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Review: Black Night

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Black Night
Author: Christina Henry 
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: ACE
Madeline Black #2
ISBN: #978-1937007065
Genre: Urban Fantacy
Format(s): Paperback (288 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

      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.

What Im talking about:

      After reading Ms. Henry’s debut Black Wings (review HERE, purchase info: Black Wings), I couldn’t wait to find out what was in store for heroine, Maddy. When we last left Maddy, she had found out her “dead-beat dad” is actually Azazel and her grandfather is none other than Lucifer himself. She was in love with her bodyguard, Gabriel, but because of Lucifer’s laws, they are not allowed to be together-ever. Oh, and she’s engaged to some tight-ass fallen angel, Nathaniel, because her father said so.
      Black Night picks up shortly after the conclusion of the first book. Once again, Ms. Henry packs in the action right away.  This time around, Maddy, Gabriel and gargoyle Beezle stumble across the gruesome murder of a werewolf and discover that a begrudged demon is out to kill Maddy (for murdering its father). Things progress quickly when Maddy’s mates disappear and she is forced to act as Lucifer’s ambassador to the fae kingdom of Queen Amarantha, who has quite a few nefarious plans of her own.
      The book was another quick, enjoyable read. The plot moved swiftly and there was plenty of action and adventure.  The star-crossed romance was toned down quite a bit and new possibilities were brought forth.  I enjoyed the complications Queen Amarantha presented and loved that Maddy really came into her own this time around.  Not only did her powers grow, but she is learning how to maneuver this still-new-to-her world without losing herself or diminishing her priorities.
      One thing that did bother me was the lack of plot development surrounding the deaths of the wolves.  It was a gruesome part of the story, woven into every other section of the book. But I felt the conclusion was almost an after thought to the story, and I felt a bit cheated.
      I also feel I have to mention something that literally was only five sentences from the book. Without giving away spoilers, there is a scene in the book where Maddy has to face her worst fears and this one had to do with sexual assault. Although Maddy realizes that the events were only “virtual,” they still did occur. I am conflicted on how I feel about the scene; it was not detailed at all. It devastates her, but then she quickly recovers.  I don’t know if I’m thankful it was almost a passing mention, or if I’m upset that we didn’t see Maddy fight and stand up for herself.
      Overall, I really enjoyed this second story of Madeline Black. Ms. Henry’s world is engrossing, and I find myself wondering what will happen next for Maddy and her friends.

My Rating:

Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

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