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Black Wings (Black Wings #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  7,339 Ratings  ·  548 Reviews
She's an Agent of Death who really needs to get a life.

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,
Mass Market Paperback, 295 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Ace
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kat Kennedy
This book had a lot of potential in the imagination department. I mean, the main character is a soul collector. We can ignore the tenous links to the Georgina Kincaid series while doing this review. Mostly because the Georgina Kincaid series and I are no longer on speaking terms. That bitch knows what she did!

Any way, this story's one strength is quickly overwhelmed by its poor, stilted writing, vague and non-plausible story arcs and two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs.

The story goes that we meet
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
3 Flawed But I Still Like You Stars

This book was soooo full of flaws that you would think I would hate it but I actually liked it a lot... I'll definitely be reading the rest.

Full review to come...

BR with Aly and Maru!!

Review originally posted at Fiction Vixen

*4.5 Stars*

This book turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. Urban Fantasy books seem to be hit or miss with me. First person narrative is not a favorite of mine—it makes me feel like I’m living in a vacuum—and too often I don’t like the heroine. It’s hard for me to read and enjoy a book when I’m stuck in the head of someone I don’t particularly like. I’ve also noticed that quite a few heroines seem to be bitchy and argumentative as shorthand for stro
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
The rambling and ranting review of a bookfanatic!

Ok, I do not get it. I really had a hard time with this book. I kept putting it down because I found it boring and frustrating. In fact, I ended up reading a novella in-between just to get through this book.

Here are my rants-(Yes, I’m reverting to the ole bullet point list- work with me people.)

• Madeline Black is one annoying character. I know other reviews talked about how much they enjoyed her but frankly, I was just the opposite. She was whiny
Mistress   ~ ♠ Mistral's Kiss ♠ ~ (Mist)
This book initially reminded me of a harder edged 'Dead like me', so here's a quick run down of things Madeline Black and Georgia Lass have in common:

- They're both Reapers, collecting souls of the newly deceased and escort them to the great big "whatever".

- The business of death as a lame bureaucracy related gig, makes for lots of great dark humor. I especially like that in this book they were referred to as 'agents', it fit the morbid IRS feel perfectly.

- They both fell into the job through f
Sep 27, 2013 Mariya rated it liked it
Another Angels and Demons book, what more could I want? BLACK WINGS turned out to be quite a surprising book.

Madeline Black is the heroine of this book and I liked learning secrets about her that she has found out, so could become a very strong woman when all of this is over. There were times when I thought she acted way too much like a heroine in a young adult novel, and maybe that maybe the fact that she is still a virgin, I don't know. I liked Madeline as the heroine, but she is not my favor
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
Jun 12, 2014 Elizabeth Nesbit-comer rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I finally just had to give up on this book. There was just nothing about it that I liked.
My big complaint is why in the world would anyone trust the eternal souls of people to a group of unpaid/unhappy about their job/ sometimes 13 year old/ indifferent people who have this task just because of their bloodline. The opening scene shows the main character leaving a batty old lady to waunder forever as a ghost because she needs to show her apartment WTF. She could have easily helped put the lady'
Aly is so frigging bored
Mar 08, 2015 Aly is so frigging bored rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
After more then 4 years on my to read shelf, I'm finally buddy reading it with Maru, Jo and Flavia

I liked it. I can't say Maddy blew me away, but the world Ms Henry created is really cool. I want to see what else happens there :)
Rating: 3.5*

PS: I wish you guys posted UPDATES ;;)
Marg K.
May 22, 2011 Marg K. rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star-rating
I liked the premise of the story that revolved around an agent of death--a good grim reaper. There were a couple of interesting twists, and I liked Christina Henry's take on fallen angel, Hell, Lucifer, and nephilim mythology. I also liked the protagonist's gargoyle sidekick, who provided some enjoyable comic relief. It took a bit for the story to hit its stride, but once it did, the plot unfolded at a fast pace with quite a bit of action.

Sadly, there was a lot about this book that really didn't
Flavia (OddCloud)
Mar 09, 2015 Flavia (OddCloud) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Flavia (OddCloud) by: Aly
Well... I'm confused. My brain got short-circuited. I want to give this 2 stars... but at the same time, it gave me such a headache that I feel tempted to give it just 1... Review and Rating coming soon (aka after I get a good night's sleep)

Buddy-read with Aly. Sorry it hasn't worked out for me :( maybe next time ;)

Actual Rating: 1.5/5

I went ahead with no expectations. I skimmed the summary, seen it was something about angels/demons and I’ve began reading. And what a headache this one gave me
Oct 10, 2010 Julia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Black Wings by Christina Henry is fast paced, action packed and hardcore- breathing new life into the vast genre of Urban Fantasy. I was sucked into Madeline Black's morbid world of death from page one and didn't stop until the book was over. (At which point I was like what!? That's it?! I want mooore!) This is my favorite Urban Fantasy read of the year- an absolutely fabulous debut novel.

