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Black Wings

(Black Wings #1)

by
3.68  ·  Rating details ·  8,684 ratings  ·  633 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, ten/>As
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 295 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Ace
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,684 ratings  ·  633 reviews


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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 Madeline:

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 Madeline:

MC
Okay, I admit this looks nothing like her but stick with me here.

She is a soul collector, it's her job and it's going alright except her boss:

JB
Okay, once again, nothing like him but... yeah, I'm lazy. Give me a break!

Well, her boss is an asshole, but it's nothing she can't handle until mysterious bad guys kill her best friend and try to kill her. Then this guy turns up:

cardboard cut out guy
No disclaimers for this one.

He's brooding and mysterious and Madeline is SURE something is up.

Now, I can't actually go much further into the plot except to say that secrets come out, powers are revealed and love triangles are forming.

love triangles
Love triangles like this. And this time I mean EXACTLY like this!

If only Madeline was nothing more than a pathetic MC like Bella. That would have been an actual improvement. But she's not.

[image error]
That's right! She's vamp Madeline! Super powered and running through a forest in the ugliest dress imaginable while her boyfriend sparkles in the sunshine!

This story would be the equivalent of me writing a wank fantasy in which I wake up tomorrow, find out the Queen of England is my Grandmother, Obama is my father and I'm engaged to Prince William despite the freaky incest that implies. Whilst discovering all this, I also have the secret to the dawn of humanity and my entire species and I also have inherited the powers of Spiderman only I will not wear spandex and I'll be a hundred times cooler.

Nobody actually wants to read that story because it's LAME.

My last final point is that I'm so freakin' over the whole Nephilim thing. Sure it's fun for fantasy's sake but now the whole trend is annoying me. Since it all decended from the most ridiculous misinterpretation of a single sentence in the Bible I want to clarify this so that I don't have to read anymore of these annoying YA Paranormal trashbooks that romanticize Angels.

Genesis 6:1-6

Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God (bene Elohim) saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.

Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God (bene Elohim) came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.


Nephilim is very like it's root word Naphal which does mean "to fall" yet it the context is FAR more likely to refer to fallen MEN since the angels already did their falling before creation. Fallen men as in Adam's sons because man had Fallen. Yet this is referring to his Godly sons. Get it? The term actually used for Angel is Kalm Mal'ak. This term is used just a few books later by Eliphaz in the book of Job. In fact, no where in the Bible are fallen angels referred to as sons of God. You know who is though? Men. Men who serve God. Like Adam, is referred to as the son of God in Luke 3. Then others in Matthew 5:9, Romans 8:14, Romans 8:19, Galatians 3:26. Hosea 1:10 says that Godly people will be terms Sons of the Living God.

bible bashing
DO YOU GET WHAT I AM TELLING YOU!?!?!?!?!?!

There. Now you all know. Stop writing this crap and move onto more original ideas. Writing Biblical fanfiction is so old that the Hebrews were doing it a few days after the book of Genesis came around the watering hole for inspection.

It's called The Book of Enoch and it is ALSO responsible for another dumb plot-device that gives me headaches: Lilith.

Lilith
Hint: she doesn't exist, and even if she did - she would look totally more badass than this.





...more
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!!

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
...more
Catherine
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 str/>*4.5
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✨The Reading
Jun 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
NOPE! The opening scene completely turned me off of this book. It makes the main character look like a terrible person and a total douchebag to boot. I'm sorry but this kind of thing you just can't win a reader back from. DNF
Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠
I went in with low expectations and ended up liking this book. There’s a lot going on, fast pace, and new things popping up all the time. Lots of villains & dead bodies.
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
May 13, 2012 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
...more
Mariya
Jan 24, 2011 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/>
...more
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 fel
...more
Aly is so frigging bored
Jan 07, 2011 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 ;;)
Flavia (OddCloud)
Mar 04, 2015 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 (sadly).

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 (sadly).



The idea behind the book is very creative and, dare I say, colorful. It combines a lot of supernatural creatures and the so called hierarchy is quite... interesting. But nothing past that impressed me. It is another creation to the pile of books that have a good idea as base, but the execution is poor (and it kills it).

