so I can’t say that I didn’t give it my best shot.

Madeline comes across as a 4 year old throwing a temper tantrum for most of this novel. She just goes around pissing on everyone and then kills them when they oppose her. No matter how powerful and/or ancient her opponent is, she somehow manages to slice through them like butter. It’s ridiculous. “Oh hello millennia old fae king… *BAM* I win.” I mean, what the hell kind of battle is that!?! “Look at me, I’m Madeline Black, granddaughter of Lucifer and I can do whatever the f#@k I want.” Normally a heroine is supposed to grow with every installment not deteriorate. Towards the end I think that Black actually turns evil. I somehow doubt that that’s what Henry was going for but that’s what I got out of Black Lament. Also, why did the author make her an Agent of Death when she doesn’t collect any souls? Maddy’s asked to do one, maybe two pick-ups (which she botches) but other than that… this aspect of her character is completely ignored and seems pointless.

“Too bad I don’t think anyone is superior to me,” I said. – Page 193.

The main plot was, for lack of a better word, insignificant. First off, there are so many competing story lines that it’s hard to identify which one is the main one. Secondly, the only reason why any of these problems exist to begin with is because of Maddy. If she’d stop mouthing off and killing people for no good reason, maybe just maybe, they’d stop trying to off her! All of her allies are aware of her bad habits and they just shrug them off or make jokes about them. Ooh, it’s just Black, she has a tendency of burning things to the grown. Eeumm, hello? Does no one else see a problem with this? Lastly, the plots from the four books don’t really seem to follow each other overly much. I still haven’t been able to figure out the direction in which this story is going. The only reason why I’ve persisted with these novels for as long as I have is because of the cliff hanger endings but even those won’t be able to save this series this time. I refuse to fall for it again; I’m not even slightly curious about what comes next. I just don’t care. She’s probably going to blow up the world at this rate.

All of the elements that I disliked in previous installments are magnified in Black Lament. Madeline Black is one of the most annoying characters that I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading about. The plot is a senseless mixture of nonsense and the flow reminds me of being in a car where the driver doesn’t know how to work a stick shift. Farewell Black Wings and good riddance.

Books in this series:
Black Wings
My Review
Black Night
My Review
Black Howl
My Review
Black Lament

Recommendation: Great for readers who enjoy heroines that deteriorate with every book and chaotic plot lines with minimal logic.
Like this, like that: The Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price, the Dark Angels series by Keri Arthur and the Grigori Legacy series by Linda Poitevin.

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About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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3 responses to “ARC Review: Black Lament by Christina Henry

  1. Sounds like the character is slipping into major Mary Sue territory which is a problem I find common with Urban Fantasy books sadly…You’d have thought that editors would pick up on it and give the author some advice.

  2. Oh bummer. I have been looking forward to this installment since that cliffhanger from the last one. Still gotta give it a try though!

    It’s a shame when you have to give up on a series. I know I’ve done it myself more than once, but at least it clears up any eventual books that need reading. Less to add to the TBR mountain!