Black Howl

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Black Howl

Black Wings #3

“Black Howl” by Christina Henry is a ‘Black Wings’ novel which continues the complicated tale of Madeline (Maddy) Black, as she continues to juggle her job as an Agent of Death and the complications of her heritage. An uncomfortable relationship with the Angel/Nephilim Gabriel, who, like his half-brother, is resented by the denizens of the various courts, awkwardness with her boss J.B., conflict with J.B.’s mother Amarantha (Queen of the Faerie court), an unwanted fiance who refuses to believe that their association is ended, ghosts who act erratically and kidnapped werewolves are among the things complicating her life. The reluctant request by the werewolf Jude who is desperate to discover what has happened to his alpha and the cubs of the pack thrusts Maddy into a frantic hunt which may end up exposing hidden alliances that will imperil all whom she values, including the insatiably hungry gargoyle Beezle. Maddy’s love-life is in a snarl and just when it seems that things are about to go her way, even more burdens are heaped upon her shoulders. Once again it seems that death and destruction trail her and it is questionable whether her allies will be strong enough to repel the forces which seek to destroy her.

An imaginative tale that blends multiple beliefs into a complex tale of struggling factions and adds a blend of magic and technology to give a new twist to the concept of parasitism and addiction. Madeline is an odd combination of semi-clumsy hybrid and extremely powerful scion of omnipotent beings and her life reflects the disconnect between the two halves of her nature. The plethora of beings who seem to resent Maddy and her accomplishments and the intricate ties to the denizens of multiple courts are a little overwhelming at times as the action seems to trend toward comic book-like farce with insufficient transitional background. A guide to the courts and the ties between the various individuals would be helpful but is unfortunately impossible given the fluidic nature of some of the alliances. A horrific loss in this tale is only somewhat leavened by subsequent events but certainly will invest the reader with a desire to see more works in the series.

Book Blurb for Black Howl

Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago's dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Agent of Death Madeline Black's exasperating boss wants her to figure out why. And while work is bad enough, Maddy has a plethora of personal problems too. Now that Gabriel has been assigned as her thrall, their relationship has hit an impasse. At least her sleazy ex-fiance Nathaniel is out of the picture--or so she thinks...

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2012 4.00