My Rating:3.5 stars: Liked it - recommend (B+)
Full Review: http://www.twimom227.com/2012/10/revi...
NOTE: review (below) contain spoilers from the previous book, Black Howl.
Black Lament jumps back into the story of our heroine, Madeline (Maddy) Black, moments after the emotionally explosive conclusion of the third book in Ms. Henry’s fabulous series. Maddy has recently lost the love of her life, killed by her fallen angle father, Azazel. She is oddly comforted her by great (great...) grand-daddy, Lucifer, until she realizes he wants to keep her little bundle of joy growing in her belly - something else that Maddy just discovered. It is a lot for Maddy to adjust to, including her continually increasing powers born from Lucifer.
Although she wants to just be left alone, Maddy still has a job to do (she is an agent of death and has souls to guide to the “Door.”) To compound her problems, she’s on the hit list of all the major faerie factions after taking out one of their queens (who also happened to be her boss/friend, JB’s mom). Surrounding Maddy is her ever present house guardian gargoyle, Beezle and her friends Jude and Samiel. Adding to the equation is her ex-fiancee (arranged marriage), Nathaniel - there to protector her at the arrangement of Lucifer.
Once again, the greatest strength of this series is the cast of amazingly well-developed characters. Maddy herself is changing and growing. Not only does she have a larger “family unit” to protect and care for, but soon she will be a mother. She rises to the challenge time and time again.
Overall the story flows well, with a great pace and balanced mixture of thought vs action. The plot progression is just right - never lagging behind, even with some emotionally-laden scenes. The dialogue is plain fabulous.
There are two things that did bother me while reading. One, I felt at times that “too much” was happening to Maddy. For a while it felt like nothing was going right. I began to worry that the story would become one-sided, with Maddy always fighting and in trouble with someone. The second thing is Maddy’s growing “relationship” with Nathaniel. Throughout the story, Nathaniel was actually unselfish and kind (or so it appeared). This caused some confusion in Maddy, who wanted desperately to hold on to her hatred of the man. It annoyed me that she should even feel conflicted emotion.
In the end, this is a good follow up to one of my all-time favorite books. Maddy created some enormous enemies this time around and ticked off just about every paranormal faction (to include her own people). Just as Beezle fears where Maddy is headed, I fear it as well. Black Lament felt like a turning point - a transition - in the overall story arc. There was a lot of change, and I'm not sure how it will sit with me in the long run. Maddy is walking a fine line, and if she falls, I don't know if I can't follow her. With that said, I cannot wait to read the next installment!