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Black Wings

Black Wings

Written by Christina Henry

Narrated by Coleen Marlo


Black Wings

Written by Christina Henry

Narrated by Coleen Marlo

ratings:
4/5 (22 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 30, 2011
ISBN:
9781452673516
Format:
Audiobook

Description

As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It's a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.



Maddy's position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn't pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.



Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy's building. It's probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.



Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell...
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 30, 2011
ISBN:
9781452673516
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Christina Henry is the author of the Chronicles of Alice duology, Alice and Red Queen, a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as Lost Boy, an origin story about Captain Hook, The Mermaid, a historical fairy tale about P.T. Barnum’s Fiji mermaid, and The Girl in Red, a postapocalyptic take on Little Red Riding Hood. Christina lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

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Reviews

What people think about Black Wings

3.8
22 ratings / 24 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I picked up this book for a number of reasons, one I do like books about angels, and two, the whole agent of death concept brings me back to one of my favorite shows, Dead Like Me, so I figured I would give it a try. I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, but by the end of the book I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the book. I like the character of Maddy, she has a pretty good head on her shoulders, and to her credit she doesn't back down. I think part of the reason I really liked Maddy in this book is that while she is powerful, she is just coming in to her power and so she doesn't really know how use it, which leads to the action in this book being unpredictable I also like that Maddy is the type of girl who runs into the fire to help people. Another thing that makes Maddy all the more enjoyable to read is her cast of sidekicks. Well, technically she only has the one sidekick, her gargoyle, who is pretty hilarious with his antics and eating habits. Gabriel is kind of a big question mark throughout the book, he knows a lot more than he is telling, and the rules regarding Maddy and Gabriel's interactions are rigid to say the least. And speaking of rules, the world Maddy was born into is more than complex. The rules are rigid and disobeying the rules almost always seem to end in beheading, so talk about incentive to "behave". Unfortunately for Maddy, she has no idea what the rules are, and she ends up putting her foot in her mouth on more than one occasion To say Maddy has a complex and some crazed family situation would be an understatement. I would recommend this book. The descriptions are pretty good, the characters a pretty good, and once the action takes of it doesn't really ever stop. I read this book pretty quickly and enjoyed it from beginning to end. I look forward to reading the sequel. This book isn't heavy on the romance, so if you are looking for that I have a feeling you will find it in book two. But if you are an urban fantasy lover who wants serious action then you will probably enjoy this book.
  • (3/5)
    decidedly meh
  • (3/5)
    This is another good new urban fantasy series. There may be many out there, and because of that there is sure something for everyone to enjoy.

    What I liked about this book is that it took a hold of me at once and would not let go. I wanted to know what happened, I needed to knew what the secrets were and it was just such an enjoyable ride while it lasted. There was one thing though that was not that good, but in the end it did not matter since I truly liked this book. But for the record, it was something about the writing sometimes, the way she wrote conversations. They did not feel genuine a few times. But I did not let that bother me because the story won me over.

    Maddie is an agent collecting souls. She does not have much time for anything else, I can understand that. Her friend (if you can call it that, more like a pet ;) is a gargoyle who I absolutely loved. A great comic relief for sure. And then a mystery man moves into the building and here is where the book starts to get good. Who is this guy, what is he? And why are demons trying to kill her? The questions are many but we do get the answer we want and more comes as the book ends. And there were some very good answers.

    The pages kind of just fly by and since there is always something it makes it a book that I did not want to put down. Which makes this a recommended urban fantasy series and I will sure read book 2. Because even if it ends all good and nice there are still many things that needs to be set straight, and who knows, maybe we will get some romance too.
  • (4/5)
    I am finding more and more urban fantasy stories that are falling more and more into a cookie cutter mold, this book definitely fell outside of it, and I liked it! First off, I appreciated the fact thats he wasn't half naked on the cover of the book. Further, I appreciated the fact that she has a healthy sense of self-preservation, well to a point. This book delved further into angelic mythology than I have ever found need to venture but it wasn't that difficult to understand. I had a tiny bit of a problem understanding the fallen change of command at first but I got it eventually.

