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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review: Black Night by Christina Henry

Title: Black Night
Author: Christina Henry
Series: Madeline Black #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 07/26/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
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Madeline Black is an Agent of death, meaning she escorts the souls of people who have died to the afterlife. Of course, not everyone is happy to see her...

If obstinate dead people were all that Maddy had to worry about, life would be much easier. But the best-laid plans of Agents and fallen angels often go awry. Deaths are occurring contrary to the natural order, Maddy's being stalked by foes inside and outside of her family, and her two loves -- her bodyguard, Gabriel, and her doughnut-loving gargoyle, Beezle -- have disappeared. But because Maddy is Lucifer's granddaughter, things are expected of her, things like delicate diplomatic missions to other realms.

Plot: 4 Stars
In the first novel of this series, Black Wings, the reader is introduced to the world of the angels and demons, along with the Agents of Death, like Maddy. In this novel, the world is expanded on as Maddy learns about portals and takes a trip to the Faerie Realm. She learns more about the politics involved in being Lucifer's granddaughter as she is sent on a diplomatic mission that she may not live through. Added to that is the problem of a missing bodyguard and a missing gargoyle, and Maddy has a lot on her plate in this novel. There were a few points in which I had no idea if Maddy was going to figure things out, or keep herself alive for that matter. All in all, this was a great follow up to Black Wings that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Pace: 4.5 Stars
This novel had a great pace that didn't leave me with much of a desire to put it down. I didn't exactly speed through it, but there was never a point in which I got a bit bored or distracted. Maddy is running back and forth throughout this novel trying to find her friends and do the job Lucifer has given her, along with keeping herself alive. She is definitely overwhelmed as some points, but the novel never became muddled. I wasn't always sure what lay around the next corner (and neither did Maddy), and this novel definitely kept me guessing.

Characters: 4.5 Stars
Beezle continued to bring a bit of humor to the story exactly when it was needed with his witty banter and love of all things snack food. He is still my favorite character of this series, but Maddy and J.B. definitely grew on me during this novel. Not only do we learn more about J.B. and his heritage (including meeting his mother), but he is also less severe than in the previous novel. Maddy continues to have more and more hefted onto her plate, but she deals with all of the craziness as best as she can. A few dangerous characters from book one came back into play with some interesting and surprising circumstances, and I can't wait to see what will happen next.

Cover: 4.5 Stars
Maddy looks like a total badass on the cover. The look on her face screams "don't mess with me" and she's carrying a pretty awesome sword. The ornate fence detail in the background is a nice touch. It resonates with the stone gargoyles from the first cover without being too similar. My favorite detail of this cover is the light behind the cover model that is vaguely shaped like wings. It grabs the eye and makes you wonder if they are wings, and why Maddy would have them. Although I normally love the color blue, I think this cover could've benefitted a tiny bit by being a different cover since book one was also blue, but it still fits the feel of this novel. I'm glad the cover artist brought in a touch of yellow in the title to counterbalance the red in the first cover. A small part of me wishes Beezle could make an appearance on one of the covers because he's such a cool little gargoyle, but I'm not sure if it would actually work.

Overall: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher.

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