Title: Black Wings
Author: Christina Henry
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Madeline Black (Book 1)
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
ISBN-10: 0441019633 (Ace Books)
ISBN-13: 978-0441019632 (Ace Books)
Meet Maddy Black.
She’s an Agent of Death who really needs to get a life.
Escorting souls into the afterlife leaves Maddy little time for socializing—until devilishly handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in her building. But when demons start appearing on Maddy’s front lawn, she realizes there’s more to her new tenant than meets the eye.
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.
Excerpt: Chapter 1
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 time to cultivate romantic relationships. The only male companion cuddling up to her and eating popcorn is her loyal gargoyle, Beezle. Strapped for cash and having difficulties making ends meet, Maddy begins searching for a new tenant for her downstairs apartment. As luck would have it, Gabriel Angeloscuro is in need of a place to stay. Just when Maddy thinks she’s caught a break, a vicious beastie darkens her doorstep and things turn ugly. Maddy begins her journey to discover her dark powers and uncover the secrets of her family history with the help of Beezle and Gabriel.
Black Wings is a fantastic addition to the urban fantasy genre. Solid characterization, fast-paced action, a great plot and a loveable gargoyle sidekick make this one of 2010’s best reads. Ms. Henry dishes up a gritty blend of suspense, intrigue and action. Set in a supernatural alternate Chicago amidst powerful and deadly supernatural beings, it’s not easy to survive on these mean streets.
Madeline Black is a great new urban fantasy heroine. She’s sympatric and vulnerable, but still tough as nails. While she isn’t always practical and can be somewhat immature, she adapts well as events unfold. Beezle is one of the coolest urban fantasy sidekicks ever. This popcorn and chocolate loving gargoyle may not be very big, but he’s a handful. Grumpy one minute and snarky the next, you just never know what he’s going to say. Beezle is fiercely loyal and protective where Maddy is concerned. They have a great relationship, which is so important to Maddy because she doesn’t have anyone else to rely on. Gabriel’s identity and past are somewhat predictable, but it didn’t detract too much from his depth. The dynamics of Gabriel’s and Maddy’s relationship are complicated. They share great chemistry, but there’s no denying that a dark cloud is hanging over them and doom is just around the corner.
Overall, Black Wings is an impressive debut. Despite some urban fantasy predictability, there are plenty of twists and surprises to keep you guessing until the very end. So take flight with Black Wings. I for one can’t wait for the sun to set on the next installment, Black Night.
The last vestiges of the glamour fell away just before his body went up in flames with the frightening rapidity of a nuclear blast. I saw a seven-foot demon, red-skinned and bat-winged, looking like a Dore engraving from Paradise Lost. He howled in rage one moment, and the next instant, he was gone. Nothing remained except a scorch mark on the walkway.
I lay there for a few moments, wondering what had just happened, who had rescued me and how on earth I was going to get back up the stairs when I felt like I’d been boxing with a rhinoceros.
As I looked up in the sky and contemplated these things, I finally noticed that a thick black fog had surrounded my property. It was as if the house had been encased in an opaque bubble. Now that the creature was gone, the fog slowly dissipated. At least that explained what I had perceived as lack of caring on the part of my neighbors. They hadn’t been able to see the big nasty kicking the crap out of me.
The Madeline Black Series:
1. Black Wings
2. Black Night
FTC Advisory: The author provided me with a copy of Black Wings. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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