As a former Agent of Death, Madeline Black is no stranger to witnessing violent ends. But being the one to cause them is an entirely different story… Despite her having saved Chicago from a vampire invasion, the Agency wants to get Maddy off their payroll—permanently. With the deadly Retrievers hot on her trail, she has no choice but to trust Nathaniel to port her to safety. But even the exotic and dangerous world that she winds up in is not as peaceful as she would have hoped. Caught in a turf war between a group of fae and a disturbingly familiar foe, Maddy soon discovers that the twisted plots of her grandfather, Lucifer, and his brothers extend even into this unknown realm. Now, with enemies gathering on all sides, Maddy’s fate is looking darker than ever. And to protect her unborn son from her adversaries, she may have to tap into a power she hoped never to access…
Even though Maddy is no longer an Agent of Death, her life hasn't gotten any less complicated. In fact, it's her old agency that is the current thorn in her side, and when they send the Retrievers after her, she's forced to escape via a portal Nathanial opens for her. Problem is that portal opens to a world and before long it's apparent she's jumped from the frying pan and into the fire. Everything from the vegetation to the fae inhabitants seem to after her in the decidedly hostile world. But little does she realize that everything is not as it seems, and the world she is on may not be so isolated from her problems back home after all.
BLACK HEART had a very different feel to it than the previous ones in the series due to the fact that Maddy was on her own for most of the book. Typically I'm not a fan of these kind of setting/character changes in a series, but I think this time around it really worked. We got to see Maddy on her own and making her own decisions without the others weighing in. She's been very reluctant and dragging her feet due to her situation. Don't get me wrong, she steps up to do what needs to be done, but she's still somewhat apt to "hide" behind the others as she didn't ask to be thrown into the middle of things. This time around for most of the book she had no one to lean on for support for herself. It was good to see her making decisions solely on her own, which will in turn help her greatly in the future I think as she should have more confidence after this. Perhaps I'm reading too much into things but I think despite the tricky situations, the events of this book were a good learning experience for her, and will really help her character growth.
Just like in the previous books, in BLACK HEART, Maddy is forced to tap further into her darker side to protect herself, her unborn child and the ones closer to her. In my review of the previous book I had largely expressed frustration at how most of her friends seemed to turn their back on her for her choices. Honestly she's been forced into the game and treated as a pawn and all of her actions have been as a direct result of a threat. Luckily however, that lack of support did seem to ease up a bit and hopefully take a turn for the better. Of course only time will tell as we will see if they bail again after the next terrible thing she has to do. Which based on the schemes going on from all the "bigger" players, won't be long. Speaking of those schemes, my goodness were they a tangled weave in this book. By the end I simply had to shake my head impressively at the machinations, they were that twisted and tangled.
Even though this is the sixth installment, the Black Wings series is showing no sign of slowing down. In fact, each new installment promises a solid block of entertainment, and BLACK HEART was no exception. Fans of the series will be more than pleased with this roller coaster of a ride!