Author: Christina Henry
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: 11/30/10
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...
Plot: 4 Stars
I absolutely loved the idea of death being run as a beauracracy, especially since it seemed to have a large amount of paperwork involved. Maddy's job as an agent of death was very interesting, even if we only got to witness a few pickups (some working out better than others). I hope we get to see a little more of the job in future novels. Between the demons and nephilim, there was plenty of action for Maddy and Gabriel to deal with throughout the novel. The events of the novel opened up a whole new aspect to Maddy's life. I don't want to give away anything, but I can't wait for the next novel because I really want to see how Maddy deals with a certain attachment.
Pace: 4 Stars
This novel took an extra chapter or two to really get me into it, but once it grabbed me it didn't let go. Between her job and her boss, the numerous creatures knocking at her door to knock her out, and the revelation about her heritage, Maddy had a lot on her plate that led to many twists and turns throughout the novel. Although there were points in which a little too much action seemed to happen within the span of a day, Gabriel always made sure Maddy got some rest (mostly to heal her wounds). Mix in a little humor here and there from Beezle, and this novel flowed perfectly.
Characters: 4 Stars
I loved Beezle! The little gargoyle had spunk and attitude, but still cared for Maddy. He brought humor into the story at just the right time, especially with his love for popcorn. At times he could be a bit vague and mysterious with his warnings sometimes, but overall was a great character. I hope his part in the next novel is bigger. Maddy was a great heroine. I liked her attitude because she came across as very real. Some of the things that were happening frightened her, and some of the creatures kicked her ass. I didn't like Gabriel at first, but he grew on my as the novel progessed. I hope he is in the next novel also.
Cover: 3 Stars
For such a great story, this cover was underwhelming for me. While I think the cover model was a great choice for Maddy, there are other elements to this cover that don't work out so well. The halo of white around the cover model is kinda weird, and because it's around the body it make it seem like the wings aren't attached to her body. The monochromatic blues work very well, except the wings are black (most likely because of the title) and they don't match or blend in that well. But the choice of blue was a good choice, especially since the color still give it attitude. The red title was also a nice touch.
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via the author.