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I Belong

Review: Black Heart by Christina Henry

Black HeartTitle: Black Heart

Author: Christina Henry

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Black Wings (Book #6)

Publication Date: October 29, 2013

Format: Paperback, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425256596 (Ace/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425256596 (Ace/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph


As a former Agent of Death, Madeline Black is no stranger to witnessing violent ends. But being the one to cause them is an entirely different story…

Despite her having saved Chicago from a vampire invasion, the Agency wants to get Maddy off their payroll—permanently. With the deadly Retrievers hot on her trail, she has no choice but to trust Nathaniel to port her to safety. But even the exotic and dangerous world that she winds up in is not as peaceful as she would have hoped. Caught in a turf war between a group of fae and a disturbingly familiar foe, Maddy soon discovers that the twisted plots of her grandfather, Lucifer, and his brothers extend even into this unknown realm.

Now, with enemies gathering on all sides, Maddy’s fate is looking darker than ever. And to protect her unborn son from her adversaries, she may have to tap into a power she hoped never to access…

Quick & Dirty: Maddy has been through a lot lately. Now, with the Retrievers after her, she escapes to a foreign planet full of fae who hate Lucifer. Here’s hoping no one discovers one of his relatives has just showed up in their world…

Opening Sentence: “You have to get out of the house – now,” J.B. said.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Since starting this series, I have thought that every book gets better than the last. Unfortunately, that pattern seems to have broken with this installment. While it’s still good, it just wasn’t as addicting and fast paced as the previous books have been. I found myself sometimes having to force myself to read, and that has never happened before with this series. Thankfully, the last half of the book was much more entertaining than the first half. While I still gave this 4 stars, it’s more like a 3.5 star book in my opinion.

Life has gotten increasingly more complicated and dramatic for Maddy. Still reeling from the majority of her friends walking away from her in the previous book, she now has to deal with the Agency sending the Retrievers after her. Convinced that the only way for Maddy to survive is to leave this plane/world for a time, Nathaniel creates a portal and sends Maddy into it. Now, Maddy has to navigate a foreign planet in order to find her way home. Did I mention the planet is full of fae who hate Lucifer? Yeah…life is never easy for Maddy.

For me, a big weakness of this book is the first 50 percent of the story, in which Maddy is totally on her own, trying to find her way home from this foreign planet. Maddy has always been the weakest part of the series for me. I much prefer the secondary characters and with their absence, I became more and more aware of the issues I have with Maddy, especially now that she’s exploring her “dark side.” She can at times seem very full of herself, thinking that she knows best, and her friends are in the wrong with their constant chastising of her. Her attitude can get old very quickly. Being in Maddy’s head with no reprieve made the first part of the book really drag. Once the secondary characters showed up again, the pace picked up, and I found myself much more entertained. Beezle, as always, made me laugh and lightened up a lot of darker moments. Nathaniel also continues to grow on me, and I’m very impressed with the growth and change his character has undergone since being introduced in book one.

Another issue I had with this installment is that it doesn’t feel like much happens until the very end. It almost feels like a filler book whose only purpose is to get us to the next installment. That factor also didn’t help the pace. When the action started though, it certainly didn’t let up until the very end. I didn’t see the final events coming, and I was definitely engrossed once everything got underway.

All in all, this seemed like a weaker installment than previous books in the series. My favorite aspects of the series were missing, which made the plot drag. Once I got past the halfway point though, everything picked up, and this was once again the series I have grown to love. I hope that this was just a stumbling block and that the next book returns the series to the quality I have come to expect.

Notable Scene:

The Cimice’s voices rose as one as they screamed their anguish to the sky. The spell plowed forward, knocking the Cimice down one by one, squeezing their hearts until they stopped.

I felt them die, their agony in their final throes, and the pain brought me to my knees. I hadn’t calculated this. I hadn’t considered the possibility that I might feel sorry for the monsters. But there was no stopping it now, and in any case my purpose was still clear. They meant to kill innocent humans at the behest of the Faerie Queen. I couldn’t let that happen.

This was preventive medicine. It was necessary.

The spell went deep into the heart of the cavern, to where the vast majority of the Cimice were. I gasped as I felt the presence of all of them. There were not hundreds, or thousands. There were millions, stacked up on one another in a vast hive.

My spell was killing them all, and I could feel every one. I closed my eyes, covered my ears, tried to drown them out. But I couldn’t drown them out. They were inside me, their screams and their pain. I couldn’t escape the truth of what I had done.

I believed I had done this for the right reasons. But there was no disguising this darkness. This was a shadow on my soul, and it would stay there forever.

I thought it couldn’t get any worse. I thought my body was numb to what was happening. Then the spell hit the hatchlings.

They were just little monsters, I told myself. They weren’t children screaming.

If I hadn’t done this, there would by children screaming – human children. The Cimice hatchlings would grow up to be just as ruthless as their parents.

“They’re just monsters,” I said over and over. “Monsters.”

But what are you? a voice in my head asked, and that voice sounded a lot like Beezle’s. You keep justifying what you do, but when do you draw the line that’s not supposed to be crossed?

Black Wings Series:

1. Black Wings

2. Black Night

3. Black Howl

4. Black Lament

5. Black City

6. Black Heart

7. Black Spring (October 28, 2014)


FTC Advisory: Ace/Penguin provided me with a copy of Black Heart. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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One Response to “Review: Black Heart by Christina Henry

  1. RevaNo Gravatar

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