    I enjoyed the dynamic between Maddy and her men, since she has no female friends, but I especially loved the forbidden chemistry between Maddy and Gabriel. I want to see them together, one because he is a hunk, and two because Nathanial is an ass. I think the plot moved relatively quick with a slight lull in the second quarter of the book, but it picked back up and has sufficient twists to keep me reading. I finished this book in one sitting and will definitely look out for more by this author.
  • (4/5)
    I listened to the audiobook of this one and found it to be witty, fast paced and exciting. Ms. Henry adds some very nice twists to the lore of "The Fallen Angel"
  • (4/5)
    This was actually pretty good. Gabriel was kind of a wimp, definitely not Alpha but the characters were interesting and Maddy was a good heroine. She had all this power but it freaked her out and she couldn't control it, not like your usual PNR heroine.
  • (3/5)
    Do all urban and paranormal fiction have to be silly? It’s difficult to find any that takes itself seriously, where the adult main character doesn’t act like an adolescent. This was a good enough story, but suffers from the problems that make me so ambivalent about modern fantasy novels.
  • (3/5)
    Great premise and there was lots of action but he heroine flu d herself unconscious and her head injured way too many times. I like Gabriel and I knew right away who her later second love interest would be and I didn't mind him. I was mad that they created a fun character at the beginning who is almost immediately killed and she barely even ack owl edges his death.

    My biggest problem though, and I appear to be the only reviewer to mind this is that Maddie is morally ambiguous at best. She is confronted by fallen angels and her biggest problem with them is how controlling they are. She even refers to them just as "Angels" and differentiates between them and demons who are evil. Hunh? She mentions the archangel Michael as being good and that heaven really exists but she has little fear around lucifer and is brethren and keeps losing her temper. (Again not because they are unspeakably evil. It because of all their stupid laws.) this is clearly the Judeo-Christian mythos and if she's just annoyed with it then something is terribly wrong.

