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Black Wings (Black Wings, Bk 1)
Black Wings - Black Wings, Bk 1
Author: Christina Henry
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...  more »
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780441019632
ISBN-10: 0441019633
Publication Date: 11/30/2010
Pages: 304
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 82

3.5 stars, based on 82 ratings
Publisher: Ace
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

  • Currently 1.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Black Wings (Black Wings, Bk 1) on + 127 more book reviews
16 member(s) found this review helpful.
The rambling and ranting review of a bookfanatic!

Ok, I do not get it. I really had a hard time with this book. I kept putting it down because I found it boring and frustrating. In fact, I ended up reading a novella in-between just to get through this book.
Here is my rants-(Yes, I’m reverting to the ole bullet point list- work with me people.)

• Madeline Black is one annoying character. I know other reviews talked about how much they enjoyed her but frankly, I was just the opposite. She was whiny, and stupid! She supposedly has been on her own since the age of 13 (I’ll come to that later) but manages to dive into one dangerous situation after another without any forethought. Then, when she gets beat up, bruised, and tossed around, she whines about it- non-stop.

• She is a virgin. Now, do not get me wrong. That in itself is NOT a bad thing at all. No, in fact, since the book was not focused on puncturing her “maidenhead” (can you tell I’ve been reading some historical romance recently), it was nice to have Maddy as a virgin without further explanation. HOWEVER, she sure did not act like a virgin with Gabriel. She goes from “who the heck are you and I don’t trust you” to “take me Gabriel”. The explanation given why Gabby would go from mistrust to lust was a bust (I couldn’t help myself) aka “very under-developed”.

• She is a virgin. Yes, I know this is a repeat, so sue me. A scene bugged me about a particular demon smelling her virginity. Now, I’ve read a lot of UF and I’ve seen this before in books but this particular demon has a particular relationship to Maddy (which I can’t say-spoiler) and the entire scene was gross, and as far as I know (at least in book 1), smelling her virginity seemed unnecessary to the story.

• Background info. There were so many gaps in this story. Some of the gaps were filled in eventually but the more the author tried to fill in the gaps, the more the story seemed to lose its way.

• She has been on her own since 13! This was casually mentioned as if it was no big deal. I felt the author missed some serious background info by not diving into this other than the casual reference.

• The writing. Here is an example-

“His face was very close and I was careful not to look directly into his eyes. I did not want to fall into starshine again and have my will sucked out of me. The pressure on my wrists was firm, but he wasn’t hurting me. I struggled even though it was clear he could hold me there all day without sweating.”

The writing comes across so mechanical or technical. The author wants me to be in Maddy’s head but I feel like I’m reading a technical manual instead of the thoughts and feelings of a girl struggling.

Ok, so I had many problems with this book but I’m still giving it two stars. Why? Because I managed to finish it and the last 10 or so pages were not that bad. I know everyone else is loving this book and I feel a bit left out but I’ll remain odd man out (ok, odd woman out) on this one and not continue with this series.
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
reviewed Black Wings (Black Wings, Bk 1) on + 51 more book reviews
3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Completely agree w/ Michelle's review. I'll even go one step further...this book is the poster child for underdeveloped characters and plot. Very little world building, what was done was rushed and confusing. The writing was techincal at best.

Trying not to to be spoilery here...but as an example, one character is introduced and killed off in less than one chapter...this person was supposedly important to Madeline, yet no grief, nothing. The romance interest was so underdeveloped it really was nothing more than a 'who cares' for me.

I gave this book 2 stars. Most undeveloped book I've read in a long time. Not sure if I'll bother to give the next book a chance.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Black Wings (Black Wings, Bk 1) on + 370 more book reviews
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Maddy Black is an agent of death that escorts souls to their next destination. Her new tenant is a mysterious gorgeous man who seems to know far too much about her. Throw in fallen angels, demons and souleating creatures to complete the story. Of all of the above, Beezel the gargoyle is my favorite. He had some of the best dialog. 3.5 stars

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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Black Wings (Black Wings, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
It started off interesting enough. It reminded me a bit of the old tv show, Dead Like Me. Reapers=Agents in charge of ushering the departed to The Door.

I loved Beezle, I'd love to have my own snarky but sweet gargoyle. I'm not a huge fan of "angels" in books but there have been a few exceptions. This is one of them. I like the Nephilim idea (though not a unique idea of itself) and I like this incarnation. I liked Gabriel, and I'm not happy that he has that whole "issue" that keeps him and our main character apart. I really REALLY don't like Nathaniel.

I like the way the fallen angels were portrayed, not good or evil but certainly lacking any humanity.

If you asked me if I was going to continue the series at page 100, I would've given you an apathetic maybe and rated it a 3*. At page 200 though, I was hooked and continued to read (with the book hidden under my desk) well after my lunch hour was finished just so I could see what was going to happen next.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Black Wings (Black Wings, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
I really like this series. I enjoy Maddy and her world. I’ve read through #3 and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest. Whether or not my review will help depends on what you are looking for in a story. Personally I look for believable characters, fun narrative, and humor is a must. I'm more interested in the story than the relationship. I don't care for explicit sex, and generally skip pages if sex scenes go on for more than a couple pages.

And it turns out I love Christina Henry. She has a clear voice, I can always keep her characters strait, and I can depend on her for a fun read. I do have a problem with the romantic element in this series. The author didn't sell me on why she fell so hard for her hearts desire. I just didn't see the love.

Most of the complaints I have heard about Black Wings were with her being a virgin. For me it was an integral part of the plot and made perfect sense for the character. And the Character who is introduced and dies within the space of One chapter? That happens in Chapter One, and is the essentially the catelyst for all that follows. I don't want the backstory frontloaded. I'd rather discover it along the way.

Don't look for a lot of depth. This is a suprisingly lite read. True there isn't much world building, primarily because as far as I can tell it is happening at present time, under present circumstances. Hiding in plain sight. but Henry inserts her supernatural happenings into present day Atlanta quite well.

It's probably just me but I get more out of a review when I understand the mindset of the reviewer, so I'm adding a thumbnail about my tastes. I hope that helps,

My favorite reads in the past few years have been The Kate Daniels series, C. E. Murphy's Urban Shaman, Karen Chance's Dorina Basarab, (Cassandra too but not as much as Dory) Darynda Jones, the Grave Witch series. Kelly Meding's Dreg city 1 and 2. The first Gin Blanco was really good and I expect them to get better.

If you liked the above mentioned books, I’m betting you’ll like this one too. Not as high octane, but sound little stories with enjoyable characters and fun plot lines.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Black Wings (Black Wings, Bk 1) on + 54 more book reviews
I sat and read all three books in a row and loved them all. First I see a few people going a Virgin? Wow at her age? Well she is an agent of death and I had a hard enough time with relationships and working a normal job. And being raised by an over protective gargoyle since age 13 would put a damper on boyfriends.

I know how she felt with Gabriel I looked in to his eyes and was wham in love. I didn't really trust him hey only an idiot trusts someone they just met. However there is love at first site and I should have run.

I gave the book 4 stars only due to it is her first and hey nobody is perfect the first time out.

I love Beezle he is awesome. I can't get the thought of Bucky Katt out of my head when I read about him.

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