Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review - Black Night (Madeline Black, Book 2) by Christina Henry (4/5 stars)

Black Night (Black Wings)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 288 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: July 26, 2011
ISBN: 978-1937007065
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Madeline Black series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the second book in the Madeline Black series by Christina Henry.  The third book in this series, Black Howl, is due out in 2012.  Right now there are three books contracted for this series, although Henry has stated she'd like to write an additional two after that.  This book was a great addition to the series, we learn more about the Fairy realm and about the past of some of the angels Maddy has to deal with.

Maddy is recovered from being killed in the first book.  With Gabriel assigned as her body guard and Beezle, her gargoyle, at her side to help she is hoping to just chill for a while and continue her job as an agent of death.  Then werewolf deaths start occurring outside of the natural order of things and Maddy is determined to figure out why.  Things get even crazier when members of her fallen angel family start trying to kill Maddy and on top of all that Lucifer wants Maddy to act as the diplomatic head for a mission in the fairy realm.

This book has a lot going on and I was initially worried that the story would be too scattered.  I shouldn't have worried, Henry does an excellent job of tying the multiple story lines together and forming a surprising and cohesive plot.

Maddy has gained more power, but is still getting the stuffing knocked out of her quite often.  The saying, takes a licking and keeps on ticking, definitely applies to Maddy in this book.  Maddy is learning how to use her power and her personality in better and more forceful ways, so this was great to read about.

I was a little disappointed that any relationship between Gabriel and Maddy is stalled in this book; their love is still starcrossed but Gabriel is missing for a large portion of the book.  Stepping in to fill his role is Nathaniel, Maddy's fiance.  Nathaniel accompanies Maddy throughout the book and causes all sorts of trouble.  Nathaniel is an interesting and complex, if not very likable, character and it was fun to learn more of his background.  JB is also a big part of this story and you learn a lot about his background as well.

I enjoyed that time was spent in the fairy realms.  This is a part of this world we hadn't interacted with before.  There are definitely a lot of politics and intrigue throughout the story.  That is not to say there isn't any action, there are a number of well done action scenes as well.  The book was well-paced and well-written.

The story was well wrapped up, with some dangling threads to be addressed in future books.

Overall I am enjoying this series.  The angel mythology is interesting and it was great to see the world expanded into the fairy realm.  Maddy is a great character who is finally learning how to use her power.  There is a lot going on in this story, at points almost too much.  We go into new worlds, meet a number of new races and characters, and have a number of storylines.  In the end though I enjoyed the complexity and thought everything game together nicely.  This is definitively an urban fantasy, not much romance here, so just FYI.  If you like this book I would recommend you also check out Seanan McGuire's October Daye series.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:

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