Review: Black Wings by Christina Henry

Posted March 13, 2012 by Carmel in / 10 Comments

Tempted by Blood by Laurie London

Title: Black Wings
Series: Madeline Black #1
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: ACE Books
Format: eBook, 304 pages.
Published: November 30, 2010.
ISBN #: 9780441019632 / 0441019633
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: borrowed
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating

As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It’s a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.

Maddy’s position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn’t pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.

Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy’s building. It’s probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.

Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell

The world that Christina Henry has begun to create with Black Wings is incredibly fascinating. You can tell that she put a lot of thought into it and then managed to convey it to readers extremely well too. I know that I was impressed by her world-building skills! Madeline Black was just okay for me as far as heroines go but the side characters really shine. I also took personal pleasure in the fact that the reapers’ head office is based out of Ottawa! I don’t know whether Christina has something against Canada’s capital or if she just thinks that were particularly “evil” but I got a good kick out of this little tidbit.

As I mentioned in my intro, I adored the world-building in this novel! Henry’s take on fallen angels, Hell, reapers, Lucifer and nephilim is unique and interesting. She incorporates a bit of old mythology and combines it with her own imaginings and the result is something that’s in a category all of its own. It actually reminded me a bit of the TV show Grimm, minus the angels of course (at least so far). The way that reapers are “made” is very similar.

Madeline Black didn’t own her role as the leading protagonist as well as she could have in my opinion. A lot of what she learns in Black Wings is as new to her as it is to us readers so maybe it’s just growing pains but then again, she’s been an Agent of Death since she was 13 so Black’s not a newbie in that department. I found her a little whiny for someone who’s supposedly in her 30’s and she accepts everything too easily. Gabriel wrongs her during their first meeting, never really apologizes or makes amends for his actions and yet Maddy forgives him almost instantaneously. Yes he’s hot but even good looks will only take you so far. Gabriel didn’t just make a little booboo, it was a BIG one. At least in my books it was. I’m a big believer in the “forgive and forget” motto but you have to at least *ask* for forgiveness to get the ball rolling.

I loooved Beezle the popcorn eating gargoyle! Black Wings is worth the read just for this little guy alone. He’s a great tension diffuser and manages to steal the show on several occasions. What I wouldn’t give to have my very own stone protector who shares my addiction to chocolate. Christina ends this first installment on a high note and throws in a few earth shattering revelations that’ll leave you with little choice but to read Black Night immediately. I found myself in one of those I need to know and I need to know NOW situations.

The world-building and side-characters in Black Wings are outstanding and make this book stand-out. Madeline Black’s personality left a little to be desired but Henry nailed two out of the three most important elements of a novel which is pretty darned good in my books! Fans of snarky, dark humor will enjoy this story and can look forward to a whole series worth of witty sarcasm! Both Black Night and Black Howl are already available for your reading pleasure.

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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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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10 responses to “Review: Black Wings by Christina Henry

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, I really like this series and the second is even better. I have the third to read, can’t wait to learn more. great review

  2. Sounds like a great series. I love dark humor when it’s done right and especially when it’s in a supernatural series.

    And popcorn eating gargoyle! That alone makes me want to read the series.

    I love how you added the ‘Recommendation’ and ‘Like This, Like That’ at the end of your review.