Bea 's Reviews > Black Howl

Black Howl by Christina Henry
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Mar 08, 12

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bookshelves: beas-book-nook, read-in-2012, reviews, romance, urban-fantasy
Read from March 04 to 05, 2012

Teaser:

When it was over, all the demons were gone.

I fainted.

I woke up in Gabriel's arms, everyone huddled around me at the edge of the forest.

"What?" I croaked. My throat was very dry. I felt like I hadn't felt in a long time-like my magic had run out, and that it would take a good long time for it to come back.

"You fell out of the sky," Beezle said. "For some reason, everyone's concerned."

"I can get up," I said to Gabriel.

"I am not sure that you should," he replied.

"Well, we all know how Maddy feels about what she should do," Beezle said.

I pushed to my feet and immediately stumbled. My legs felt like jelly.

"You see how well she listens," Beezle said.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed the first book, "Black Wings", in this series; it wasn't great but it was good and I looked forward to more. I somehow missed the second book, but happily that wasn't a problem with this book. Henry worked in information about the second book, without doing an info dump, so that I had no trouble keeping up.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first one. I did like the continued world building, the relationships between Maddy and her friends as well as those with her enemies, and the twists and turns in the story. Maddy is loyal, stubborn, and not one to back down from a fight; which leads to what I didn't like.

Maddy is impulsive, careless, reckless, and ridiculously contrary (see teaser above for an example). She doesn't stop to think and has a teenagers attitude about rules - she thinks that they don't apply to her, unless they're in her favor and then she's all about her wants, her rights, her needs. There were times when I didn't like her very much, she was so childish and careless. Yet, she's fiercely loyal and keeps her word, despite the cost to herself (or others). She's a mix of vices and virtues, and a bit of a contradiction at times, which makes her human, so well done there, Ms Henry.

What really bothered me were the cliches and stereotypes, which were plentiful: 1) Reckless, know it all heroine, check; 2) love triangle, check; 3) mega-powerful and powers still increasing heroine, check; 4) magic can fix anything, do anything, check; 5) lack of female friendships but every male (or so it seems) is drawn to her and can't get enough, check. You get the picture.

Henry has an original world, interesting characters, and a good mix of political intrigue, mythology, religion, action, humor, and romance, but then undermines it all with the cliches. The ending, wow, I didn't see that coming. If Henry stays true to the ending and doesn't backtrack or magically fix it, well, it and an earlier story twist, will make for a fascinating and eventful change in Maddy's world. I will definitely read the next book, in hopes that Henry can pull it off.

I received a paperback from the publisher for review.
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Reading Progress

03/04/2012 page 74
26.0% "Interesting so far, but not crazy about the man situation or how powerful she's becoming. So cliched and overdone"
03/04/2012 page 139
48.0% "meh"

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