    I did enjoy it and plan to read the next one but I need a little more emotion around the evil beings in her life.
  • (4/5)
    Maddy is an Agent, someone whose job it is to guide the newly dead to the Door so they can move on. Her job was inherited when her mother was killed and it comes with a set of black wings, that when called out, can’t be seen by most people. Paperwork, the lack of a relationship because it would be difficult with her hours, and the fact that this isn’t a full time job so money is tight are the worst parts of the job.She also owns a two-flat and demons start showing up when she rents the lower half out to Gabriel Angeloscuro, someone who had been sent to guard her from harm. She eventually learns about fallen angels, the nephilim, demons, her bloodline and powers that are suddenly coming online that she can’t yet control. Oh, and lots of rules she mainly learns about by first breaking them.It’s easy to like Maddy. She’s got a strong will, is loyal and doesn’t appear to be too impressed by those in power. She’s certainly not perfect and does break down and cry a couple of times. Although the fact that she keeps manifesting new powers when she needs them makes me wonder how long this aspect will go on beyond this book. It’s obvious she’s going to be a really tough contender in the future but if we get much more she runs the risk of being a Mary Sue.Secondary characters aren’t defined quite as well, although enough is done at this point to keep you interested. There’s a lot that takes place in this first book, so hopefully more attention is paid to developing the other characters in future books. There are a couple of things that don’t really make sense, but you can easily enjoy the story if you go with the flow.There is plenty that’s left open to deal with in the future. Between Maddy, the storyline, the characters and all of the action, I enjoyed this enough to get my hands on the second book.
  • (2/5)
    I think if I were more in the mood for something this light weight, or more interested in Christian mythology or love triangles, I would have enjoyed this more. And if the heroine's decision making processes actually resembled what I would expect from a 30-something professional Agent of Death, that would have helped; she's very immature.
  • (4/5)
    Madeline Black has an interesting job description: Agent of Death. It comes with a uptight boss, big, black, fluffy wings, and a quota. But that's just her day job - she also has a spare floor she can't seem to rent, a popcorn munching gargoyle guardian, and hoards of demons keep appearing on her front lawn...Toss in a scorching hot love interest, some truly awesome powers, and a monster to stalk Chicago's streets, and what you have is the makings of a nifty new series. Looking forward to reading the next installment!
  • (5/5)
    "Black Wings" exceeded my expectations. This is the first in a series by Christina Henry and I have had for awhile but it was fairly down the TBR pile. Oh a whim I moved it up and I am so glad I did. I love nothing more than a good, unique, fun Urban Fantasy novel and "Black Wings" is all that and more. The story is about an agent or death named Madeline Black. Madeline's job is to meet souls after they pass from their earthly bodies and then deliver them to the door of the afterlife. I love how its portrayed as kind of a grunt job. She has to do paperwork, deal with uncooperative souls and work with a grouchy boss named J.B. Then she meets a mysterious (and attractive) man named Gabriel at around the same time her best friend Patrick is murdered by a demon who eats the souls of his victims. Maddy and Gabriel set out to capture the demon and try to release Patrick's soul.What did I like about "Black Wings"? Oh, just everything. Maddy is a great, sarcastic, realistic character. I thought she was pretty adorable. She has a best friend who is gargoyle named Beezle, who is an absolute scene stealer. He is loyal to Maddy, sarcastic as can be and also has a hysterical addiction to popcorn. The grouchy boss J.B. was a favorite almost from the start although I can't tell if the reader is supposed to like him this much or not. Gabriel is an ok character, but he hasn't completely won me over just yet. I also love how the demons are portrayed. Henry doesn't shy away from the gore or violence. Those are in this novel in spades.The plotline is entertaining, the book is well paced, and the characters are very memorable. Everything about the story felt fresh and unique and the book has absolutely no 'filler'. It is easier to write a bad review than a good one in my opinion. I can't say enough good things about this book but I want to leave plenty of surprises for potential readers to discover. I am very eager to read the next one "Black Night" and the third one "Black Howl". If you love Urban Fantasy and Paranormal novels I think you are missing out if you haven't tried these.
  • (4/5)
