Review: Black Howl by Christina Henry

Posted April 6, 2012 by Carmel in / 0 Comments

Black Howl by Christina Henry

Title: Black Howl
Series: Madeline Black #3
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: ACE Books
Format: eBook, 288 pages
Published: February 28, 2012
ISBN #: 9781937007331 / 1937007332
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: review copy from publisher
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating

Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago’s dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Agent of Death Madeline Black’s exasperating boss wants her to figure out why. And while work is bad enough, Maddy has a plethora of personal problems too. Now that Gabriel has been assigned as her thrall, their relationship has hit an impasse. At least her sleazy ex-fiance Nathaniel is out of the picture–or so she thinks…

This series takes an unexpected turn in this third installment and I’m not entirely convinced that it’s for the best. The epic battles and testosterone laden side characters are beginning to weigh down the overall story line. I voiced my concerns over both of these elements as well as Maddy’s lack of maturity in my previous reviews of the Madeline Black series and I’m sad to say that none of these issues have been fully rectified. Christina Henry continues to barrel in the same direction without seemingly learning from her previous mistakes. Black Howl is fast-paced and has a few promising plot revelations that make this book an entertaining read. However, after three books, this series still lacks depth and I find myself struggling to commit to reading the next installment.

There’s never a dull moment in Black Howl which is part of the reason why I keep coming back for more. Maddy finds herself knee deep in werewolf politics and as a result we learn the shocking truth about Jude’s past. This discovery helps to put things in perspective and was one of the best parts of this book in my opinion. There’s also an equally surprising statement made with regard to Lucifer that changes the overall dynamics of Hell from the reader’s perspective. With this newfound knowledge I was able to enjoy the fiery pit’s politics a lot more. Satan is a master strategist and it was fun watching him discreetly maneuver his minions into key positions while keeping them completely blind. Many of the characters *think* they’re acting of their own accord and that Lucifer is ignorant of their actions but now we readers know better. These characters are just lowly pawns on the Devil’s chess board!

A major wrench is thrown into the cogwheels of Maddy’s love triangle in this installment. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the first event. I haven’t hidden my dislike of Gabriel and his relationship with Black. However, I wasn’t surprised by the direction Henry took with regards to these two love birds. It was a natural progression. I was a little saddened that it took J.B. out of the running because I saw some real potential for him and Maddy. Then, the unexpected happened; Christina completely blindsided me and did something that I never thought she’d do. A vast majority of readers are upset and frustrated by this turn of events but I for one loved the surprise. In fact, it was my second favorite part of this book and gave me the little nudge that I needed in order for me to give Black Lament a shot.

I’m developing a real love/hate relationship with this series. There are some truly awesome things about this story but there are also a few less than pleasant ones too. Black Howl is either going to make you very happy or have you chucking your copy across the room.

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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