Friday, March 30, 2012

Review - Black Howl (Madeline Black, Book 3) by Christina Henry (4/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 288 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: February 28, 2012
ISBN: 978-1937007331
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Madeline Black series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the third book in the Madeline Black series by Henry. The fourth book will be titled, Black Lament, and is scheduled to release in October 2012. This book was a great addition to the series. It is a story of be careful what you wish for and it was interesting to see Maddy's careless behavior finally catch up to her.

Maddy is an Agent of Death, the granddaughter of Lucifer, and learning to control her dark angelic powers. Her boss is getting upset because unscheduled ghosts are turning up in the streets acting strangely. He wants Maddy to figure out what is going on. Maddy is also contacted by the local werewolves' second-in-commander; their pack leader has gone missing along with all of the werewolf children and Maddy needs to figure out where they all went before it is too late. Additionally Maddy is still trying to outrun her demonic father and mend the relationship between her and Gabriel, her thrall.

Henry does enough recapping to jog your memory, but I wouldn't recommend starting on this book without reading the previous two. I enjoy Maddy's snarky attitude and reckless behavior; although I have often wondered when Maddy's enemies would finally catch up to her. Well in this book they finally do. It is kind of fun to watch Maddy get angry and loose it because when she does she does it in a mass destruction type of way. I also love how she throws down against huge immortal baddies without even batting an eyelash; in some scenes it is kind of hilarious.

My hands down favorite character is still Beezle; you have to love this lovable and humorous gargoyle...I mean I seriously want my own pet gargoyle now! Nathaniel is back, not my favorite guy but you learn more about what makes him tick in this story. Lucifer is also in this story quite a bit more; it was great to learn more about his personality and character and after this book he doesn't feel so much evil to me as complex.

Gabriel is in the story as well; him and Maddy finally get a little romance in their lives. The story is fast-paced, full of some great action, and the plot (which seems straight-forward to begin with) gets bigger and bigger and blossoms into a complex plot of epic proportions...yet it is still easy to follow yet full of surprises.

The ending of the book was full of some huge revelations and surprises; it left me dying to know what will happen in the next book.

Overall this is a fast-paced, action packed read that is part of a solid and enjoyable urban fantasy series. Maddy is sarcastic and snarky and gets beat up a lot (reminds me of Harry Dresden from that aspect) but she is also determined to hold her own. Maddy's reckless behavior catches up to her in this novel. All the wonderful characters from the previous books are here. The plot starts out simple but ends up complex and is full of wonderful surprises at the end. I definitely recommend this novel to fans of urban fantasy; the angelic bent to this series is different than your typical vamp/were series and makes for a different and fun read.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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