    I've had this book for ages and only just found some time to fit it in. I do love urban fantasy and have been reading much more of it in the past month or so. And this is another series to add to my must-read list. It was full of action, which made for a fast read and Madeline was a character that I can truly stand behind. She has some snark and isn't afraid to stand her ground, but yet she's not quite idiotic in her decisions, she knows where to draw the line even though it's extremely difficult for her to shut her trap. I always find myself annoyed when the heroine just pushes things too far and Madeline didn't do that.I really liked the world created. Maddy is an agent of death but other then that she lives a normal life pretty much. As an agent of death she has a job (this includes paperwork and all that) where she's assigned people to escort to the door (Heaven or whatever) or to let them be released if they so choose to not leave and want to stick to earth as a ghost. But this job of Maddy's, well, we don't get to see it too much because straight away things start happening. She discovers she has more in her blood then just being an agent and 'someone' (or someone's) is trying to kill her. Then Gabriel shows up to rent her apartment downstairs and well, there's more to him then meets the eye. This book is full of demons, nephilim, angels, and so much more. We know that there are vampires and faeries and other creatures, but we aren't introduced to them in this book. Oh, and Maddy has a gargoyle who is her guardian or whatever and he's a pretty funny little guy who loves popcorn. The romance is light as there's mostly just developing feelings going on. They really know they care about eachother, and may even believe they are in love, but they can't do anything about it. I think a forbidden romance makes a story so much sweeter but it can also be frustrating. It's hard to say which way this one will go but so far I definitely feel the heat between them and am rooting for them that it all works out. Overall this is a great start to a series and didn't seem to have info dumps or too complicated of plot for a first book. There were a few things that sometimes confused me because suddenly there were all these demon things I got them confused at first, but it didn't take long for them all to be sorted in my head. There's quite a lot of gore in this book so be prepared for that... I definitely recommend this book to urban fantasy readers though!
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this novel. Madison is a strong female character with a smart aleck mouth. I love the parts where her temper gets the best of her and she lets loose on those around her. We all have those kind of moments! Great fight scenes play out throughout the novel. Lots of action, butt kicking, magic and more. Perfect amount of sexual tension with Gabriel and overall, it left me wanting much more. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
  • (3/5)
    Black Wings is a very interesting story with a different take on good and evil.Maddie is mostly a loner who lives in an apartment with a gargoyle, who's only mission in life is to make sure nothing happens to her. She works very hard and at the same time tries to live a normal life. She isn’t really afraid of anything and loves to speak her mind.Maddie has been trying to rent the apartment downstairs from her, to earn a little more cash. She has not had any luck until sexy Gabriel shows up asking to rent the apartment. And since she is in desperate need of money, she decides to rent the apartment to Gabriel. She finds him to be very attractive and mysterious. Of course after he moves in a lot of weird and crazy things begin to happen.At first she does not really see a connection to Gabriel and her feelings for him begin to grow more and more each day. As they begin to fall for one another, the truth also starts to unfold. Now, even though I loved Maddie's personality and think that Gabriel is a super hottie, I just did not feel the chemistry between them. I would have loved a little more development between the two.Another issue I had was that even though at first I was super excited over all the action happening in this book and how fast pace it was, after a while it just became very predictable. Every page I turned, I pretty much figured out what would happen next. I do think that Christina Henry's writing is very easy to follow and the story was not bad at all. Her characters were very easy to like and it was definitely good enough to keep my attention. But like I mentioned before, it became a little predictable and the chemistry between Maddie and Gabriel did not reach out to me. Black Wings has a little bit of action, humor, mystery, suspense and very little romance. 3 Stars!
  • (2/5)
    Liked:I liked the premise of the story that revolved around an agent of death--a good grim reaper. There were a couple of interesting twists, and I liked Christina Henry's take on fallen angel, Hell, Lucifer, and nephilim mythology. I also liked the protagonist's gargoyle sidekick, who provided some enjoyable comic relief. It took a bit for the story to hit its stride, but once it did, the plot unfolded at a fast pace with quite a bit of action.Did Not Like:Sadly, there was a lot about this book that really didn't work for me. First, I could not bring myself to care about or connect with the main character, Maddy. I found her to be very immature, shallow, and whiny. She acted more like a bratty teenager than a thirty-something-year-old woman. The thing that made this perplexing for me is the fact that Maddy was orphaned at the age of 13 or so and, with only the help of the gargoyle, she pretty much raised herself. Given that kind of responsibility at such a young age, it would be logical to expect Maddy to be forced to mature quickly and beyond her years...and yet, she apparently did not.Then there was something that really infuriated and disgusted me. Very early on into the story, Maddy discovers that her new tenant (and future love interest) violated her mind and implanted a spell that compelled her against her will to accept him. As disturbing as I found the act to be, what made it worse is the way it was handled. Yes, Maddy was initially infuriated by what Gabriel had done to her and confronted him about it. However, her justified distrust and anger lasts maybe a chapter (if that). Within just a few pages, Maddy starts lusting after Gabriel and soon thereafter is pretty much in love with him.Did Gabriel redeem himself and work hard to earn Maddy's forgiveness and trust? No, not really. Yes, he takes care