It starts off without much introduction. The main character, Madeline, tells us things while whining about her job and busy schedule. Information falls around like scattered snowflakes. It isn’t complicated to put things together, but it is messy. I was about to complain about it, but then I got further into the book… when it turned into the Merry-Land of Info-Dumps. Everything was explained in dialogue blocks that felt much like a Live Q&A session. Big disappointment there. Too much telling and not showing.

Let me break my rant down in points:



1.Info-Dumps written much like Q&A sessions (as stated before).



2.Insta-Everything.
•They barely knew each other, having met few days before… And Madeline was ready to jump Gabriel’s bones. Just… what? You barely know the guy, you were so suspicious of him, he proves to know stuff about you, stuff he doesn’t want to share because of reasons… and you still want to jump his bones because you’re a 32 year old virgin. Wow. Just wow.
•In the span of less than thirty pages the MC is made a very special supernatural being with powers that no one has seen before. Seriously?



3.The classic case of forbidden love in YA.
•I can’t be with you because of everything, but I love you so much and I lust for you so hard that I can’t control myself unless you tell me ‘no’. I’m so sick of seeing this trend in books. So. Sick. Dude! Get a hold of yourself!



4.She’s 32… She’s 32?! I went on for half a book thinking she was 16 or so! She acts like a spoiled brat that mouths-off to everyone. I see no maturity in the character, none what so ever. 32 is just a number. She’s not that old. She makes some other characters in YA seem like grannie compared to her (teenage characters, mind you). Besides, she spent a good part of the book telling people not to treat her like a child, but, I’m going to be honest, I can see why they treated her so :) I don’t blame them, not really.



5.Childish court of supernatural being. Just like in another series I’ve read recently The Iron King, the court is like a cartoon version of such thing. Everyone is like “my kingdom, my rules, if I want to do something I will invent a law that will allow me to do it”. Something like that. Ugh… How about ‘no’?



Besides those, there’s Gabriel’s last name “Angeloscuro”. Something bothered me about it… as if it was screaming at me “look, it’s an angel of darkness! He will be the love interest because he oozes bad-boy that’s soft on the inside!”. Eeek! :|

Overall, this book had potential, but it became a train-wreck after a few pages. There was little to no mystery, everything was so predictable, and obvious, and silly! I had a hard time taking things seriously at times. It felt like reading the cartoon version of a more serious story. I’m sorry I didn’t connect with it, but I couldn’t. I even skimmed through the last quarter or the book; it just lost my interest.

Maybe I’ll have better luck next time :)



...more
Cathy
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
Julia
Sep 21, 2010 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
...more
Gary
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not bad creatively it's ok abit short on details. characters are good well defined.
Susi
Nov 21, 2010 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
...more
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Jan 25, 2012 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 whether Christina has so
...more
Amanda
Sep 22, 2010 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
...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Sep 11, 2010 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 wit
...more
LMM
Jan 08, 2011 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. Yeah...no big surprises & Maddy was still just as stupid (lipping off to Lucifer? Come on).

**SPOILERS**



I had a very big problem
...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
...more
Donna (BLHmistress)
Dec 04, 2010 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 no
...more
Sharon
Jan 25, 2011 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
Jocelyn Jazmen
Jan 01, 2015 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,
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Sláinte Wanderlust
Ah

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 :)
Dark Faerie Tales
Dec 02, 2010 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
...more
Mandi Schreiner
Nov 08, 2010 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
Kelly
Nov 05, 2010 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-
...more
Natasha
Sep 07, 2011 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
...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
review at Alternative.read.com

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
...more
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3,382 followers
CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, ALICE and RED QUEEN, a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as LOST BOY: THE TRUE STORY OF CAPTAIN HOOK, an origin story of Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

She is also the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK
...more

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)
“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.

“Yes.”

“And where does Lucifer live?”

“Los Angeles.”

I let out a laugh at that. “Of course he does.”
14 likes
“But I'm coming with you. Until you catch the soul-sucking thing, I'm glue and you're. . . something that needs to be glued” 5 likes
More quotes…