Release Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Madeline Black Series Book #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (304 pgs), e-book
I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review.
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…
What I’m talking about:
Black Wings is an exciting new Urban Fantasy with a new twist on some familiar mythology. The story centers on a “who’s who” list of demons and angels – but adds several new faces to create a wonderful new world full of mystery, action and adventure. Set in modern day Chicago, the story focuses on the life of Agent Madeline Black (Maddy). Agents are humans with wings who born into their job helping souls of the departed cross through to the otherside. But it’s not a romantic job – full of paperwork and schedules. Even Agents of Death have to deal with bureaucracy.
Maddy lives on her own, with only the companionship of a gargole named Beezle. Her mom was killed when Maddy was a teen and her dad was never part of the picture. She lives a solitary life and doesn’t do anything to shake it up. So when a mysterious new tenant moves into her building and her best friend is killed by some unknown monster, Maddy’s life changes dramatically and drastically. She finds out that she is part of a much larger world that she never dared dream existed.
This story is full of action right from the get go, but it’s not inflated or overdone. Maddy is thrown into a world of powerful demons with intricate rules and she finds herself in many difficult situations. Luckily she has Gabriel on her side. Their relationship is sweet and sexy all at once. They have a star-crossed romance and can never be together, yet Gabriel stays by her side and together they face the threats against Maddy.
Maddy is a superb heroine who recognizes her own faults, but stays true to herself. She may be emotionally immature and not quiet prepared to deal with the changes in her life, but she takes it all in stride and continually moves forward. I love that she always wants to fight, but recognizes the time when politicking is necessary.
The story did leave me with some unanswered questions, but had a satisfying conclusion. I also felt that there were a few unnecessary holes or gaps in the mythology, but like all great UF series – I’ll probably have to wait a few books to get all of the answers. I look forward to the next installment of the story, and unfortunately, we have a long wait (Autumn 2011).
Really enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)
GIVEAWAY: I will be giving away one (1) copy of Black Wings by Christina Henry starting today. All you need to do is leave a comment at the end of this post to enter. Contest is open to United States residents/mailing addresses only. Contest runs until December 9, 2010 at 9:00 PM EST. Winner will be selected using random.org and announced on my blog on December 9, 2010.