Review: Black Night by Christina Henry

Posted March 20, 2012 by Carmel in / 2 Comments

Black Night by Christina Henry

Title: Black Night
Series: Madeline Black #2
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: ACE Books
Format: eBook, 288 pages.
Published: July 26, 2011.
ISBN #: 9781937007065 / 1937007065
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: borrowed
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating

Madeline Black is an Agent of death, meaning she escorts the souls of people who have died to the afterlife. Of course, not everyone is happy to see her…

If obstinate dead people were all that Maddy had to worry about, life would be much easier. But the best-laid plans of Agents and fallen angels often go awry. Deaths are occurring contrary to the natural order, Maddy’s being stalked by foes inside and outside of her family, and her two loves-her bodyguard, Gabriel, and her doughnut-loving gargoyle, Beezle-have disappeared. But because Maddy is Lucifer’s granddaughter, things are expected of her, things like delicate diplomatic missions to other realms.

I was a little hesitant to re-enter Madeline Black’s world after she grated on my nerves for the entire length of Black Wings. Don’t get me wrong, the world-building is well-done and the side characters are lovable but the heroine needs to grow up and act her age. For the first part of this book Maddy falls back into old habits but by the end she really pulls through and becomes the protagonist that I knew she was capable of being. I expect Black Howl to be truly kickass now that Miss Black has her act together!

Christina Henry expands upon an already amazing world by roping in the Fae and the werewolves. I didn’t expect to find my furry friends in a book about heaven and hell but I’ll take it! There’s a high level of political intrigue in Black Night and it plays an important role when Maddy is selected to be hell’s ambassador in the Faerie court. She gets thrown into the center of the supernatural world without knowing any of the rules and needless to say, she makes a few faux pas’. She unwittingly screws things up even more between Gabriel and herself which makes for an interesting cliff-hanger type ending. On a side note, when I first started reading this series I thought that a good chunk of the plot would revolve around Maddy’s responsibilities as an Agent of Death but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The story is still interesting but I can’t help but question Henry’s reasoning behind making her lead character a grim reaper that only collects the odd soul here and there.

The pacing is good and the action is plentiful but I found that the battles were lackluster. So much emphasis is placed on how “evil” and undefeatable the bad guys are and yet Maddy continues to plow through them with little to no resistance. Yes she gets hurt but for me, it seemed like she was able to vanquish her enemies too easily and not with the help of her mad skills either but with sheer dumb luck. I think that Christina’s goal was to have a constant sense of fear floating in the air but it just wasn’t believable. After a while the whole thing felt repetitive and predictable.

For the most part, Gabriel was absent from this story which made me happy, that is, up until Maddy started wishing he was by her side at every turn. This neediness annoyed me more than anything else. Plus they still barely even know each other so how can she be head over heels in love with this guy? I liked how Henry ended this book with regards to these two and look forward to seeing how she handles it in the next installment. This aspect of the story has the potential to make or break this series in my opinion.

The story has been vastly improved upon in this second installment but it’s still not quite *there* yet. I’m hoping this series will continue in its upward trajectory and that all of the glitches will be ironed out in Black Howl otherwise I might make it my final stop on this ride. I enjoyed the political play in Black Night but I found it hard to get past the unrealistic battles and Maddy’s ridiculous relationship with Gabriel.

Books in this series:
Black WingsBlack NightBlack Howl

Recommendation: For fans of Heaven/Hell mythology, dark humor and those who prefer their romantic content to be G-rated.
Like this, like that: Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price, 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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2 responses to “Review: Black Night by Christina Henry

  1. I hope it will improve for you I Have the third to read too. I really enjoyed this one so I’m cute curious I’m sorry it didn’t blow your mind away.