Nightfall's Reviews > Black Wings

Black Wings by Christina Henry
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's review
Nov 07, 11

bookshelves: read-and-own, books-in-ct
Read in October, 2011

Probably this falls somewhere between 2 and 3 stars. I thought this book had a good concept, but the execution was a bit uneven. Madeline Black collects the souls of the recently departed and escorts them to the Door - but no one living knows what lies on the other side of that door. Death is (of course!) a bureaucracy, and the daily job involves a lot of paperwork, a petty manager, and low pay. So our heroine is struggling to get by, as the story opens, with the rental apartment in her house (from which she derives most of her actual income) still open after several months. On cue, a mysterious (and handsome) stranger arrives to rent her apartment and start the chain of events that lead to her realizing she is not only an agent of death, but also the daughter of one of the fallen angels (you know, the ones led by Lucifer). Henry's world-building is pretty strong and the worlds of both the devils and the agents of death are interesting and places that will be intriguing to find out more about over time (because I'm assuming this launches a series). The uneven-ness comes in the fact that I never did feel like I got a great sense of what the main character was like, the side characters seemed almost thrown in, and the relationships (esp. the romantic one) really could've used more development. Some details were well-thought out (like the fact that most soul-takers can't get a good job or have a decent relationship because they
have to be available to run of to collect souls at all odd hours), but others were sort of lacking (I just felt like what was going on in the main character's brain and how she was shaped by her lifestyle was insufficiently developed. And it really did bug me how little development the side characters get. They are like cardboard standins). I actually think in a lot of ways I might've been more interested just to read about Evangeline, who appears to the main character in visions. So overall if there's more books, I'm interested to see where the story goes, but they
probably won't be at the very top of my "to read" pile.
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