Series: Black Wings, Madeline Black
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace on February 26, 2013
Reviewed by: Julia
Kissing, references to sex.
Former Agent of death Madeline Black may have been stripped of her wings—but she hasn’t lost her purpose…
When Maddy finally killed her father, Azazel, she thought his depraved experiment died with him. But now Chicago has been infested with vampires immune to the effects of the sun, and the bloodbath is worse than she could have ever imagined. While the Agency refuses to interfere with other supernatural courts, Maddy is determined to do everything within her power to save her city—wings or no wings.
But when the leader of the vampires requests that she turn herself in or risk more deaths, Maddy becomes a target for the very people she’s trying to save. Left with no other choice, she turns to Lucifer, the one creature who has the power to help her. But her grandfather’s aid has always come at a price…
The Black Wings series has an enticing ecosystem of Agents of the Dead, angels, demons, fairies, and gargoyles. Despite those natural advantages, however, I think it is time for me and Madeline Black to part ways. Maddy has a very "Hulk smash" approach to life, and though she shows some flashes of self awareness in BLACK CITY, it seems admitting she has a problem has brought Maddy no closer to reforming her behavior.
Beyond my issues with Maddy's recklessness, there is certainly a lot to enjoy in this series. Henry has taken some interesting risks with her characters, allowing life changing disappointments and developments to play out without resorting to magic to wipe everything away. Maddy is a pregnant heroine, something I haven't encountered often. She's also grieving the loss of her lover with very human emotion, not immediately embarking on a quest to miraculously restore him (though now, more than ever, it feels like Gabriel's resurrection is right around the corner).
The plot pluses aren't outweighing the minuses for me, anymore. I've finally become numb to the arbitrary choices of Maddy and her band as they seem to survive no matter how ridiculous the plan or how bad the odds. If there is an immortal, all-powerful being opposing them, Maddy will magically annihilate everyone with heretofore unknown powers. If she's not yet in a killing mood, she'll bluster and punch her way through the scene... a habit that is more boring rather than fun or funny. Prefacing every situation with hand wringing and arguments doesn't make everything dramatic, it just makes everything equally boring. I may pop in down the line if Maddy has her baby (I'd love to see an UF heroine manage an infant alongside magical mayhem), but for now the series has exhausted all of my interest and patience.
1. Black Wings
2. Black Night
3. Black Howl
4. Black Lament
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