Maddy lives in an alternate-Chicago where the Agents of Death have their main office. Maddy has inherited t
It was ok. I had a few snarky comments to make throughout, and I think that the author threw in too many elements. (Why even mention werewolves, vampires and fairies? Maybe she's laying the groundwork for the next book, but it felt amateur.) Plus it bugged me that they all wear clothes and yet when wings "push out of her back" there's no problem. They aren't metaphorical wings, so where's the wardrobe malfunction? Pretty minor, but it's that kind of book, some minor irritations but generally fin ...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Nov 27, 2010 All Things Urban Fantasy rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

Grim Reapers may just be the new vampires. Consider all the books released this year with protagonists whose abilities were escorting/interacting with ghosts. Even just the ones reviewed here on ATUF: Death Most Definite, Deception, Embers & Sparks, Shade, The Downside Ghosts series…and now BLACK WINGS.

The mythology was my favorite part of BLACK WINGS. Imagine the Office Space version of the Grim Reaper business, complete with the boss from hell and
Jan 03, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amanda by: Julia
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 abilities and an impressive windspan, 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 M
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Mar 13, 2012 Carmel (Rabid Reads) rated it really liked it
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

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 whethe
Donna (BLHmistress)
Dec 30, 2010 Donna (BLHmistress) rated it it was amazing
Maddy is an Agent of Death, her job is to escort souls to the "Door". Her life is pretty mundane until a deliciously handsome stranger shows up at her door to rent out an apartment in her building and from there ciaos ensues.

First I must say, I'm not usually fond of first person books. Reasons are ones that I had read didn't convey the emotion, enough description and seemed rushed. But that changed after reading Twilight(I am not comparing those books to this one), I learned not to judge all boo
Nov 28, 2010 Susi rated it really liked it
Finally an urban fantasy novel that is the way I like them. I nearly gave up on them after some disapointments in the last few months but Black Wings reminded me why I love this genre. It has a great world-building, a funny and witty heroine and a sidekick made of perfect. And yes, it also has a sexy hero- that was absolutely the icing on the top.

Black Wings is about Madeline "Maddy" Black, an agent of death. Her job is to deliver the souls of the newly deceased to the door that leads to the af
Jan 26, 2011 Sharon rated it liked it
Actually I give this 3.5 stars. First off I really enjoyed this story. It is a clever twist on the angel mythology. This story straddles the fence between being a good book and a great one. I really like the characters (especially Beezle, the gargoyle) and I think as the author becomes more comfortable with them they will truly shine. This has all the things I love in a UF/PNR, interesting world building (clever!), humor and smexy men. Madeline has her fair share of eligible men vying for her at ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Great premise and there was lots of action but the heroine did something stupid which resulted in her being unconscious. Her head was injured way too many times. I like Gabriel, and I knew right away who her later second love interest would be, and I didn't mind him, although I hate love triangles. I was mad that they created a fun gay character at the beginning who was almost immediately killed, and she barely even acknowledges his death.

My biggest problem though, and I appear to be the only r
Jocelyn Jazmen
Feb 14, 2015 Jocelyn Jazmen rated it really liked it
A fresh take on urban fantasy and an enjoyable read

The mythology in this book mainly revolves around angels and demons. There are mention of vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc but I believe that is just set up for future novels as there are none in this one. Throughout the book Maddy is learning to control her new found magical powers and constantly getting her butt kicked, and occasionally kicking some butt herself. The best part of this book is her best friend and protector Beezle, a gargoyle.
Nov 08, 2013 Wanderlust rated it liked it

Why did i rate this a 3 star?

What are my feelings towards this book?

It has left me like this
☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
Rated 4.5
Loved the great start to this series. I don't want to be a virgin angel, and have to find out that you are more than you think that you are and have so much to learn. I can't wait to read the next book to see if Madeline will be able to change things and also get to have Gabriel all to herself. Off to find and reserve the next book :)
Blodeuedd Finland
Jan 26, 2012 Blodeuedd Finland rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
review at

This is another good new urban fantasy series. There may be many out there, and because of that there is sure something for everyone to enjoy.

