Early Review: Black City by Christina Henry

, by Kt Clapsadl

Black City by Christina Henry
Black Wings #5

Former Agent of death Madeline Black may have been stripped of her wings—but she hasn’t lost her purpose… 

When Maddy finally killed her father, Azazel, she thought his depraved experiment died with him. But now Chicago has been infested with vampires immune to the effects of the sun, and the bloodbath is worse than she could have ever imagined. While the Agency refuses to interfere with other supernatural courts, Maddy is determined to do everything within her power to save her city—wings or no wings. 

But when the leader of the vampires requests that she turn herself in or risk more deaths, Maddy becomes a target for the very people she’s trying to save. Left with no other choice, she turns to Lucifer, the one creature who has the power to help her. But her grandfather’s aid has always come at a price… 

Maddy has had some pretty hard knocks. From losing the love of her life, only to find out she's pregnant with his child, to losing her wings because she refused to compromise her beliefs, she's had a rough go. Yet, she hasn't let any of this stop her from doing what she feels is right, such as destroying her own father before he could release a day-walking vampire hoard upon humanity. She thought she had stop his vile plan, but when vampires start spilling into the streets of Chicago, she knows she was wrong. The death toll is staggering, and Maddy knows it's up to her to bring them down, even if means eliciting the help of her ever scheming grandfather, Lucifer. Nothing with him comes free, but it's a price she's willing to pay to save the people of her city.

I'm always amazed at Christina Henry's ability to step things up a major notch in the action department with each new installment. Just when I think the stakes couldn't get any higher, I am proved wrong yet again. Although to achieve this increase, Maddy's powers also seem to get a boost each time around as well, and I've read several reviews where the reader was rather frustrated with this issue. Normally this would bother me as well, since I'm not a big fan of limitless power, yet in this circumstance it somehow works. Perhaps it is because Lucifer has been telling her all along that she's only begun to tap into her power, so I have been expecting that increase. Another thing that helps balance it out for me is that she does has this amazing power, yet she goes through her "magical well" pretty quickly and must rest for a while to restore it. So while the power itself may be almost limitless, she only has so much of it to use at a time. Also, I think it helps that she is mostly making things up as she goes, and the outcome of her powers is usually a surprise to her as well.

I love just how attached to these characters I have become. In fact, I was completely caught off guard with the heartache in BLACK CITY. I just didn't think there was much of anything Christina Henry could throw at me that would hurt as much as the loss of Gabriel. Yet she did with the slow withdraw of Maddy's friends. I guess I should have seen this coming with Bezzle's hyper criticism of her actions, but I had just assumed they would stand by her decisions. There was only one character who held 100% steadfast, never wavering, and honestly, this character was the last one I would have expected to stick around. It just makes me really angry that the rest of them have become so righteous. Maddy has done the best that she can with the horrible situation and role she has been thrown into. I just don't think they have any right to judge her for doing what is necessary to protect herself and the ones that she cares about. Sure, she has gotten a little bit more proactive in that defense by seeking out some of the dangers before they become too great rather than waiting and giving her opponents the advantage. Honestly, I can't blame her for wanting to stop things before they cause her to lose someone. Considering most of her decisions were made to protect the very people who are accusing her of being "dark side" now, I find it a bit hypocritical. Even though it hurts her, I think in the long run it will be better for her as she needs people who support her no matter what. Here's to hoping that makes a turn around in the next installment.

Just like the rest of the series, BLACK CITY is a thrilling ride from start to finish and I highly recommend it. I personally cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment after that whopper of a cliffhanger ending. I'm not sure how Maddy will get out the mess she's in, but I do know it will be spectacular. Fans of the series will not be disappointed in this latest installment as BLACK CITY only built onto the already fabulous series. This is one Urban Fantasy you won't want to miss!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Previous Books:
  1. Black Wings
  2. Black Night
  3. Black Howl
  4. Black Lament

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