Title: Black Howl
Author: Christina Henry
Series: Black Wings #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Angels, Ghosts, Paranormal fantasy
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: I thought the Romans would protect him.
Madeline Black is an Agent of Death, meaning she escorts the souls of people who have died to the afterlife. But lately, some spirits don’t feel like crossing over…
Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago’s dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Maddy’s boss wants her to figure out why. At the same time, the pact that Maddy unwittingly made with the local werewolves comes back to bite her when their alpha is kidnapped. As Lucifer’s heir, she should be able to discover who – or what – is responsible for both occurrences, but the fallen haven’t been too happy with her since she agreed to harbor Gabriel’s half brother, Samiel.
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…
The end of this story was one of the most insanely powerful stories that I have read in a long time – it both made me want to cry and whoop for joy. Maddy’s constantly dramatic tale gets more intense with each book in the Black Wings series, and I’m not really sure how it can get any more potent than Black Howl. I read the entire book in about three hours – it was just IMPOSSIBLE to put down! And even four hours after finishing the last page, my head is still spinning and twirling with the tale I just read.
There is a lot of use of Christian lore within the Black Wings series – starting with Lucifer and the Grigori. This theme continued with the introduction of Judas (yes, that Judas), and a poignant reminder that Lucifer is a multi-faceted creature with inconceivable and convoluted goals for each and everyone of his actions. Yet, he isn’t inherently evil – after all, Lucifer was originally beloved by God, although this fact does depart from the mythos created in the series. However, it is the politics and Lucifer’s manipulations and disregard of others which are truly concerning about his actions and intents.
Maddy’s small entourage and her courage (and gumption) in protecting them, no matter the cost are incredibly enviable qualities. Granted, they constantly get her into much more trouble than she really needs, but it is her loyalty and brutal honesty that is a constant reminder of her inner strength. Her ability to stay true to herself and her small family are a great way to highlight the importance of family – the family that you find for yourself, not the one with which you share blood.
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