What I liked about Christina Henry's Black Wings is that it took a hold of me at once and would not let go. I wanted to know what happened, I needed to knew what the secrets were and it was just such an enjoyable ride while it lasted. There was one thing though that was not that good, but in the end it did not matter since I t
Wicked Lil Pixie (Natasha)
Jan 20, 2011 Wicked Lil Pixie (Natasha) rated it did not like it

I made it 90 pages into Black Wings and had to DNF it, while the concept sounded interesting the characters didn’t do it for me. In order for me to like a book, I must like the characters and I can honestly say right from the get go I had no love for Maddy. The only reason I made it 90 pages was due to Maddy’s gargoyle companion & because I read a ton of reviews that said this book was excellent. It took me three days to get to page 90! I tried really hard, especially after seeing all the
Dark Faerie Tales
Dec 02, 2010 Dark Faerie Tales rated it really liked it
Quick & Dirty: A strong urban fantasy debut that delivers gritty, action-packed scenes, and a great cast of characters.

Opening Sentence: I hate it when a soul goes all stubborn on me.

The Review:

For an agent of the grim reaper, Madeline “Maddy” Black leads a pretty boring life. Her direct report requires an endless stream of TPS reports, which is the bane of every agent’s existence. Like many other corporate drones, Maddy’s job doesn’t really give her much time to cultivate romantic relations
E.J. Stevens
(3.5 stars) What happens when a virginal agent of death and a smoking hot angel team up against a new deadly foe?

Black Wings is a wonderful mesh of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I have to admit that Madeline "Maddy" Black wasn't my favorite character, but the supporting characters really shine and I hope to read more of Beezle and Gabriel in the future. Beezle, Maddy's gargoyle guardian, is adorable and adds comic relief to a story that is often dark and violent. Black Wings is an actio
Mandi Schreiner
Dec 06, 2010 Mandi Schreiner rated it liked it
Maddy inherited her career as an Agent from her mother. She gets her weekly list of people who are going to die, and meets their souls to hopefully usher them to the Door. Behind this Door, Maddy has no idea what lurks. But she knows her boss J.B gets really angry with extra paperwork, and if the souls choose not to enter the Door and become ghosts, there is a lot of extra paperwork. Maddy is a very petite, cute girl, so sometimes it is hard to look imposing when trying to convince the souls the ...more
Jan 18, 2011 LMM rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one really
Recommended to LMM by: Amazon
This book was just flat out boring & very shallow, IMO. I also couldn't stand Maddy, the MC & the secondary characters were two dimensional as well. It all felt a bit forced & the dialog robotic at times (esp. Gabriel).

I read a bit over 50% then fast forwarded a few chapters..skimmed & jumped straight to the end. big surprises & Maddy was still just as stupid (lipping off to Lucifer? Come on).


I had a very big problem with Maddy's non-reaction to Patrick
May 14, 2012 Natasha rated it really liked it
Black Wings is the first instalment in the Madeline Black series by Christina Henry. I have to admit, I was in a Urban Fantasy rut. For a while, I only wanted to read Historical novels, but I wanted a push back into the UF genre. This novel didn’t just push, but it kicked and pulled me right in.

I was first drawn to this book by Beezle, Madeline’s Gargoyl and sidekick. I have a soft sopt for sidekicks and this guy was hilarious. Broody, annoying, donut crazed and loyal. He’s been with Madeline t
Nov 22, 2010 Kelly rated it it was amazing
(4.5 stars)
“Besides, look at you. I’m supposed to believe you’re an Agent of death? You’re covered in flour.”
“I was in the middle of making a pear tart dotted with gorgonzola. You’re an unscheduled call.”

That’s on page 3 of Black Wings, and that’s when I knew I was going to enjoy the heck out of Christina Henry’s voice.

The flour-covered Agent is Madeline Black, whose job it is to collect the souls of the newly dead and escort them to the Door that leads to the afterlife. She lives in a two-fla
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Christina Henry is the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING, Ace/Roc) and the two CHRONICLES OF ALICE books, ALICE and RED QUEEN (Ace Trade). She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spar ...more
More about Christina Henry...

Other Books in the Series

Black Wings (7 books)
  • Black Night (Black Wings, #2)
  • Black Howl (Black Wings, #3)
  • Black Lament (Black Wings, #4)
  • Black City (Black Wings, #5)
  • Black Heart (Black Wings, #6)
  • Black Spring (Black Wings, #7)

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“Lucifer’s kingdom is metaphorical, not literal. The fallen are scattered throughout the world, maintaining different bases of power for him.”

“And my father lives in Minneapolis,” I repeated.


“And where does Lucifer live?”

“Los Angeles.”

I let out a laugh at that. “Of course he does.”
“I’ll meet you tomorrow morning at ten in your office, and explain everything. In the meantime, go home and get some sleep.”

“I have a meeting with McConnell and Baroja tomorrow at ten A.M. to review some procedures,” he said.

Now, that was the J.B. I knew. Never mind the demon attack; procedures needed reviewing.”
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