Twiggy's Reviews > Black Wings

Black Wings by Christina Henry
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's review
Jan 09, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: urban-fantasy, magical, fantasy
Read in January, 2012

Interesting premise and certainly action packed but I wasn't quite convinced.

Madeline Black is an agent of death, which means that she escorts souls to their final destination. It turns out that this is all organised by a fairly heavy duty bureaucracy which is keen on paperwork and Maddy's boss JB is a particularly retentive task master.

Out of the blue Maddy and her gargoyle get a new prospective tenant Gabriel, who has 'stars/ sun bursts in his eyes'

The next thing it is all out carnage as Maddy's best friend is killed by a soul eating monster, who then goes on a further killing/ soul eating rampage.

Maddy gets beaten up and knocked out on numerous occasions and also starts having visions of a young girl called Evangeline , who became Lucifer's lover, killed all her friends and family to run off with him and then fell pregnant to him. She is separated from Lucifer in a plot to overthrow him and is known as the Lost Mother thereafter.

It turns out that Maddy is the daughter of a fallen angel who holds his own court and is a psycho lieutenant to Lucifer. There are all kinds of rules and protocols but it doesnt appear that our girl is too interested in actually finding out what those might be, so as not to mess up. She appears to be particularly uncurious as to the workings of these Courts before her arrival and thereafter not overly diplomatic, which has pretty drastic consequences.

Maddy seems to take the basic fact that her father is a fallen angel in the service of the devil pretty well. I would have struggled more. It was hard to understand why this did not bother her, especially when it turns out that none of them are particularly likeable.

There is a romantic element with Gabriel, who is a second class citizen in the courts and who is forbidden to mate. There is a bit of kissing and many languishing looks which I just found annoying. In all honesty I just didn't get the Gabriel thing.

Also psycho dad announces that she is his heir and that she is betrothed to his main adviser and generally all round unpleasant fellow fallen angel, Nathaniel.

JB finds out about demons etc and comes on board and when there is an attack on the Hall of Records, he holds his own against the demons and it turns out he has his own special powers.

All this ends with Maddy realising that she is the last direct descent of Evangeline and Lucifer; she travels to the Valley of Sorrows; kills the nephilim and frees all the eaten souls; meets up with Lucifer and is accepted as his granddaughter ; is black mailed by Lucifer about Gabriel and one of the bad guys escapes.

All of this takes place in 4-5 days at which point we are told that she is in love with Gabriel - but by the end of the book when JB asks her out on a date, I'd have taken the latter option.

I suppose the problem was that most of the supernatural elements that Maddy discovers are actually fairly horrible and all the fallen angels were just unpleasant - as well as being actively homicidal. I wouldn't have been overly enthusiastic to find out that Lord Azazel was daddy or that Lucifer was grand dad and the thought of going on the run may have occurred.

Also as said above I was more drawn to JB as a character and could have given the whole romance with Gabriel a big miss.

Maddy however was the most likeable character, all be it in some ways not entirely successfully drawn. Some of her reactions are really superficial and her response to the traumatic murder of her best friend appears to have been to shrug it off within under a day.

She may improve with further books?

The gargoyle was also a nice addition and I very much appreciated his chocolate / popcorn addiction.

I am not sure if I will read the next book in the series but will check out the reviews and see.


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