Review: Black City (Black Wings #5) by Christina Henry

March 2, 2013 Review 4

Review: Black City (Black Wings #5) by Christina HenryBlack City by Christina Henry
Series: Madeline Black #5
Published by Ace on February 26, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher
Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex.
Reviewed by: Julia
2 Stars

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.

Series Titles:

1. Black Wings
2. Black Night
3. Black Howl
4. Black Lament

More Reviews:

Paranormal Haven - 4/5
Candace's Book Blog - 4/5
A Book Obsession - 4/5

Similar Titles:

Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay

4 Responses to “Review: Black City (Black Wings #5) by Christina Henry”

  1. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    I called this series quits after the last book and after reading your review I’m happy that I did. The heroine is in a downward spiral and I don’t think Henry will be able to pull her out of it.

    • Julia

      Yeah, I hear you. I don’t know if all the “self-awareness” in BLACK CITY is intended to set up a big behavior change in the next book, but on it’s own it just looks like arrogance. Maddy also keeps saying things along the lines of “too bad I don’t think anyone is better than me”… and I *think* she means this sarcastically, but it’s usually too close to the way she’s acting to pull off any sort of humor.

  2. Redbutterfly

    Good to know I’m not the only one who left this series. I called it quits after the end of the 3rd book, I couldn’t forgive the author for killing Gabriel, he was the character I liked most in this series. There are somethings that to me authors just can’t do and it will make me leave a series and one of them is killing the main love interest, at least you have to have a damn good reason to do this and Henry’s reasons weren’t good (at least to me).

    Besides that I had the same problems with Maddy that you did.

    BTW I think book 6 is the last in the series so I don’t think we will see Maddy with her baby.

    Great review by the way ^_^

    • Julia

      You are *kidding* me, NO BABY?! I was rather peeved when Meredith Gentry never had her litter, I can’t belive after all of Maddy’s perceived “little wings fluttereing” we may not get to see an infant. Thea Harrison’s ORACLE’S MOON has an exhausted parent as the heroine, and I loved that book. Have I just been missing UF heroine’s already out there or is the mom heroine as rare as it seems?