Title: Black Lament
Author: Christina Henry
Series: Black Wings #4
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this),
My Bookshelves: Angels, Ghosts, Paranormal fantasy
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: I acknowledged this with a nod.
As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black deals with loss every day. But when tragedy touches her own life, Maddy will have to find the strength within to carry on…
Devastated and grieving, Maddy unexpectedly finds hope with the discovery that she is pregnant. But her joy is short-lived when Lucifer informs her that he wants the baby, hoping to draw on the combined power of two of his bloodlines. Maddy is determined that her grandfather will never have her child, but she’s not sure what she can do to stop him.
Being pregnant is stressful enough, but Maddy suddenly finds herself at odds with the Agency, which forbids her from meddling in the affairs of the supernatural courts. When a few of her soul collections go awry, Maddy begins to suspect that the Agency wants to terminate her employment. It should know by now that she isn’t the sort to give up without a fight…
Black Lament had a very drastic change in tone to the first three Black Wings stories. And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it showed an amazing ability to have a changing and dynamic character; on the other, I love Maddy Black for her sass, sarcasm and wit, all of which were tainted by a black halo of depression. When they were present. However, this change in the general ambiance of the tale really should have been obvious from the title of the novel.
Although the black haze through which Maddy travels in Black Lament was incredibly bothersome, it was really her slow greying of morals that I found difficult to stomach. Throughout the series she has clung stubbornly to her morality and sense of self, yet, the moment her unborn child is threatened, she does everything she always swore she wouldn’t. Yes, it is a fantastic testament to the lengths that a woman will go to for her child, but, mostly I just found it difficult. The change seems totally plausible in a character’s development; it wasn’t one that I truly appreciated. I suppose because this character had always conducted herself in very much a ‘right and wrong’, ‘black and white’ way, and all of a sudden the lines are incredibly blurred.
Honestly, it was Beezle and Samiel who really saved this story for me. Where Maddy is almost difficult to really sympathise with throughout this story, Beezle and Samiel stay true to themselves, and even to Maddy. Although Beezle is often a voice of conscious to her, and constantly questions whether she has already crossed the line, he is still loyal. Both characters seem to be determined to save and protect her, even if it is just from herself.
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