Black Wings

, by Kt Clapsadl

Black Wings by Christina Henry
Madeline Black #1
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...

Through an ability passed down by her mother, Maddy's duty is to help souls pass on the next world. She's got her own set of magical powers, and even a wicked pair of wings to boot. It is a demanding job that keeps her busy around the clock, unfortunately it doesn't come with a paycheck, and a girls gotta eat. So despite her reservations, she takes on a new tenant for the open apartment in her building. However, things start to get funny when Demons start showing up and Maddy starts to develop new powers. She'll learn more about herself and past than she ever wanted to know as she finds herself in the middle of an eons long power struggle that promises to change her life forever.

I really enjoyed Maddy's character as she is both strong and incredibly vulnerable at the same time. She is very flawed, and quite immature, but not to the point of annoyance as I understood the reasons behind it. She just lacks people skills and patience, which is understandable as she never had anyone to teach her these things, and no reason to ever learn them herself. She's been on her own with no other companions than a surly gargoyle, and her "job" keeps her isolated. She has a boss, but there aren't any real repercussions or threat of dismissal to keep her in "line." So whenever things don't go as she likes, well temper tantrums of epic proportions commence. Even so, as the book went further along, these episodes were far less frequent, showing some pretty major character growth. I look forward to seeing her become more adjusted to the changes in her world, as I think she shows an incredible amount of potential.

By far the best thing about Black Wings was the mythology. In a genre that almost over saturated with similar elements, it is always refreshing to read something that hasn't already been done to death. It really intrigued me how the grim reapers, things that are typically quite terrifying, were actually just regular people who happened to have a power passed down through their bloodline. Add in the Fallen Angels, Demons, and other nefarious creatures and Black Howl's world made for a smashing read. Definitely a fresh read!

Whenever a book has been on my TBR pile for a fair amount of time I am always hesitant to read it. It makes little sense, but I really have to almost force myself to pick up those neglected books as I am irrationally convinced that the book will be no good because I keep skipping over it. Of course, most of my fear is unwarranted because something made me add the book in the first place. However, it still seems to catch me off guard when the book turns out to be as enjoyable as Black Wings was. I just loved all the different elements of the book, and cannot wait to dive more into this world! 


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