of her when she gets beat up and heals her when she's injured on a couple of different occasions, but that's the duty he was tasked with--it was his job to protect Maddy. I don't think he did anything to earn her trust or prove to her that he knows what he did was reprehensible and that he was ashamed of it. He essentially raped her mind and yet there were no consequences to his actions and the matter was dropped in just a couple of pages and forgotten as though it never even happened.Speaking of the romance, it was absolutely superficial. Maddy essentially falls for Gabriel for only two reasons: (1) he's really, really hot and (2) since Maddy's never been in a romantic relationship, she's very lonely and eager to get her lovin' on. There was no sharing of interests, no deep meaningful conversations, no getting to know one another...nothing. Plus, despite being devastatingly handsome, Gabriel had very little personality. He was quite flat and underdeveloped in my opinion.Another major issue I had with the story was the development of Maddy's powers. What they were and when they manifested was unrealistically convenient. They were not really explained and popped out of nowhere just when Maddy needed to use them the most. Moreover, she didn't really know how to control them and didn't put much effort into trying to learn how to use them, and yet they were extremely effective in fighting/defeating the bad guy(s). It was all a bit too dues ex machina for my tastes.
  • (4/5)
    Madelaine (Maddy) Black is an Agent of Death. It is her job to separate the soul from the body and lead the to the Door. But she has to have a way to make money so she does several things including renting the apartment on the first floor of her house. When the charming Gabriel shows up to rent the apartment, strange and dangerous creatures start stalking Maddy and her frients. Not only that, but Maddy starts developing some strange and dangerous powers. CouldL all this have to do with the father she never knew?I really enjoyed this book. Maddy is a stubborn, tough cookie. But she is loyal and her heart is in the right place. The book has humor, love, twists and turns, and lots of fighting. It is a bit bloody in parts, but not so much. Really looking forward to the next in the series.
  • (5/5)
    This was a unexpected joy to read and a very quick read at that. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
  • (5/5)
    This is a wonderful book. Angels demons it has it all I hope you get a chance to read this because she is an author to watch ..
  • (4/5)
    This is the first of the Madeline Black books by Henry. The second is going to be titled Black Night and is scheduled for a July 2011 release. I enjoyed this book; I really liked the world and the premise. The heroine took me a bit to get used to, she seemed a bit generic at first, but by the end of the book she had really grown on me.Maddy works as an Agent, she offers dead souls a choice...to dwell on earth or enter The Door. It is a position she inherited from her mother and one that she can't relinquish...it also doesn't pay very well. Maddy lives with her protector, a foul-tempered gargoyle, and writes articles for cooking magazines to make money on the side. When a strange man offers to rent the apartment below her and her best friend is hunted down by a horrible creature things get a lot more complicated for Maddy.I'll be honest I had a little trouble getting into this book. Maddy seemed a bit generic to me at first. She was kind of your standard smart-mouthed, can kind of kick-butt, urban fantasy heroine with a lack of social life. If you read a lot of urban fantasy, you know the type I am talking about. As the book went on though she started to grow on me and, by the end I was very engaged with her.That being said my favorite character by far is the gargoyle, he is funny and provides a lot of laughs. For some reason I love books with gargoyles. Maddy and Gabriel (the beautiful man who rents the apartment below her) have great chemistry and you are really pulling for them throughout the book. They keep things pretty platonic but still manage to have some steamy and tense scenes; although this book is very much an urban fantasy (as apposed to paranormal romance). There are a number of interesting baddies, and a lot of characters that are many shades of grey.The strongest point of the book is the world-building and plot. The plot keeps you guessing and is very detailed and well-woven. The world is similarly intricate and very intriguing. There is mention of other supernaturals but this book focuses mainly on fallen angels and demons without being overly religious. Maddy's powers as an Agent reminded me a lot of the TV series Dead Like Me in how they are handled and with how bureaucratic they are. The action scenes are well done and paced as well.I enjoyed Maddy's unpredictable power, the complex world of fallen angels, and the fast pace of the plot. The book was hard to put down. Things wrapped up nicely at the end, but there were some major things left unsolved and this was very much an intro book to this world. I hope future books better develop some of the wonderful secondary characters.Overall a very solid urban fantasy debut. Those who enjoy smart-mouthed females who can kick some serious butt will love this. Those who enjoy angel/demon mythos in an urban fantasy setting will also find lots here to like. I would also recommend the Remy Chandler series by Thomas Sniegoski to those who enjoy this book. Remy Chandler has a similar angel/demon mythos and the series is very well done.
  • (4/5)
    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.The Review: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.Notable Scene: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 Wings2. Black NightFTC 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.
  • (3/5)
    Maddy is an agent of death who helps and guides souls to the ‘door’. Her job doesn’t help pay the bills, but luckily there’s a new tenant whose rent will. The tenant, however, may bring more than what Maddy wants right now.Black Wings, I need to get this off my chest, needs a family tree. Oh boy, I was considering stopping midway, reread everything all over again and just plot everything out myself. This angel comes to earth has this many children whose names are so-and-so and those children has this many children named so-and-so and they never age so they continue to have babies and now the question is: Is everyone related to each other in some twisted way? I tried connecting the dots, but I’m 99% sure that no one really cares except for me because it’s pretty irrelevant and doesn’t pay a huge role that will make people go “ew”.So Maddy is a kick-butt heroine who can easily defend herself against demons, mean bosses, and the occasional grumpy gargoyle. (Who, by the way, is that comical relief character that I always love to read in these types of novels.) She is the somewhat typical heroine that I am finding in fantasy novels: independent, strong willed, and powerful. I can’t say that it’s a bad thing since if she was a winy, dependent, clueless character I would probably pull all my hair out by now. Maddy is a well-likable character who isn’t afraid to get dirty and a little mean.I find the world that the novel builds, while confusing sometimes (it’s always the names that get me), was creative and definitely shows the author’s effort. There’s the present world and the past world that readers’ discover through Maddy’s visions that blend well together. It was the back bone of the story without having to go through the whole ordeal of long-winded speeches. The collided of the two worlds was impressive as one expected when facing fallen angels and meeting your father for the first time. The resolution and climax was done in a fashion that left me with no qualms *insert smiley face*. A little love story never hurts either.Speaking of love! Oh la la la. The tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet is an ongoing concept throughout the novel. Let’s just say some of these guys are yummy (if they can keep their mouths shut between you and me). A smidge on the fast pace for one potential relationship, but nonetheless, enjoyable to follow.However, there were definitely times that I questioned how something happened. More in the controlling power sense than plot-wise sense. It’s the finer details that seem to kill me with novels.Black Wings was one of the better beginnings to a series that hit every point that it needed to hit. This is a series that I plan to continue and will continue to enjoy if Christina Henry maintains this caliber of writing.
  • (5/5)
    I have nothing but good things to say about this novel. It's about a woman called Maddy who is an Agent, a person who escorts souls of the dead to the "door" to make their choice. The mythology in this book mainly revolves around angels, demons, and nephilim. There are mention of vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc but I believe that is just set up for future novels as there are none in this one. Throughout the book Maddy is learning to control her new found magical powers and constantly getting her butt kicked, and occasionally kicking some butt herself. The best part of this book is her best friend and protector Beezle, a gargoyle. Beezle provides great comic relief all throughout the book and is definitely what moves this book from 4 stars to 5. I'm looking forward to the next novel to see how much more trouble Maddy can possibly get into.
  • (4/5)
    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyGrim Reapers may just be the new vampires. Consider all the books released this year with protagonists whose abilities were escorting/interacting with ghosts. Even just the ones reviewed here on ATUF: Death Most Definite, Deception, Embers & Sparks, Shade, The Downside Ghosts series…and now BLACK WINGS.The mythology was my favorite part of BLACK WINGS. Imagine the Office Space version of the Grim Reaper business, complete with the boss from hell and more paperwork than even Lumbergh requires. Help a soul move on, then back to the office to fill out the forms in triplicate. Grim Reaping isn’t all bad though, you get some wicked looking concealable black wings and invisibility powers. But being a Grim Reaper isn’t Maddy’s only problem. She’s suddenly come into a new set of powers that she can’t control or explain, and a bunch of demons want her dead for reasons that shock her (and delighted me).The story was a nonstop action blast full of smart-alecky gargoyle guardians, devilishly handsome (and enigmatic) love interests, arrogant demons, wicked witches, and more jaw dropping revelations than a Jerry Spinger show. I barely had time to catch my breath between chapters, but it never felt like overkill.My only complaint, and it’s kind of a biggie, was with Maddy. She’s thirty-two years old, but most of the time she acted closer to fifteen. Outbursts of temper were common place and she often had a shallow response to what should be very traumatic events. She bounced from one dangerous situation to the next and didn’t have the common sense to keep her mouth shut even though several lives depended on her. Maddy’s immaturity aside, I really did like BLACK WINGS. The story was fantastic and the Grim Reaper/Demon mythology was top notch. The next Madeline Black book, BLACK NIGHT, will be out in Autumn 2011, and I’m already anticipating another excellent read.Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex. References to rape.